Monday, February 13, 2012

first prize

I unpacked River’s school bag on Friday after his first happy week in prep and found a book of raffle tickets. A raffle is nothing out of the ordinary as a fundraiser but to my mind first prize in this raffle is: ‘wheelbarrow containing an assortment of wine, spirits and beer valued at $2000.00’. Two thousand dollars of alcohol!

Having only been part of the school community for a week we are the new kids on the block but on Sunday I drafted a letter to send to the Principal, the fundraising committee and the school council that goes something like this…

I consider a prize of a ‘wheelbarrow containing an assortment of wine, spirits and beer valued at $2000.00’ to be inappropriate.

First and foremost it sends a message to the children that winning a large amount of alcohol is something to celebrate. Australian society has a problematic drinking culture and it is from a very young age that first impressions influence a child’s idea of what it is to be ‘grown-up’, sadly all too often that is tied up with excess consumption of alcohol. DrinkWise Australia an independent, not-for-profit organization has launched two campaigns ‘Kids and Alcohol Don’t Mix’ and ‘Kids Absorb your Drinking’ in an attempt to change this culture.

I acknowledged the effort the fundraising committee invests in the work they do and finished the letter with an offer to source alternative prizes for future raffles.

What are your thoughts on this topic? What prizes are being raffled at your child’s school?

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