Christmas came early in 2013 for Green Dollar members – 11 days early to be precise – as some 30 Green Dollar stallholders set up their wares in and outside Carterton's gleaming Events Centre in anticipation of a bumper Saturday Dec 14. So, lots of goods on display and lots of trading between the various members present. But where was Santa himself? Maybe wherever he was just happened to be where all the hoped for shoppers were that morning because though the sun shone the sales levels did not rise to match its passage across the skies and once again Holloway Street was not the bustling centre that the Events Centre suggests it should be.
For all that the morning still provided all the best that Green Dollars so consistently offers its members. There was the usual warm welcome from all the stallholders offering the traditional cross section of products enhanced with a range of Christmas treats to make up for Santa's absence. There was food and drink on offer to sustain members and visitors alike and then there was the oustanding sequence of entertainment created by Nzumeus and Stephan Brown who provided their own distinctive brand of music.
And as the morning drew to a close, those in the know said yes and headed to the other end of Carterton to Roger and and Mary's place where their hospitality was matched by the contributions to the pot-luck lunch. Thanks to all those who attended and contributed and most of all to Roger and Mary for opening their home at such a busy time of year.
What have Mitre 10 Mega, the Warehouse, Saturday mornings and smiling faces all got in common?
Yes, you guessed it, the Green Dollar Sausage Sizzle fund raisers held early in January and February of this year to help top up Exchange funds as we wait for the outcome of our application to Lotteries for a grant to assist with running costs.Late last year your committee decided to take a proactive stance about its financial position, hence the decision to go out to the public with an ever popular food opportunity and at the same time grab a publicity position at two of Masterton's most visited shopping destinations.
So, picture the scene as the BBQ fires up, the sausages hit the grill followed quickly by the sliced onions and the first slices of bread are prepared along with an array of tomato and plum sauces supplemented with a dash of mustard. The first contestant in Master Chef has the snarlers well under control while standing alongside is team member two insisting on the perfect presentation as sausage hits bread on the exact diagonal. A speedy sprinkle of onions, a splash of the selected sauces and then it's hand over time – sausage to customer and cash to the third member of the team as the G$ financial guru banks the profits from this well oiled transaction.
The customers come and go, the banter flies back and forth, the volunteer teams change places, the G$ message is promoted, a dash is made to buy more sausages and before you know it the six hour sausage sizzle is over and it's time to clean up, pack up and count up – some hundreds of dollars profit from the two occasions plus the raising of the G$ message and profile in the community.
Thanks must go to Mitre 10 Mega and the Warehouse for allowing us to use their sites and in the case of Mitre 10 all their BBQ equipment as well. Catie-Lou brought over her BBQ at short notice when an emergency occurred at the Warehouse and Breadcraft provided an early supply of subsidised bread. And special thanks must go to all the volunteers who not only gave so much of their time but also in many cases items for the BBQ's that otherwise would have had to be bought.
Sue and Paul, Hayden and Lyn, Roger and Mary, Catie-Lou, Jenny, Rachel, Libbi, Di and Keith made up these volunteer teams – and all with a smile on their faces.
We were prepared to cope with NZ Lotteries delaying their grants by a few months but the recent news of our COGS grant being declined your committee has suddenly had to address a major financial shortfall. We decided to reduce our copying and phone costs - so those of you getting printed newsletters will find these have been printed in black & white. While these small savings will help the most drastic change has had to be with the NZ$ wages of Keith and Catie-Lou.
While it was disappointing and unexpected to miss out on the COGS grant we fortunately have the back-up of our very own local currency to help us out. Our staff have generously agreed to receive a G$ honorarium until we are back in a position to be able to pay wages again.
We will look at other grant options but we hope to receive some funding from our members. Rather than implementing stallholders fees we have decided to seek NZ$ donations at future markets. We also hope more members will pay their subscriptions in $NZ. Plans are also underway for a (fund-raising) Concert and to run a sausage sizzle. Support for these plans and other ideas welcomed. More details to come.
September Zero Heroes
"Zero Heroes" are our members who have traded from a positive balance to a negative balance or vise-versa. They are double heroes because they have traded and they have kept close to the "$0" balance. We will be celebrating all our Zero Heroes at our November market but each month we'd also like to promote this heroic act by highlighting one member's trade.
One of our Zero Heroes is member WAIS0092 Yvonne Davy who went through zero on the 23rd of September this year. Yvonne had been whipping up some tasty vegetarian meals as a regular service to a couple of our hardworking labourers who much appreciated the fast & healthy food after full days working outside.