a plea for support


In what may be a classic overreach, I am coming to you, Dear Readers, for help. As you know if you have read less is more over the last several months, I am participating in the San Diego Triathlon Challenge, a triathlon relay that raises money for the Challenged Athletes Foundation. I am asking each of you to take a few moments of time to consider making a donation to CAF for the October 21 race so that I can reach my $500 fundraising goal.

While I ask a lot of you already – one of my closest friends informed me that one of my recent posts made her “head hurt” – please bear with me and allow me to give you 10 good reasons why you should donate something – anything – to this cause.

#10: CAF rocks

CAF is a phenomenal organization. I have attended multiple mobility clinics over the last 4-5 months that my company sponsored with CAF, and the impact it has on all the participants – from experienced amputee athletes, to 70 year-old individuals with limb loss who have never run before, to new amputees who want to learn how to become more active, to 7 year-old kids who are just beginning to learn how to run with a prosthetic leg – is incredible.

Want to know more about CAF? Hear it straight from the mouth of its Executive Director, Virginia Tinley, in an interview I did with her here.

#9: if I raise enough money, I’ll stop writing about running for a few months

As I look back at the majority of posts I’ve written since the beginning of the summer, many of them revolve around the rapid turnover of feet on pavement. While this is thrilling for those readers who obsess about amputee running, I’m guessing it might be getting a bit old for the rest of you. So if I hit my fundraising goal, my pledge to you is that you will be freed from the chains of “running posts” for the foreseeable future.

#8: if I fail to raise enough money, I face dire consequences

Have you read about CAF’s rendition program for participants who fail to reach their goal? If I don’t secure the necessary funds, I end up in a 4×6 cement cell in the former Czechoslovakia being “questioned” by people until I admit my complicity in the Lincoln assassination.

#7: you’ll help put the “fun” in “fundraising”

I don’t like asking people to donate money. But if you agree to support my efforts to complete a 10-mile run, I’ll send you a PBS tote bag. For those of you who donate $19.99 or more, you’ll get an Andrea Bocelli CD and the tote bag. If you call right now, our operators are … oh … wait a minute. Sorry.

I just channeled the 5 year-old version of myself watching Sesame Street on PBS Boston and wondering why all these middle-aged boors were interrupting the smooth flow that normally separated Sesame Street from Ville Allegre to Mr. Rogers to The Electric Company to 3-2-1 Contact.

But this only goes to illustrate my point. You know how awful those breaks are when PBS asks for funds? I watched Joe Bonamassa, in between sections of his live concert at Albert Hall, awkwardly banter with a staid, Ann Taylor-wearing preppie who probably never listened to a complete Beatles album much less a Joe Bonamassa concert DVD, and admit that his favorite program on PBS was Antiques Roadshow.

That should have been called, “sadraising.” In comparison, my fundraising is, in fact, fun.

#6: you’ll help put the “draising” in “fundraising”

I have no idea what this means. I thought there might be some symmetry with #7. And I have to get to 1000 words somehow.

#5: you will prove that the great interweb has people power

I see the internet as a powerful tool that allows for the dissemination of information in ways that we are just beginning to understand. It can become a force for good, allowing ideas to flow and people to achieve freedoms and rights they never had before. It can become a force for democratization, both politically and in other ways. It can – wait.

Oh. Really? Geez, this is kind of embarrassing.

My dad, who turns 69 in a few weeks, is informing me that this has already happened. The Arab Spring?  Invisible Children’s “Kony 2012” campaign? Flash mobs?

Jeepers. I guess the internet really does have people power. And I thought my thesis was so original …

#4: donating demonstrates your compassion for your fellow humans

Don’t believe me. Believe the Dalai Lama. A week ago he tweeted: “I like to point out that our nature is basically compassionate because we are social animals. What brings us together is love and affection.” Well, and the biological imperative to procreate. But still. He’s the friggin’ Dalai Lama! And he’s practically begging you to support CAF. Well, at least implicitly he is.

#3: reaching my goal will help me forget about the 2012 baseball season

The 2012 Boston Red Sox – a haiku:

High hopes Bobby V/New GM folds – trades the team/Yanks in, go Oakland!

#2: money spent here is better than money spent supporting presidential candidates

Sure, you could contribute to Obama or Romney 2012. Your money will be put to use creating an ad that will play in a handful of battleground states. That ad will, most certainly, distort the opposition’s position on some issue or another as both candidates attempt to scare the roughly 10-15% of Independents who actually decide the election into not voting for the other guy.

Or, you could donate to an organization where the funds actually change lives, one person at a time.

#1: your support will fuel me through miles 7-10

While I’ve written extensively about the fact that I have no idea how far I’m running during training, I can assure all of you, it’s not close to 10 miles. So, when I head to the hills of La Jolla in a few weeks, I will get through the first 4-5 miles in decent shape, will gut through the next 2-3 miles in moderate discomfort, and will then absolutely suffer through the final 1-2 hilly miles (I am told) back to the finish line.

Knowing that some of you have contributed to the CAF cause will undoubtedly help me as I ask myself repeatedly, “Why in God’s name did I agree to do this?” No one completes any accomplishment worth discussing at this much length alone. I thank all of you, in advance, for your support!

To support my CAF fundraising effort, click here, and thank you!

2 thoughts on “a plea for support

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