I must have had a ghastly look on my face. Goulash! Like a deer in the headlights! Local school boosters Tanya Pereira and Analily Park were perplexed by my reaction. Since I was in the company of two prominent and eloquent La Cañada ladies, I had to watch my manners. I refrained from my typical drunken sailor vernacular. Sixteen years of Catholic school wasn't for nothing.
I looked at the ladies and said, with the inquisitiveness of a used-car salesman, "You mean to tell me that if I present the LCHS, 9-12 Value Card to McDonald's I get two Big Mac's for the price of one?" I thought it was a trick question and since I'd been through Survive, Evade, Resist, and Extract (SERE) training, I understood the art of interrogation.
Pereira looked at me square in the eye and in an unequivocal demeanor said, "Yep!"
Bronx boys are born with the skeptical gene, thus I made one more attempt to expose the charade of the value card. This time I directed my inquiry to Park: "If I pay for one sandwich at Subway, I get one free?" I asked her fast, to catch her off guard. She pulled out a sample value card and read, "Two for the price of one!"
My dear readers you'd have to be a few degrees off plumb not to purchase an LCHS, 9-12 Value Card. You'll save a fortune. DISH, Jane's Cakes, Flintridge Proper, Rita's, Taco Deli, Smoothie Stop, Jersey Mike's, Round Table, Los Gringos Locos, Berolina's and Georgee's will make you appear like a big spender on that special date.
And, to prepare for that special date you can get your hair done at Han's or Voga, have your tie pressed at Palace or Nu-Way, and get your girl a flower at Eiji's. With the money you save you can afford popcorn at the theater.
The legendary PTA leader Char Adams initiated the value card in the late '90s as a component of the fund raising effort of La Cañada High's Parents Teachers and Students Association (PTSA). It's been going strong since. This year, Park, the chair of the program, plans on selling a record number.
Since its inception the premise is the same. The card provides an incentive to patronize a given establishment. Typically 24 merchants join the program without any out-of-pocket financial obligation. The merchant agrees to provide a discount, service, or product to the holder of the card.
"The community is fortunate to have generous merchants supporting the programs of La Cañada schools," Park said.
Businesses such as Printefex, La Cañada Union 76, the Apple Cart, Flintridge Bookstore, Urban Studio, and Printsmith are community landmarks. Valuing them with your business will provide a definite value. In light of Aristotle's law of causality we realize that every cause has an effect. Thus participating businesses build opportunity into their marketing schemes whereby people are inclined to enter their establishment because of their generosity.
"The value card and its utilization is important to the merchants since they are valued by the community's use of the card," Park said. "The card becomes an advertisement for their particular brand."
Pereira, the second vice president, ways and means for the PTSA 9-12, is responsible for the different philanthropic initiatives that raise money for LCHS programs. She explained, "The elementary school community is involved in their schools whereas the high school community tends not to be so involved. Typically they don't know what's happening in the schools. Bringing the community into a fundraiser such as the value card advertises the remarkable programs of LCHS and buying the card creates a community vested in the schools."
The LCHS, 9-12 Value Card is the best thing since canned beer and I emphatically suggest you purchase one.