Once upon a time in a town called Great Neck, gentlefolk from noble clubs and organizations gathered regularly to plan a community events calendar. Legend has it that because of their efforts, special events were better attended and events planners were less plagued with headaches and sleep-tossed nights peppered with visions of fire-snorting dragons. Legend also has it that there were fewer red-faced organizers stammering out apologies to offended guests of honor.
It is not uncommon in today's fast paced community to have prestigious speakers, worthwhile fund raisers or important meetings play to an abysmal turn-out due in part to an unfortunate over-booking of certain dates for events geared to the same potential participants.
Every spring, school administrators and PTA leaders meet for the annual calendar meeting for the coming school year. The actual meeting reminds me of being on the floor of the futures exchange with a date being called out and people bidding for it with varying degrees of fervor. We will admit that by the time June comes up for grabs, things get a bit dicey because there just aren't enough dates in the month for all of the end-of-the-year grand finales. A spirit of cooperation and compromise and especially humor, along with a restoring luncheon afterwards, helps to finally fashion a calendar for the next year. This calendar becomes absolutely indispensable. Without it, chaos, ill-feelings and underground streams of grousing would reign throughout the school community.
The same need for some coordination and scheduling awareness applies to the community at large. If you are planning an extravaganza for your club and you see on this mythical calendar that, say for instance Oct. 21 is already taken with an event that would attract the very same people you want to attract, well, you now have an option to go for another day that is not booked and to broadcast your event with more confidence that folks will actually show-up.
Obviously, if one group is planning a talk by an expert in taming toddler temper tantrums and another group is hosting a speaker on retirement retreats, those two groups can easily share a date with no worries. And yes, to all you naysayers, there will be times when there are unavoidable conflicts and there may be a rare group suffering from cooperation deficit disorder. Plus, we all know: Life is what happens when you are making other plans.
But all that is really needed to accomplish this community service would be an organization to take the lead in calling such a group together.
A community calendar. It would be a good thing.