It's time for the annual Unicorn Founding Fling, which is a big party they throw to celebrate the foundation of the club. Lila and the gals head to the mall to look for new outfits. Everyone else wants to check out the cheaper stores, but Lila remains firm on hitting the designer stores. She picks out a few sweaters and tries to pay, but the store declines her credit card.
A few days later, she hears Mrs. Pervis firing their chauffeur Randall, explaining that it was a money thing. Since she now has to walk to school, Lila has a lot of time to think and she wonders if her dad is broke. Liz and Melissa McCormick started volunteering at the homeless shelter, and Lila offers to donate some clothes to the shelter. When Melissa comes over to pick up the clothes, they both overhear Lila's dad talking about how he lost a bundle.
Lila also asks her dad to rent her a purple hot air balloon for the party but he says no. This convinces her that they're broke, and she goes to Melissa for help. She gets to eat dinner at their house and hang out with her hunky brother Tony. The more she thinks about it, the more she wonders if people will like her if she's poor. Melissa tries to make her feel better and offers a deal: if Lila will volunteer at the shelter, she'll help her plan a budget Fling.
The two girls make a ton of cupcakes and buy supplies at cheap party stores, and Lila cancels all the reservations they made before. Melissa tells Jessica what happened and asks her to keep it a secret, but Jessica tells the whole club. They decide to help out and plan a cheap Fling themselves without actually telling Lila. This makes Lila think they found out the truth and decided to have a party without her.
Mr. Fowler shows up the day before the party. Lila tells him that it's time to stop acting brave and that she knows the truth. He tells her that he fired Randall because he was stealing money and that while he lost money on one deal, he made it all back and more on another. They're not really broke at all. He offers to call the caterers and take care of everything all over again, but Lila tells him that she doesn't really have any friends left.
Elizabeth and Melissa see this little boy named David at the shelter. They notice that he always eats one sandwich and takes and hides another one. They follow him from the shelter and find out that he feeds the other one to his dog. When his dad lost his job, his dad wanted to take the dog to the pound. David hid him away and told him he ran away. Liz takes it home and agrees to take care of him until David's dad gets back on his feet.
The day of the Fling arrives, and the guest list mainly consists of the kids from the shelter and some kids from school. David's dad and Lila's dad bond over cars, and Mr. Fowler asks him for some advice. It turns out that he's so good at cars that he offers him a job. The rest of the club shows up with all their decorations and to celebrate. Mr. Fowler then reveals that he rented the hot air balloon after all. He just wanted to keep it a secret from her.
Jessica ends up bonding with the dog and even sharing her pillow with him. When David comes to pick him up, she gets a little teary eyed, and David makes fun of her for turning his dog into a girl. Lila goes shopping with the Unicorns and buys a bunch of sweaters. They get all excited about her buying them stuff, but Lila really just wanted to make another donation to the shelter.
*When Melissa points out that you can have a good party on a budget, Lila asks her if she believes in the Tooth Fairy too. LOL
*David's family must not be that bad off. As soon as Mr. Fowler offers him a job, they suddenly have enough money to move into a new house.
*Lila always hated Randall because he called her La-La.
*Jessica and Liz run into Lila and Melissa hiding. Lila gets so freaked out that she hides under the table, but they see her anyway. It kind of made me giggle.
*SVMS tells all the kids about the volunteer opportunities available at the homeless shelter, but only Melissa and Liz do anything. Did you school do anything like this?
*I wonder if the shelter has anything in common with the daycare center in The Unicorn Club books...
*Lila keeps a picture of her mom in a gold frame on her desk. I don't know why, but that made me feel sad/bad for her.
*None of the Unicorns can figure out why they like Lila. She apparently never buys them anything or shares her money, she isn't nice, and she isn't really that good of a friend. It's all true but it also comes across as a little harsh.