[I apologize in advance if this is not the proper venue for something like this. I hope that none of our loyal readers (both of you, and hi mom!) will be bothered by the off-topic post.
A friend of mine is raising money for a charity organization called Schools for Salone whose goal is to build schools for needy children in Sierra Leone, Africa. You can visit their website here. Below is part of the email I received from him asking us to help donate.
Once again, I am sorry for the intrusion but Fonzie Forever reaches a good number of people and it is for a very worthy cause. And it's sports related!
If you would like to make a contribution, or if you have questions or would like to know more information about Schools for Salone or my friend who is participating in the tournament, please email me at email@example.com
There are two versions of this e-mail -- the short version, and the long one. The short version goes something like this: "Please donate money to a fundraiser I'm doing." Below is the long version. I apologize in advance for the length, but if you need some convincing, please take the time to read this and consider helping out – I would really appreciate it.
As you may know, on February 10th, I'll be driving from New York to Canada in a rented RV to participate in the 2010 World Pond Hockey Tournament in Plaster Rock, New Brunswick, Canada ... Over 8,000 people will attend the event over the course of the weekend, and it is covered by almost every major Canadian media entity. It even got a story in ESPN the Magazine a few years ago.
...Our team, the Salone Rangers, is working with a US-based non-profit called Schools for Salone to raise money to build a school for war orphans living in Freetown, Sierra Leone in West Africa.
...Our goal is to raise $50,000, which would allow us to build a new four classroom structure complete with a teacher's office and class furniture, as well as a clean water well, books and teacher trainings.
To be clear, we don’t expect to have much success on the ice – in fact we are likely to get throttled in all five games. We also don’t expect to raise the $26,000 necessary to reach our ultimate goal (there are additional fundraising events planned in the future). But after doing some research, we learned that we would be able to pay for a clean water drinking well and a bathroom in the building if we raised about $6,000. With that in mind, our unofficial motto is: "Our game is crap, so help us build a latrine."
Fully aware that our method is somewhat unorthodox, we're requesting pledges in the below categories. Have something you want to see on there? Feel free to add it! Seriously, every little bit helps. There are five of us going to the tournament, so $6000 is a lot of pressure!
Below are some suggested categories for you to make your pledge. It's important to note that we are scheduled to play FIVE games:
$___ general pledge for participating in the tournament
$___ for every goal for the Salone Rangers (FYI--there are no goalies, but goals are standard width and six inches high)
$___ for every goal against the Salone Rangers
$___ for each degree at faceoff (note: we do have some night games--you can check the temperature in Plaster Rock HERE!
$___ for each win
$___ for each loss (careful here, there are some former NHLers out there!)
$___ for a Salone Ranger hat trick (three goals in a game)
$___ for every time Dave falls down
$___ for each time I complain about the cold
$___ for each beer consumed by team
$___ for each gallon of gas consumed by the RV
$___ for each minute we're stuck at the border crossing (this could be a lot--they may search the whole RV!)
$___ if we get interviewed on HOCKEY NIGHT CANADA
$___ if we get interviewed by American media
$___ for each joke regarding the Canadian pronunciation of "About"
$___ for each bathroom break on the way to Canada
$___ for each hour the drive takes (Google Maps has us at 9 hours, 50 minutes)
$___ for each penalty
$___ if we make the playoffs
$___ if we advance in the playoffs (it's a pretty safe bet we won't!)
You should know that we--and your donations--are in good hands. Schools for Salone is an organization that has built nine schools in Sierra Leone since 2005. They are a 501(c)(3) Tax Exempt Organization, which means that any donation you make will be fully tax deductible.
I fully understand that these are tough times economically, and that there are plenty of worthy causes that could also use your support, so please do not feel obligated to donate anything. If you do choose to donate, I'll email you with the results of the tournament the week of February 15th and ask that you make out a check to SCHOOLS FOR SALONE and let you know where to send it to.
Thank you for reading this, and thank you in advance for any support you can lend.