Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Really Bad Idea

The Newark Bears baseball team wanted to do something to give back to their community, so they decided to organize a fundraiser benefiting their local Mothers Against Drunk Driving (M.A.D.D.) chapter. The charity holds a special place in the team’s heart as their head coach, former New York Yankee Jim Leyritz, was convicted of drunk driving in 2007 after he was involved in an accident that killed a 30-year old Florida woman. The team hoped to raise $2,000 for M.A.D.D. in honor of their coach.

So, the team began publicizing the event which was to take place at their stadium a few weeks ago. There was only one problem: the fundraising event was a beer pong tournament. Unsurprisingly, a large percentage of the population (coach Leyritz among them) thought it was a terrible idea and the fundraiser became so polarizing that M.A.D.D. announced it would not accept any proceeds from the Newark Bears.

A spokesman for the team seemed shocked that the tournament had been the source of so much controversy citing that a beer pong tournament for adults of drinking age was a “legal event.” The team reluctantly agreed to cancel the event and has not yet announced whether or not they will reschedule in the future.

This is one of those occasions where I wonder how an idea survives all the way to the implementation stage before someone realizes it is a colossal mistake. The Newark Bears apparently have the same common-sense loopholes that allowed the Pontiac Aztec to reach production. It is hard for me to believe that there was not a single person who raised their hand during the planning meeting and said, “Maybe we should start off with something less offensive like a car wash or a church arson.”

Unlike just serving alcohol at an event, they are actually charging people to participate in a game that practically insures overindulgence. It is also troubling that even after the uproar; the team’s spokesperson still was not ready to back down because there is nothing inherently “illegal” about a 
beer pong tournament.

In the spirit of the Newark Bears, I have compiled a list of other “legal” but inappropriate fundraiser ideas that should be avoided:

  • Housewarming parties for the homeless
  • Group orgies to benefit the American Abstinence Association
  • “Name That Tune” contests for the Deaf
  • Kickball Tournaments for leg amputees
  • Dunking Booths for Drowning Victims
  • Sharp-shooting for the Blind
  • Spelling Bees for the Illiterate
  • Three-legged races for paraplegics
  • Slam Dunk Contests for Midget Awareness
  • Alzheimer’s Jeopardy Night
  • Pie eating contests to fight childhood obesity
  • Gambler’s Anonymous Poker Tournaments
  • Jump-rope contests for Polio victims
  • Cock-fighting to benefit PETA
  • Balloon-making contest for emphysema sufferers

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