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Fund-raising for Square Dance Clubs Proliferates This Fall

I attended three square-dance fund-raisers within three weeks: a breakfast and bazaar with the Country Cutups, a murder mystery theater dinner and dance with the Country Capers, and a silent auction at the Checkerboard Squares’ costume dance. Fund-raisers are abounding this fall.

Salem’s Willamette Squares also got into the act by holding a silent auction at the club’s recent birthday dance. The Tri-Squares in Tigard are making “silent auction” their dance theme on Nov. 6. The Portland Area Council is selling entertainment books to raise money.

I’ve heard some square dancers criticize the idea of fund-raisers. After all, aren’t we just asking others in the square dance community, who may also be trying to sustain struggling clubs, to chip in and help our club? Well, yes and no. True, we are asking fellow square dancers to help pay our club’s expenses when we invite them to a fund-raising event.

But eating out, entertainment and gift items are something everyone seeks from time to time. A fund-raiser provides the opportunity to eat, enjoy entertainment (murder mystery) or buy a handmade or white elephant item (especially attractive before the holidays).

I noticed that non-dancers attended all of these fund-raisers. Such events may even be a way to attract new dancers. The Country Capers took advantage of the presence of non-dancers at their murder mystery dinner and taught them a few square dance moves immediately following the dinner. Laughter and smiles abounded as these non-dancers experienced what was essentially the first lesson of a square dancing class. But they didn’t know that. They were just having fun.

Fund-raisers aren’t all bad. They may attract new dancers. They provide fun for the people attending, and bond club members as they prepare the event. And a fund-raiser may tide a club over financially, making the difference between survival and folding.

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