Saturday, October 07, 2017

A charitable request

I have never been a good fund raiser or salesman.  My disjointed talents do not stretch to the power of persuasion.

Nor have I ever understood the concept of fundraising linked to an outdoor recreational activity. A few years after I hiked the Appalachian Trail, I heard of people doing it as a way to raise funds for one cause another. But why this particular recreational activity is one to be used for a cause baffles me. If you like riding a bike, ride a bike. If you like drinking beer, drink beer. Doing either to excess, like riding a hundred miles for cancer, or drinking a sixpack for dementia, never really made any sense to me.

However, this winter I signed up for the Sydney-Gong  bicycle ride, and one of the conditions of entry is to raise funds for multiple sclerosis. At first, this gave me pause. But as I considered, I reckoned, why not? If you are going to have a limit for a popular activity, why not accept, as a condition of entry, a certain amount of community assistance. And multiple sclerosis is certainly a worthy casue.

MS is an autoimmune disease. Like arthritis, or lupus, it can strike otherwise healthy people in the prime of life, and it can be debilitating, even fatal, if not treated. Like these other autoimmune diseases, treatment has improved as a result of science, but there is still a ways to go before a cure, or even a more effective system of management, can be achieved.

I do not personally know anyone in meatspace with MS; although I believe that one of our fellow geobloggers may suffer from the disease. However, I am not convinced that personal attachment should be a prerequisite for decreasing human suffering through scientific research. After all, as long time readers of this Lounge undoubtedly know, I am not a particularly empathetic person. And, as the social aspect of the internet has evolved over the past dozen or so years, I have noticed an overabundance of heartstring-tugging emotive appeals. I will not add to their din. Instead, I offer an alternative way to contribute to the betterment of society without the awkward warm and fuzzies.

So I will politely request that long time readers- those who have enjoyed this blog since the early days of Hot Chick Thermodynamics and OysterBlessings, before Hypotheses were dumped and Geosonnets began- consider a donation via my MS ride fundraising page if, at any point in the last dozen years, you have found this blog informative, entertaining, or interesting in any way.

And if, like me, you are a bit too wry to donate to an event linked to a wholesome activity like bike riding, then I have an alternative. I will crassly debase myself by putting the charity sixpack back on the proverbial table. If I can get a hundred bucks donated through the MS ride page with comments attesting that your donation is earmarked for the beer, not the ride, then I will drink six bottles at the conclusion of the ride. Because I’m the sort of guy who is willing to drink beer…. FOR SCIENCE!

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