Charity Logo

Charity Logo

Charity of the Month


In December I am riding for Heifer International. Founded in 1944, Heifer International works with communities around the world to end hunger and poverty and to care for the Earth. Its approach is more than a handout. Heifer provides animals (e.g., heifers, goats, water buffalos, chickens, rabbits, fish, and bees) and training to impoverished people in over 30 countries. The animals can give milk, meat, or eggs; provide draft power; or form the basis of a small business. Communities make their own decisions about what crops, animals, and market strategies make sense for their everyday conditions and experiences.

Heifer International is based on 12 Cornerstones, such as Sustainability; Genuine Need and Justice; and Gender and Family Focus. Perhaps the best known Cornerstone is Passing on the Gift, in which Heifer recipient families pass on the offspring of their animals to others in need. In this way, whole communities can raise their standard of living.

A donation to Heifer International also can make a wonderful alternative holiday gift. Instead of yet another sweater for Grandma that she really doesn’t need, why not donate a Heifer animal or a share of an animal in her honor? Does your child really need so many new toys? Instead of five new toys, give him/her three new toys and a Heifer flock of chicks. Heifer has honor cards to let your loved ones know of your gift on their behalf.

I have set up a Team Heifer page to support Heifer International through A Year of Centuries. My goal is to raise $500. Please make your donation through If you would like more information about Heifer’s work, please visit Whether you give to honor a loved one or make a regular donation, thank you for taking steps to transform the world for the better.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Price Is Righteous

I love game shows.  It began when I was little when I watched them with my mother.  One of the first ones I watched was Match Game, with Gene Rayburn, Brett Somers, Charles Nelson Reilly, and Richard Dawson in all their groovy 70’s glory.  I even remember the original Wheel of Fortune when Chuck Woolery and Susan Stafford were the host and hostess – isn’t that a blast from the past?  However, I have even more memories of watching Wheel of Fortune in later years when I went to visit my grandmother.  Pat Sajak and Vanna White had taken over (good grief – how many years have they been on there now?).  Grannie poked fun at Pat, noting his beady, little eyes and pointy nose.  Also, she always critiqued Vanna’s outfits, which always seemed to have multiple gathers, pleats, etc.  Thus, her nicknames for them were Possum and Pucker.

When I was in high school, sometimes my mother and I would stay up late – on school nights! – and watch Nightline and Love Connection.  Strange juxtaposition, huh?  I guess the laughs and silliness of Love Connection were a good counterbalance to the serious news on Nightline.

These days, I only have time to watch game shows while I’m lifting weights in my basement.  There’s not a whole lot worth watching on TV, but the Game Show Network is usually a pretty good bet to keep me going while I pump (clap!) me up.  (I like Saturday Night Live reruns, too.)

I’ve been able to parlay my affection for game shows into a number of events at my church.  Most of them have been for Family Night Supper, when we meet for a covered dish supper followed by a program.  I’ve done take-offs of Jeopardy, Family Feud, and The Newlywed Game (G-rated and revamped as The Oldiewed Game).  Once I even hosted Reformation Rickshaw, based on Cash Cab, in honor of John Calvin’s 500th birthday.  The “cab” was actually a wheelbarrow in which I toted contestants around the fellowship hall.  Presbyterians are sometimes called “the frozen chosen,” but I beg to differ; we know how to have a good time!

Probably the best birthday cake John Calvin ever got

Rindy, our pastor, was one of the contestants on Reformation Rickshaw

It's John Calvin himself!

There he is again!

He's everywhere!

Although I don’t have any pictures of it, one of the most elaborate game show events I did at church was called The Price Is Righteous.  It was a benefit for the ML&J Fund, incorporated into our collection for needy families at Christmas.  Before some of the toys, clothes, and household goods were given to the families, they were used as “prizes” for the various contestant games in The Price is Righteous.

Come on down!

I was the hostess “Drucilla” Carey, and my friend Stone was the announcer.  Contestants bid on items for a chance to play various games that were based on real Price Is Right games: Hole in One, the Race Game, the Range Finder, the Money Game, the Clock Game, and Pick a Pair.  Several of the games featured grocery items, which we donated to the Jasper County Community Food Bank afterwards.  And of course we had to have a new car!  (Hot Wheels)

Music and sound effects added to the game show atmosphere.  Stone and I made our grand entrance to the Price is Right theme music.  Throughout the show I played sound clips from The Price Is Right, which I had found online.  If a contestant won, bells ding-ding-dinged to announce the victory.  But if a contestant lost, sad horns signaled defeat.   I even played The William Tell Overture during the Race Game, just like on TV.

Speaking of music from The Price Is Right, there’s a connection between it and cycling that inspired the whole idea for The Price Is Righteous.  One day Robert and I were riding our bicycles together and going up a pretty steep hill.  Robert started imitating the mountain climbing yodeler from the Cliff Hangers game on The Price Is Right.  Once I recovered from my fits of laughter, I started thinking about The Price Is Right and how I might do a version of it for church.  By the way, although we didn’t play Cliff Hangers at The Price Is Righteous, I simply had to use the yodeler music somewhere.  So, incongruously, the yodeler yodeled during the Ranger Finder game.

After the first three contestants played their games, we had to determine who got to go to the Showcase Showdown.  Since I didn’t have a giant wheel they could spin, they drew slips of paper out of a bag.  The slips had monetary amounts ranging from $0.05 to $1.00.  Each contestant tried to get as close to $1.00 as possible, without going over, using no more than two draws.  We repeated this process with contestants four through six to determine the second person for the Showcase Showdown.

The Showcase Showdown was filled with fabulous prizes!  Showcase number 1 was called Here’s to Your Health.  It featured a jigsaw puzzle for a sharp mind, a child’s bicycle, an Ingle’s gift card, foam letters and numbers to play with in a relaxing bath, Iron Man 2 pajamas for a good night’s sleep, and a Bible to stay in tip-top spiritual shape.

Showcase number 2 was an All-American Showcase.  It included a child’s shopping cart, some blue jeans, a football, a toy pizza, the girl next door (a doll), Mom & apple pie (a picture of Whistler’s Mother and a can of apple pie filling), and Colors and Shapes Bingo.  Then came the Showcase Showdown show stopper: a “trip” to Hillsboro, an unincorporated town in the south end of our county, complete with U-Haul rental from Ozburn’s Wrecker Service and a tour by “Mayor” Preston Wynens of several buildings.

At the end of the show, I reminded everyone to spay or neuter their pets.

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