When Lis Weston asked me whether I’d asked my parents to donate to EC3’s Raising the Roof fund, I had to laugh. It’s been a while, thankfully, since the last time I asked my parents for money; about 13 years or so. Brenda and I were just married, fairly to completely broke, living in Howell and commuting in opposite directions for hours a day just at the time gas stopped being cheap. Oh, and we’d just managed to buy a Jeep Cherokee–you know, the cool, old, boxy ones they don’t make anymore that were famously not fuel-efficient. Anyway, we scraped up what we had and bought the Jeep in Indiana, where I grew up, unaware that when I went to the Michigan Secretary of State’s office to register the car I would be introduced to the harsh reality of the Michigan sales tax. Hello $2,500 license plate, and “hello, mom and dad.”
Lis laughed with me, but then she insisted that enough time had passed to enable me to make another call “home” for money (of course, I never told her I never paid off my debt) —this time, to support EC3. Honestly, I hadn’t seriously considered it, even though I’m the Chair of the Board of Directors and supported the whole extended-family fundraising idea in the first place. Perhaps its because even though I’ve been “out on my own” for almost 20 years at this point, I know I will always be in my parents debt (and I don’t mean the license plate bail-out) and don’t want to ask for any more; surely I’m not the only EC3 parent who’s had similar thoughts.
But when I considered the generous donation of matching funds by another current EC3 grandparent, I wondered if perhaps my folks might also welcome this opportunity to provide for a “need” in their grandson’s life. What kind of example would I be setting for colleagues on the Board, other EC3 families, and even my children if I weren’t willing to subordinate my own pride for a cause I truly believe in?
So, Mom and Dad, if you’re reading, expect a call.