Mojito recipe: Add a generous handful of dry mint leaves and a spoonful of sugar to a glass. Crush mint with a wooden spoon. Fill glass with ice. Add white rum, lime juice, and club soda. Stir and enjoy. #mojito
When I was working in North Miami Beach, my employee was pressuring me to quote “be seen in the community“, to attend community events, pass out business cards, and schmooze. Therefore, I put on my best suit and headed to a charity auction at one of the most affluent organizations in Miami Beach. I only had $25 to spend; but, really, nobody needed to know that. I looked like I could be a charitable donor. The evening’s theme was all-you-can-eat Chinese food buffet. There was live music, vendors, and raffles. People had donated a lot of technology, including the newest MacBooks and i-phones, both of which could be won for a $10 raffle ticket. The place was packed. I said hello to a number of people I did business with, small talk, small talk. I thought, “Damn, this would go easier with a drink.” Lo and behold, I saw a bartender across the way and pushed gently through the crowd to get to him. He was making beautiful Cuban mojitos, a mint-flavored drink that is just so refreshing. I do love a good mojito.
Me: How much are the mojitos?
Him: They’re free.
Him: Yes, free.
Me: Well then, I’ll take one!
The bartender crushed the mint and mixed the mojito right before my eyes. I tasted it and it was delicious… cool and fresh. I tipped the bartender and wandered away, but I found that my glass was empty just too soon, so I went right back for a second one. I headed toward the raffle tables and saw that there was also a silent auction. These people were serious about raising money. There were at least a hundred different things you could bid on or buy a raffle ticket for. The way a silent auction works is: each item is displayed with a minimum starting bid and then bidders simply write their higher bid below it. Many items go up in $5 or $10 increments and the last bid wins the item. Silent auctions are an excellent place to buy autographed memorabilia, donated to the charities by stars. But my cup was empty, so I went back for another mojito. Oh, there’s my friend! Hi, how are you doing? It’s so nice to see you again. Would you like a mojito? I’ll have one, too. After we parted, I went back to looking at the auction items. There were so many lovely things – that I couldn’t afford. Then I saw the most beautiful item. Here’s the part where the mojitos start talking to me in my head. “You can bid on that.”, says the mojitos.
Me: What? The minimum bid is $900. That’s a week’s salary and more than my monthly rent and utilities combined.
Mojitos: Come on. Don’t be a coward. Everyone else is buying tickets.
Me: Yeah, but I have $25.
Mojitos: Look, this event is going on for 3 more hours. There’s no way you could actually win the item. You just get to look like a fancy pants by bidding on it first. Then you can say how sorry you are that you lost to a higher bid.
Me: That’s true. There are 3 more hours of bidding before the auction closes. I think I will bid.
Guess who won the item for $900? And I paid it, too. You can’t make a pledge to a charity and then back out. That’s bad character. Plus, the item really was beautiful: a stunning, jeweled necklace crafted by Judith Ripka. I proudly wore it to work and gathered a week’s salary worth of oohs and aahs. #JudithRipka @RipkaStylista
…And the fundraising lesson is: If you serve free mojitos at your charity fundraising events, I personally guarantee that those mojitos will pay for themselves. I paid $900 for mine! And I’m just one customer! #fundraising
“Funny Story: Mojitos at the Auction.” is copyright © 2015 by Poorkitteh. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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