Champagne Wishes and Caviar Dreams, do you recall that oft-quoted phrase from Robin Leach on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous? I remember watching. I also remember thinking; I have nothing in common with those people…absolutely nothing.
In fact, my strongest memory of caviar is that scene in BIG where Tom Hanks tastes it and then enthusiastically tries to wipe off his tongue with his napkin before leaving the champagne-laden party for, wait for it, a milkshake.
I’m more of a Lifestyles of the Regular and Ordinary kind of girl. While I appreciate some basic material comforts like my Keurig, an iPhone, and 4-wheel drive, my life is pretty simple. My husband and I attend church, work hard for our money, and are trying to make the lives of our children just a tad bit better than we had it. Sounds pretty regular and ordinary to me. We’re actually raising children without a yacht or a 20-car garage. Who knew it could be done?!
Too bad Robin Leach didn’t take a side bar away from the private beaches and 10,000 square foot mansions to visit the charities these rich and famous people supported. But, there might be a reason for that. Statistically, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reports that the wealthiest people historically give less money to charity. I guess the rich and famous have to keep up appearances. We “regular Joe’s” just want to leave the world a little better than we found it.
This came to mind recently as I met with one of our donors, Linda Rae. She stopped by to drop off a key to our office that she had found while cleaning out her late husband’s desk. It was an emotional day to be sure. Bill Rea was a beloved member of the Grant County community and a former President of the Foundation Board of Directors. I’m sure cleaning out his desk brought back many memories. Heck, this tiny little key has me verklempt.
That’s probably why it’s still sitting on my desk. I keep staring at it. Picking it up. Twirling it through my fingers. Thinking. Keys are so symbolic. The potential that they can unlock is often unknown, but it’s potential nonetheless.
I think Bill Rea knew that the Foundation was a key to unlocking a lot of Grant County’s potential. Our existence for the past 28 years has allowed donors to mobilize their generosity toward impacting causes they loved. And in those 28 years, the Foundation has invested all we could to improve the quality of life in this place we call home. That’s powerful stuff.
So, I’m keeping Bill’s key in my desk drawer from now on. And every time I see it I’m going to think of all of the Foundation donors past and present who were regular, ordinary people with big ideas and even bigger hearts.
And, in honor of the Lifestyles of the Regular and Ordinary, I plan to toast those very donors…every time I drink a milkshake.