I played the trumpet in the band from fifth grade through 12th grade. School bands have to do a lot of fundraisers to raise money to go to festivals, marching competitions, pay for uniforms, music, etc.
I sold a lot of candy bars when I was in the band. There was never a problem selling chocolate candy bars. Everyone bought them.
My high school band also had citrus fruit sales for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The fruit always sold well too.
When I was in junior high in the eighth grade, someone had the bright idea for the band to sell toothbrushes. I remember the band director standing up on the podium and saying, “Everyone uses toothbrushes and everyone needs a toothbrush.” I have to admit, it sounded pretty ingenious to me.
I seem to recall the toothbrushes were rather plain (it was the early 1970s) and came packaged in boxes of about six or eight toothbrushes in a variety of colors. One for everyone in the family!
And guess what? They didn’t sell. I remember going door to door trying to peddle those silly boxes of toothbrushes, which in all honestly were way overpriced. No one wanted them.
That whole toothbrush fundraiser bombed. We never sold toothbrushes again.
I also remember a time during my childhood days when I went Trick-or-Treating with neighborhood friends one Halloween night. One house we went to gave out cellophane-wrapped toothbrushes instead of candy. Toothbrushes on Halloween? Seriously?
I can tell you, there aren’t many kids who want a toothbrush on Halloween night. But we were polite and thanked the nice people, deciding this must be the “trick” part of trick-or-treating. We also decided a dentist must have lived in that house.
I found that cellophane wrapped almond colored toothbrush not long ago while cleaning out a bathroom cabinet. I had saved it all these years. I stared at it a good long while remembering that Halloween night long ago. I thought of all the children and parents in third world countries who would have simply loved receiving that toothbrush. They would have been grateful.