The Rock Bottom House is in Odessa, Texas. It is fed (literally) by donations and income from the Rock Bottom Café, owned and operated by Tamara Moersch and a host of lovely employees and friends. At lunchtime, you can find simple to elegant fare, all for a reasonable price. And you’d better get there early, or the good stuff is gone. Thursdays is pot roast day. And oh, Lord, their cakes...yummmmm.
All this background leads up to what it’s all about – fundraising. At 2pm on any given day, the Rock Bottom House ceases being a café, and turns into a safe place for young people. A Christian place where they can be tutored, work on computers, their homework, play ping pong and pool, and just hang out until their parents or guardians come home. The shoot will benefit the safe place.
I met Tamara and Shannon earlier this year. They came to me for advice on how to put on a successful benefit shoot. They called and visited, regularly. They brought the best homemade cakes. They asked questions. On everything. Detailed questions. They took notes. They gave me their ideas, and let me say “Yes, that will work.” Or, “This is why that will not work.” They absorbed. They changed their format, based on my advice. They schmoozed my bosses, brought them cakes. And eventually, because of their perseverance, they were awarded a substantial sponsorship by my employer. They would listen to me, leave my office to go execute the advice I gave them, then call me and say "Okay, they sponsored for XX amount of dollars, just like you said." "Okay, Janie, I got this part done." They were soaking up anything I told them concerning putting on a charity event - and succeeding. In response, Tamara and Shannon offered to volunteer at every event I hosted in order to learn what it was going to take to make their shoot work and succeed.
They offered to volunteer AT EVERY EVENT.
Make me sit up and take notice, why don’t you, girls? I thought I’d give them a try. I figured that would either make them, or break them.
Me: “Okay, be at my office at 3pm and we’ll put the books together.”
“Thanks for helping me do the books. It’s 8:30pm. We’ll start everything at Windwalker at 3pm tomorrow. Want to walk through all that?”
“Sure. We’ll be there.”
Me: “Okay, Saturday is the big day for the Bad Boy Blast. Be there at 6:30 a.m.”
Tamara and Shannon: “We’ll be there, and we’ll bring helpers.”
They were there, early, smiling, with plenty of helpers. They worked all day. They absorbed. They learned. They got filthy. But they were starting to comprehend a bigger picture. Everybody wants to put on a charity shoot – but it takes teamwork and a host of great contributors to make it all come together.
Did I mention both of these women have four children, each, some of them under 4 years of age? These girls are on a mission…for others.
Two weeks later, along comes the Halliburton Gunsmoke Customer Appreciation Shoot.
Tamara and Shannon were there, right on time, working alongside us all day long.
At some point, Shannon said, “Hey, sometime today, I just wanna say, “Pull!” Can I do that, Janie?” We all laughed, but, hey, that’s all it took. The guys had them up on the flurry stand, loaning them shotguns, enjoying their first shotgunning experience. They LOVED it. Shannon and Tamara did, as well. We may have created some shotgunning monsters.
At both shoots, when the scoring and bookkeeping had almost come to a close, I gave them both permission to work the crowd and hand out flyers to their shoot. They did, and signed up shooters immediately.
I hope and pray tomorrow is a success for them. I will be there, early, to help them and provide oversight. I shoot at 9am.
I bet they have it all under control. I bet I get to just smile and be proud for them.
These girls have a plan...and they are determined to succeed.