Fifty years and fifty dollars


Despite the gravity and grey hair, I’m proud to be celebrating fifty years on the planet today.

I’ll be missing tonight’s “A Taste of Shakepeare” event to enjoy a taste of birthday cake with my hubby, children and in-laws — but have decided to support the cause by making a $50 donation to the Southwest Shakespeare Company.

Fifty years and fifty dollars. It got me wondering…

What if, each time we had a birthday, we chose a favorite cause and made a donation commensurate with our years?

I won't be celebrating this birthday with the Bard, but hope some of you will raise a glass to the Southwest Shakespeare Company in my steadWhat if we started the tradition with our children, donating on their behalf to a favorite arts or cultural organization — and then let them take over the decision of choosing the charity each year once they got old enough to participate?

And what about all those people we want to honor in special ways on special days? Gifts to arts organizations frequented and supported by our family and friends make lovely gifts and fitting tributes to the arts they hold most dear.

When just ten of us donate $50 to an Arizona arts organization, our collective gift to the community is $500. When 100 folks give $50, we give $5,000 together — which can help arts in Arizona grow more diverse and accessible.

Let me know if you decide to try this idea with your own family and friends.

I’d love to hear about the arts, dance, music and theater organizations you and your children are supporting — and other ways you may be integrating birthday celebrations and the arts.

And if you feel inclined to celebrate something today, just head to tonight’s “Taste of Shakespeare” event for food and wine tasting, fire dancing and frivolity as only these lovers of the Bard can deliver it.

— Lynn


    Love your idea! In the same vein, my family has decided not to exchange Christmas gifts with extended family members this year. I have suggested we pool the money we would have spent on those gifts and donate it in our family’s name to a local charity…I hope they agree. Even if they don’t, it is what I will be doing!

  2. Cynthia: Thanks for the birthday wishes and for sharing the great idea! As tight as things are for so many of us, there are always those with greater needs. I love your idea of pooling family gift money for a single donation to a worthy cause in the family name. And it works for any holiday. Lovely! –Lynn

  3. I celebrated my last birthday by thrift store shopping at Hope’s Closet in Goodyear, AZ. My girlfriends and I brought gently used donations and all the proceeds from our private party went to New Life Center, a refuge from domestic violence. It was a fun night and we all walked away with great bargains and full hearts.


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