'Tis better to give than to take


Every year, Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra does its biggest fundraiser in December. Its Island Extravaganza has been an extraordinary example of the Eastern Sierra community coming together for a night of music, mingling, and good food—all in the name of supporting a fabulous organization.

In addition to the many volunteers it takes to keep DSES going, it also takes an enormous amount of funding to keep the programs moving forward. One of the ways volunteers help DSES raise funds is by selling raffle tickets.

For about a month before the big Island Extravaganza event, DSES has a table set up inside Vons (in Mammoth) as you walk into the electric doors closest to the deli.

Last week one of my girlfriends was manning the DSES table (Volunteer of the Year, Randee) at the same time I happen to walk into the grocery store to buy a Chai Tea from Starbucks.

I offered to buy her a coffee and then chatted with her for a few minutes, in between her solicitations to Vons customers, asking them to buy a raffle ticket for DSES.

On the card table that was set up for the DSES volunteers was also a box of cookies that Vons had donated to the cause. A holiday cookie was offered to those who took the time to fill out the DSES raffle tickets with their name and telephone numbers and subsequently donated a few dollars to the cause.

I also bought some raffle tickets. I have just as good a chance as anyone to win that trip to Hawaii or the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area season pass!

My girlfriend and I were talking about whatever it is girlfriends talk about when a family of four who had just been shopping moved toward the table.

We both thought that they were going to buy a raffle ticket. However, that’s not what happened.

The mother of the family moved her plastic grocery bags from one hand to the other hand, reached over and said, “Oh, cookies,” and then proceeded to pick out a holiday cookie from the box. Her two kids followed her lead each helping themselves to a holiday cookie and then to my astonishment they started to walk away.

I couldn’t help myself and said, “Hey, the least you can do is buy a raffle ticket for taking a cookie!”

They kept walking.

My girlfriend and I had to pick our jaws up off of the floor at this shocking act of entitlement and rude behavior. Not only did they “not” ask if they could have a cookie, but they didn’t even have the decency to say, “thank you” as they were walking away munching on their holiday treat.

They just kept walking toward their car like it was the most normal thing in the world to them to get something for free just because they could. I wanted to run after them but thought twice about releasing the “Wrath of Stacey” on behalf of DSES and possibly getting my girlfriend in trouble.

We didn’t recognize the family and I believe it was safe to assume that they were not from the Eastern Sierra. I can’t help but wonder what made someone, a mother no less, act in such a self-serving, narcissistic way in front of her kids. What kind of lesson do you think her children learned that day when they watched their mother take a cookie from a box that was obviously meant as a token for those people buying raffle tickets for an upcoming fundraising event?

All I can say is that I hope I taught my kids better than that and if I ever witness something similar again, the “Wrath of Stacey” might not be contained.

Stacey Powells

Stacey Powells is a local writer and radio host. She hosts the Exhausted Parent Network Radio Show every Thursday night at 6 p.m. on KMMT. She can be reached at stacey@exhaustedparent.com. For more of her work, visit www.exhaustedparent.com. Her column reflects her own views and not necessarily those of the Mammoth Times.