I generally receive positive reviews about my notes in this newsletter about my adventures in Boy Scouts as an adult leader and the achievements of my sons, the troop and other boys. Why is this even in a newsletter about the markets you ask? There is actually a good story why I do this.
Several years ago, I was the chairman of a Boy Scout district in the western suburbs of Chicago and I was asked to raise some money for a scouting program, Soccer in Scouting. I made a deal with my son Tim that I would help him sell $10,000 worth of popcorn and in return he would donate $2000 of the $2500 he would earn to help fund this program.
This was the year we had the pie-throwing event at FIA’s EXPO in Penson GHCO’s booth. Tim and I had sold 23 $500 units for people to throw pies in my face, though only 17 pies were actually thrown. The event was a big success.
One of the entities that paid $500, actually more than $500, was the Jen Justice Band, led by Ray McKenzie of ICE. Rather than take the popcorn he bought, Ray asked me to give it to the Greater Chicago Food Depository (“GCFD”). Ray ordered three of each of the items on the order list and asked me to deliver them to the GCFD.
This was my first experience with the massive facility on the southwest side of Chicago that is home to the GCFD. I was awed by the size of the facility and the amount of food they were storing and giving away to hungry people in Cook County, IL.
As a result of my pie-throwing event, the next year I was asked to serve on the committee for FIA’s EXPO, even though I was not an FIA member. During the planning meeting when discussing a new idea FIA had for a gala dinner, much like FOA’s popular charitable dinner in London for IDX, I suggested we designate the Greater Chicago Food Depository as the recipient of the proceeds.
The committee discussed the idea and agreed. FIA designated them as such.
My thinking at the time was that the futures industry had incredible years in 2007 and early 2008, but that many people were suffering as a result of high food prices and high energy prices. Some people were having to choose between buying food, or gas for their cars to get to work. Demand for the services of the GCFD was strong and getting stronger/worse.
This was a way we as an industry could give back I thought. Here we are 5 years later and the FIA gala dinners have generated more than $1.7 million dollars in donations to the GCFD.
Now, I am not saying that the decision to give GCFD would not have been made if I had not suggested or lobbied for it. And certainly, there is a lot that goes into raising $1.7 million and the thanks goes to many people. But for my part, it started with a need in scouting to raise some money to start a Soccer in Scouting program for some kids who spoke some 29 different languages at an elementary school in a nearby town to my home.
A spark for something as great $1.7 million to GCFD from the futures industry came from my role as an adult leader in Boy Scouts. To me, that is way cool. You never know what the next spark or result might be.
I do hope that you will come and support the Futures Cares Dinner at the upcoming FIA EXPO. It is a great event that features food from the best steakhouses in Chicago. Find more details at http://www.futuresindustry.org/futures-cares-charity-events-test.asp.
P.S. First Class Boy Scout Robby Lothian is selling popcorn to support his and his troop’s activities. No pie throwing at EXPO this year, but you can order from me and I will deliver it to you at EXPO or before. Here is the product list and pricing.