Last night I was gruntled to attend an event called Raffs and a Raffle, a comedy fundraiser. The event was organized by Amanda Bouldin, a Free State Project early mover from Dallas (who happens to be contractually obligated to be my BFF due to my purchasing her a steak on her birthday once (I have this in writing)). Two years ago, Amanda founded a not-for-profit group called Shire Sharing (SS) that delivers Thanksgiving dinner to hundreds of needy families in New Hampshire. The first year, SS fed 52 families. Last year, it grew to 196 families (over 600 individuals). This year’s goal is to feed a thousand people! The large majority of SS’s donors and volunteers are FSP participants and friends. So much for the whole “libertarians are heartless bastards” shtick. :-p
So anyway, feeding people takes money. SS is an all-volunteer organization, funded entirely by private donations. Amanda, in addition to being President/Director/Big Cheese (I’m not sure she’s given herself an official title, actually) of Shire Sharing, is also a working single mother and an amateur standup comedian. She had the brilliant idea of putting two of those things together (you know, like a Reese’s peanut butter cup, only with fewer calories and less sticky) and organizing a comedy fundraiser for SS. She approached Nick David, who organizes a free weekly comedy show called Laugh Free or Die at Murphy’s Taproom, an Irish pub in Manchester (and a popular hangout for Porcupines). Nick graciously agreed to designate one of the regularly scheduled Wednesday comedy nights as Raffs and a Raffle. Admission would be free, but Amanda could sell raffle tickets, all proceeds of which would go to SS. She solicited an amazing quantity of prizes donated by a number of local businesses and pro-liberty organizations. In fact, she wound up with so many prizes, she split them into two prizes.
Yesterday, I was not in the mood to go to a bar for the evening. To be honest with you, I am NEVER in the mood to go to a bar for the evening. Occasionally, however, I overcome the mighty forces of introversion and ennui and do manage to get out of this chair, put on pants, and go somewhere. Spurred by the knowledge
of how hard Amanda would kick my ass if I didn’t go that it was for charity (also, prizes! and laughs!! and alcohol!!!), I ventured out into the night.
Now, despite the fact that I have lived in New Hampshire for 8.5 years, and have been to Murphy’s Taproom literally dozens of times, I got lost en route. No, seriously. I firmly believe that each person is unique and has special gifts, and getting lost happens to be one of mine. I blame my GPS unit, which “helpfully” suggested a turn at an unexpected location. Even though I could have got to Murphy’s without its “help”, I thought maybe it knew a shortcut, so I listened to it and wound up on a deadend road somewhere in ManchVegas. Thanks, Garmin, you little #$%%@!!
Fortunately, I arrived only 5 minutes late, and managed to snag the very last spot in Murphy’s parking lot. The back room of Murphy’s was hopping with dozens of Porcupines mingling, chatting, and drinking. I bought 5 raffle tickets, aiming for the prize that included $100 worth of silver donated by Suns of Liberty Mint.
I didn’t notice what time the show started, but once it did, it was just bam-bam-bam comedian after comedian for at least an hour straight. Each one had around 5 minutes to perform, and almost all of them were quite funny (I won’t single out the unfunny ones; I hate to see grown men cry). In fact, after a while I had to make myself stop laughing to save what was left of my throat for Doug Stanhope tomorrow night. I was just air laughing.
Amanda performed around 3/5 of the way through the show, and drew the winning raffle tickets immediately after doing her routine, which was extremely well-received by the audience. Due to some sort of clerical error, none of my five tickets were pulled. That’s OK, both prizes went to freedom-loving and generous Porcupines, and SS got the proceeds of all the other tickets purchased by, as Amanda succinctly put it, “LOSERS”.
All in all, it was a really fun evening and a very successful event which raised $845 for Shire Sharing!