hypertropin

Archive for the ‘Charity’ Category

For the last twelve months, the Wayfarers have been meeting regularly to brainstorm ways to fundraise and promote the Quest for the Cure to the greater community en route to our goal of $100,000.

We held events (that raised us more than $1000 in a single night), auctions (hundreds of dollars) and are even selling silicone bracelets – which have seen a lot of sales already. But it wasn’t until this project that we had a single campaign that could raise us over $10,000 by itself.

Kemper has a sword and she knows how to use it

Kemper belongs on the cover of our favourite fantasy novels. This is a preview of the shots we'll see in the calendar.

The art of pin-up calendars helped soldiers get through World Wars and has recently seen a huge resurgence in popularity, with sites like Suicide Girls becoming a household name in alternate modelling. Fantasy art is no stranger to this style – think of any fantasy novel with a woman on the cover, and chances are good she’s in a chainmail bra and has a whole lot of leg waiting for a sword to bite into it…. just like this one.

When I approached some of my favourite models from Suicide Girls about helping us out, they were eager to do so, offering not only their beauty but also their talent, photography skills, costuming and help spreading the word. I can’t thank them enough for giving us this opportunity to raise some serious cash.

We are crowdfunding the project on IndieGoGo, a fantastic site that not only allows Canadians to participate but also encourages charitable organizations to take part. We need $2000 to get the calendars printed – the cost break-down is all there, and I think it’s entirely reasonable. We’ll be ordering a thousand calendars with this money, and could even order more if demand is that high. Just selling out that first batch will make us more than $10,000. Because this is an international campaign, we are donating all of the proceeds to the Association for International Cancer Research, our least-funded charity so far.

Check out our IndieGoGo campaign and buy a calendar today! There are a lot of great “perks” you can get for helping us out, from buying a calendar (with free shipping for the duration of the campaign) to getting signed prints of the pictures within it, to even getting a hand-written letter from the Wayfarers during our trip this October.

Be a part of the adventure and have some beautiful pictures of beautiful women to prove it.

As the clock ticks closer and closer to 2012, the date we leave for the walk is approaching. This has me looking into what I could do to further motivate myself for training. At work this week, Glen mentioned the Sporting Life 10k Run, so I decided to check out their website and see what it’s all about.

The purpose of this race is to raise money to send children with cancer to summer camps. This aligns quite well with the Wayfarers’ goals in the Quest for the Cure, so that was certainly a positive start. The date of May 13th was far enough away that I didn’t have anything planned yet. (Note: a quick check online led to the discovery that May 13th is Mother’s Day. Mom, I hope you understand why I won’t be able to visit on this weekend. I’ll make sure to call you when I’m done the run!) The date was far enough away that I had time to train, and still well in advance of when I leave for the Quest so it wouldn’t interfere with any last minute planning.

The route is very similar to portions of training walks I’ve been on walked before, so I don’t believe the 10km will feel too long. Also, and thankfully, it’s mostly downhill. Not finishing where I’m starting is less than convenient, and has made my decision to take public transit there and back is better than trying to find parking with my car.

I’ve never done a 10km run in my life, and yet, I had to select my time when registering. The fastest selection was for less than 48 minutes, which I didn’t even want to attempt to get into. I’ll let the faster people leave at 8AM without me there to slow them down. I settled for the third group, with a time of 56 to 59 minutes, with the hopes that I will be able to get myself in good enough shape to run the race in under an hour. I don’t want to admit that it will take me more than an hour and that I will be slower than half the people doing the race. I have a standard to meet now and thus, motivation for training.

With the snow outside now, I’m not even sure where I will be training just yet. The idea of signing up to a gym has come across my mind. I believe seeking professional help to get in top physical shape for the grueling journey of walking approximately 26km a day, every day for four weeks, is certainly a good idea. Having a treadmill to run on and practice doing 10km inside, before taking my run outside in the spring, would also be beneficial to training for this run.

22
Dec

A DCL Donation

   Posted by: Paul Tags: , , ,

On December 22nd, 2011, DCL International held its annual company Christmas lunch.  Every year, DCL makes at least one charitable donation to an organization where funds are raised until the end of the lunch.  Knowing this, I approached the company president about the idea of the Wayfarers and the Quest for the Cure a couple months before the lunch, and he agreed to help us out.

The deal we struck was that the amount of money I raised from the employees of DCL International by the end of the Christmas party would be matched by the company.  If I raised a 1000$, he said, the company would match that.  Also, if I raised 10$, that’s all DCL would donate.  I was going to have to do a little bit of work to get a large donation from DCL.

Paul accepts a cheque matching employees' donations at DCL InternationalHowever, I was not left to do this all on my own.  I worked with Michelle who was organizing the Christmas party and sent out a mass emails to the employees explaining the cause.  They also received a letter in their pay envelope about the charity at the same time they got their invite to the party explaining the fundraiser.

Employees had two options:  They could donate online ahead of the lunch or to bring cash with them on the lunch, which I would upload to the site as one large donation from DCL employees.  A link the Wayfarer website was given as well as a direct link to our Canadian Cancer Society donations page.

After my initial email and the pay slips went out, I received a couple large donations.  Time went on and not too much more was happening.  The week before the lunch, I sent a reminder email and the donations really started to come in.

Before even going to the Christmas party, a total of 1505$ was raised.  Another 2265$ was raised at the party (including what will be a 1000$ online donation) for a total of 3770$, which will be matched by DCL, bringing the total of money raised by the company and its employees to 7540$!  This also makes DCL International our first contributor to get their names listed under Kings of the Quest for a donation greater than 1000$.

The show of support from my company for the Wayfarers’ Quest for the Cure has been excellent.  I would like to thank my fellow coworkers for donating so much money individually to get the total donation number raised to as high as it reached, and would like to thank DCL International as a company  for agreeing to match the total raised by our employees.

So here it is, in all its glory!  My moustache on the last morning of Movember:  The final moustache!

Movember 30th

The Final Moustache

As you read this post, I will be moustache free since it’s now December 1st.  This post was actually written on November 29th, while on a plane from Dallas to Toronto.  I was able to check the internet, log in and go over all my work emails and write this blog post, all while flying back home.  Technology has come a long way and always continues to amaze.

So why talk about technology in a blog post about Movember?  Well, the money being donated to prostate cancer research is to help advance technology in the search of a cure for cancer.  It is my honest belief that once any one type cancer is defeated (a cure is found), many other cancers will be conquered as well (if not all).  While being able to go online while flying is pretty neat, more of our money and efforts should be towards our health.  The internet is a neat tool, but it’s useless if we aren’t around to use it.  Events like Movember are great because they bring awareness to such issues.

Will I do this again next year?  Considering I will just have come home from a 500 mile journey through Ireland and Scotland to raise money for cancer research, I think I’m entitled to a year off.  I can’t say I’ll never do it again though.

This month has also taught me that looks matter in the real world quite a bit.  While my friends and people at work didn’t treat me too differently (sure, many more jokes were made about my face), strangers kept their distance a lot more this month. Before growing the moustache, I had grown a beard, and I felt the complete opposite.  I felt strangers were being more friendly towards me, and I returned the favour.

So as Movember comes to a close, I would like to thank everyone who participated and everyone who donated money to a wonderful cause.  Let’s make sure we conquer cancer in our lifetime!

We are now more than two thirds of the way through Movember and my ‘stache has reached ‘full grown’ status.  Of course, I will continue to let it grow for the rest of the month and end the month with one more final update.

With the awkward growth face over with, and most of the people I see regularly getting used to the moustache, I often find myself forgetting that it’s even on my face.  That’s why when I get a reaction, it surprises me again.  The shock leaves quickly though as I remember that it’s there.

The most recent of such reactions was at the office, when a couple members of our R&D team were at my  building for a meeting.  I ran into them walking by the boardroom on my way to lunch.  Some laughs happened and I remembered “Oh yeah, the moustache.”Movember 21st

“Do you know what you look like?”

“No,” I responded, thinking of lots of things I’ve heard so far but wondering where this was going.

“A 70s porn star.”

Surprisingly, this wasn’t the first time I had heard that exact comment.  What is it with specifically combining the 70’s as well as porn star with the moustache?  While I have had a few random comments about the 70’s, I haven’t heard porn star without 70’s attached to the comment.  I wasn’t alive back then, so I suppose I’ll never know.

I ran into the same person the next day.  “When’s your movie coming out?” he asked.  Other than men’s health and prostate cancer awareness, at least this moustache is also bringing comedy into my life.

Even though diseases like prostate cancer are very serious and men across the globe are growing moustache to bring awareness to this problem, it is important we find joy in life.  Growing a moustache is a silly way to bring awareness to a real problem.  Follow this link to a Penny Arcade comic that explains just that!

After all the laughs I got on the first day of Movember wearing an already full sized moustache, I returned to work clean shaved and everything returned to normal.  I was no longer the company laughing stock.  At least for now.

Movember 4th

I didn’t shave for a couple days since it would have been too difficult to try to keep just the moustache.  On November 4th I did my first shave and you can see the results here.

I then hit the road (having taken the day off from work) to go to Syracuse for the weekend to celebrate Dan’s birthday.  The weekend involved seeing a lot of old friends and having some good times getting together.  Dan and I got to join in on some Haranshire fun and attended their coronation feast and made a Wayfarer announcement.  It was a good time and I managed to find the time to continue to shave and took another picture on the 6th.Movember 6th

 

 

On Monday morning, I found myself awake at 4:30AM to take a flight to Billings, Montana for work.  I kept on trimming every morning but each one had me up before 6AM and taking a picture was never really on my mind at that time of the day.  While there is never as much time as you want on a work trip to really get to see the places you visit, I did have a couple hour drive to meet our customer and got to see a lot of very beautiful Montana sights, including mountains and deer.  I didn’t actually see too many moustaches out west.  I also saw snow.  The temperature was often below freezing.  Sometimes I really forget how lucky I am that even though I live in Canada; Toronto is a pretty warm place overall!

I didn’t really think about a picture until I was in the airport waiting for my transfer in Denver on the 9th.Movember 9th

While this is being published on the 10th, I wrote this the night of the 9th, and haven’t been to my office since
November 3rd.  In a sense, my plan to get everyone in the office used to my moustache gradually coming in isn’t
going to work with not having to go in for six days.  Still, I believe the moustache I am currently growing will look better than my former eyesore.

I will continue for the month to grow my ‘stache in support of bringing awareness to men’s health issues in support of Movember.  I’ll be checking in again around November 21st to let you know how it’s growing!

Not every idea is a good idea.

My moustache got a lot of attention at work, but not necessarily the positive kind.  “I can’t even look at it,” a colleague of mine tells me, as he laughs and stares at his computer screen to avoid seeing the monstrosity on my face.

I believe it was the sixth or seventh person to see me in the day to see me to only smile and not make a big deal of it.  I told him thanks for not laughing at me like everyone else had.  He said he experimented with moustaches in the past so he understood what they looked like.

Every female coworker that saw me laughed, without exception.

While I didn’t get any truly negative feedback (I certainly caused a lot of laughter) I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to survive this for the full month.  Especially so early when most men participating in Movember were all shaved.

So I decided to go back on my plan to cheat the rules, and I’ve shaved off the moustache.  Paul Clean Shaven for MovemberOn the evening of November 1st, 2011, I was clean shaven and taking part in Movember like I am supposed to.  I’m hoping that growing the moustache will ease people into it and it won’t cause the shock it did today.

My moustache was even mistaken as a fake!  I was told that I was supposed to ‘wear’ that yesterday (referring to Hallowe’en) by my coworker who sits by the mail that should get a glimpse of me every day.  Apparently, she hadn’t realized that I had grown a beard in October.  When things come in slowly, they are less noticeable (even a full beard).  But when you have a hideous thing like my former moustache suddenly appear on your face, everyone notices!

Movember should be an interesting month.

What’s facial hair to a man?

November is a month where every man has a choice.  He can go about his facial hair like he normally does.  Or he can grow a moustache and participate in Movember!

He's a lumberjack, and that's okay.

Now, I’m not a big fan of moustaches.  Actually, I find they look hideous.  However, considering that I’ve signed up for a month long trek through Scotland to raise money for cancer research, what’s a month with a moustache on face?  If my facial hair can raise awareness about men’s issues, such as prostate cancer, sporting a moustache for a month is an easy sacrifice to make.

Without reading up on Movember’s official rules, I decided to grow a beard so that I could shave off all but the moustache on the night of October 31st.  In the meantime, I decided to be a lumberjack for Halloween. Why not, I had a beard!  The beard came in really well and I’ve had a few people tell me that I should keep it.  However, I was committed to participating in Movember so the beard had to go!

Paul's 'stacheSo I now sit, shaved down to my moustache, fully aware that I’m not ‘technically’ following the rules of Movember.  I’m supposed to start the month with a clean-shaven face and only let my moustache grow.  But since this is my first year participating, I’ve decided that I’m allowed to break a rule or two.  I’ll just start raising awareness right away, starting now, with this article.

The tagline for Movember is: “Changing the face of men’s health”.  I hope you can appreciate the moustache I’ve grown – and will continue to grow – and contribute to a great cause.

Are you going to participate in Movember?  If so, how?