Tricky Tray


About nine years ago, before I was back at work full time, I approached my son’s PTA and told them that I had an idea that could raise some money!  A tricky tray!!  Many of them looked at me bewildered, because they did not know what it was.  A tricky tray is defined on Wikipedia as “a combination of a raffle and an auction that is typically featured at charity, church festival and numerous other events. Can also be known as penny social, Chinese auction or pick-a-prize according to local custom, or to avoid causing offense”.  Once that was cleared up, they decided we would try it.

Our fist Tricky Tray, we labeled as a “Ladies Lunch Out”and held it on a Sunday afternoon.  I do not remember the exact figures, but around sixty women showed up and we raised over $5000.  It took a lot of work, a lot of volunteers and a lot of time and in return, it sparked a lot of interest.  We did it again the following year on a Saturday night.  Men wanted in on this too!!  That year we raised over $10,000.  We knew we had hit upon a yearly fundraiser that would raise big money for the school.  I chaired that committee at the school for six years and each year did better and better!  This year, although I am no longer involved in that school, the tradition has continued and I hear that they raised over $25,000 at the last one.

Last year, a parent at the school where I teach, and my youngest son attends, came to me and told me he heard I was “The Tricky Tray Queen” and he wanted to start the tradition at our school.  We formed a team, got families involved and in a few short months, we had “The Spring Thing” on the calendar.  We raised over $20,000 at the first one.  Tonight, is our second for the school.   The donated prizes have been staggering!  We will feature a live auction, a silent auction and the ticket raffles.  There is no way of knowing ahead of time how much we will raise, but we expect to beat last year’s totals!!  We have so many volunteers this year.  People are excited because they know that this event is benefiting their children.

When I get involved in anything, I put every effort into it.  Whether it is Pajama Drives, Book Drives, Food Pantry… other than family and my job, it is all that I can focus on.  With the craziness of the last six weeks in my personal life, I have not been able to give the time I usually do.  Other than myself, are three chairpersons for the event.  They have taken on my load and I am so grateful for them.   It is not like me to back out on responsibilities, but I have had no choice.  They are so wonderful and have been so good to me.  They deserve tonight to be the best one yet.  They have worked hard and put a lot of time and effort into a volunteer job all for the benefit of the children of our school.  I hope that they are aware of how much they are appreciated.

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