By Richard Weinstein, President & COO
Ocean Reef Community Foundation

Regardless of one’s alma mater, somehow as adults we seem to share the universal experience of occasional lingering nightmares that we just arrived at school (sometimes missing items of clothing or perhaps with our shoes on the wrong feet) and there is a huge test for which, for some reason, we are not prepared. The even worse version is that we, in fact, have never attended that particular class and may not have even realized, until this very moment, that we were even enrolled in it!  I am not sure when those particular dreams finally stop, but it is clear that “School” plays a pretty important role in our lives.

I remember our son’s first day of school: I was excited, my wife was excited, and to our delight and surprise, our son was excited, too! We talked about the day a lot ahead of time and he joined right in; then the day arrived, we got him up early and he jumped out of bed, we drove to the school and he bounced out of the car ready for “The First Day of School!” I know, you were expecting a twist on that story and at the time, so were we; but he loved that first day. The twist came the next morning when we woke him up for “The Second Day of School.” He was like, “What do you mean? I did that yesterday! That whole School thing – it was great and all, but now I’m done with it.…Right?” Needless to say, when we explained that this was the second of many successive days of school on into the future for as far as he could possibly imagine…that was when the tears came.

School continues to govern our lives for decades after we graduate. I mean, we still have so many activities that rely on the “school calendar.” The whole idea of “summer vacation” is tied to when “School is Out.” Recently, a Member told me about a wonderful bottle of wine they wanted to donate to the All Charities Auction, but when they went to search for it, it couldn’t be found.  Then it dawned on them – their children had been in for the holidays…. Lesson learned: just like those school years where, every now and then, someone’s dog actually did eat their homework, there’s an adult version … “My Kids Drank My Wine…,” and the Member graciously donated a different bottle.

In fact, the All Charities Auction has quite the array of wines available. Whether you are looking to start your collection of Bordeaux or enhance your cellar with a wonderful selection of Napa favorites, we have it all. That’s thanks to the Members who have donated some of their own favorites.

And while they say, “Beauty is in the eye of the Beholder,” Art is another category where Members provide a wide array of beautiful works to offer in our Auction. Plus there’s sports memorabilia as well, tucked in the Luxury Lifestyles section; take note that again this year we have some very interesting – and collectable – items.

Whatever you might need (or not even know you need), we just might have it in our live or silent auction. And in a similar vein you just might have something along these lines you would like to donate. Although our printed catalogue is soon to be on its way, we still welcome your additional donations as we can easily add them into our online auction bid system.

As they say in the commercial…operators are standing by.

That means that, without having to pay any tuition or do any studying, today’s free takeaway is the knowledge that, with your participation, either by donating to All Charities or, when the time comes, bidding high and bidding often, you can make a tremendously meaningful difference. The result will be, unlike that mystery class we never attended that inspires occasional nightmares, we will be able to sleep more peacefully knowing that, for those in need, we just might help make their dreams come true.