Monthly Archives: October 2008

Guess Who?

Some holidays have more of an impact on a community than others. And sometimes, certain holidays come just when they are needed to help people play with reality without alarming too many observers. As we prepared for Halloween many citizens looked for ways to help stressed nonprofit agencies. One popular method was to host a festive gathering and sell tickets to attend. Joshua Biggly Huge, local Lost philanthropist was hosting a Halloween candy tasting costume drop-in gala for a few of his favorite organizations. We were excited about the event and looked forward to the disguises.

“Boo,” said a Richard Nixon lookalike, while her hair spelled out ‘Guess who?’ Of course it was my friend, Bella Pelorizado.

“Hey, Bella,” I said while clutching my bag of candy.
“How did you know it was me?”
“Richard Nixon is dead.”

“So are a lot of people,” she sighed as she slipped off her mask. “It’s just no fun this year.” She looked longingly at my bag of candy. “Everyone is holding on to what they have. No one wants to spread the sugar around.” I held my candy behind my back.

“I can relate to that,” said Amos Alonzo Upright trying to look tough in his pumpkin costume. Coach Upright has been one of Land of Lost’s athletic boosters for years. “I can’t get anyone to fund my new program, RULES, Referee and Umpire Lasek Surgery. They seem to think everyone has health insurance.”

“Alonzo, you’re getting political,” cautioned Cash Now, CPA to nonprofits and the financial conscience of Lost board members and nonprofit staffers. “You can’t talk about health care. You can’t talk about the sugar subsidy either,” He looked at Bella.

“What sugar subsidy?”

“I told you not to talk about it.” Cash was at his wits’ end as he cautioned against political activity by nonprofits. No one was listening to him. It didn’t help that he was wearing a Bambi costume. I was grateful he hadn’t seen Bella’s costume.

“I told you not to talk about it.” Cash was at his wits’ end as he cautioned against political activity by nonprofits. No one was listening to him. It didn’t help that he was wearing a Bambi costume. I was grateful he hadn’t seen Bella’s costume.

“I see you got my invitation to Buck$ for Treats,” welcomed Joshua Biggly Huge, our host. Even Joshua was disguised. But I wasn’t sure what he was disguised as, so I asked.

“I am my favorite thing,” he said, “a tax deduction.” He was in a large trash bag with a dollar sign painted on the side.

“No politics,” moaned Cash.

It is always important that nonprofits be reminded about refraining from political endorsements or opposition to candidates, especially during an election year. It was time for a gentle reminder. But we were interrupted by Birdie Inkstain, ace investigative reporter for the Timely Donations News. “How do you guys think this election is going to fall out?”

Talk about a deer in the headlights look! Cash Now couldn’t believe the question. He opened his mouth to caution all of his friends and clients to not say a word. Birdie never gave him a chance. She plunged right on, “Aren’t you cute in that outfit,” patting him on the nose, “I think I ran over your twin last week.” Birdie turned to everyone and asked again, “So how’s this gonna end?”

“We don’t talk politics because we work for nonprofit agencies,” explained Cash. “The
IRS would be unhappy.”

“Look, I’m standing here talking to Bambi, a pumpkin and a dead politician,” she challenged as she threw the remains of her coffee into a nearby trash bag. Unfortunately, it was Joshua’s bag. The way that bag went hoping down Main Street suggested that he was surprised by the wet, cold beverage. His antics distracted Birdie for a minute, but she refocused as she cajoled, “Come on, I want opinions.”

“Birdie, we can’t give opinions on candidates,” explained Coach Upright. “We have to protect our nonprofit status”

“But you must have opinions on issues? Don’t you do advocacy for you causes?”

“Yes, we do,” admitted Bella. “We know that much of the work we do in the community is enhanced or hindered by public policy decisions. For example, those who are child advocates want to raise awareness about issues of child health, safety and education.”

I chimed in, “Those of us who have been around a long time like to point out that aging isn’t fun when public policy decisions act counter to the needs of the elderly.”

“What about those of us who like to stay active and appreciate parks and playing fields? We have to get our message out, too.”

“Great,” smiled Birdie, smelling a story, “so tell me, which candidates are listening to you?”

“All of them, we hope.”

October, 2008
Ocotber 2008 Guess Who-