Coming soon, on Saturday, May 9th, is the 26th annual World Series of Birding, a fund-raising event for the New Jersey Audubon Society and other nature-based organizations. It works kind of like a Walkathon, in that participating teams raise money by pledging a certain amount of money for each bird species they see during the 24 hours of the event. So, if your team sees 200 species (very difficult!) and your pledges total, say $100 per species, you’ve raised $20,000 for the group of your choice. (Many nature organizations enter teams to raise money for their own cause.)
I support New Jersey Audubon in many ways, volunteering once a week at their Cape May Bird Observatory, for instance, and for the past 20 years, not every year, but about 15 of them, I’ve participated in the World Series of Birding on the CMBO Century Run team. (The last link is to my account of last year’s event.) The name Century Run comes from the original goal of seeing at least 100 species, which it has always exceeded. Minimum pledge to be on the team is $1 per species. I’ve always just contributed that amount for myself, and for Ellen when she joins me. She won’t be able to this year, so it’s just me, cutting back our usual donation, which goes directly to the Cape May Bird Observatory. And that got me thinking…
I’ve never been comfortable asking other people for charitable donations. I tried asking for pledges one year when I first started doing this, and a few family members dutifully contributed, but after that I stopped, just making a donation myself. This year, though…well, in the current economy, everyone’s hurting, including charitable organizations. Gifts are down. CMBO is no exception. I’m strongly committed to the NJAS and CMBO goals of Education about nature and the environment, and Preservation of natural areas and wildlife. So, I’m going to overcome my reluctance and reach out to you, my blog readers with the following offers, to see if you’d like to support my favorite charity and my World Series team.
If any of you are willing to pledge 10 cents per species, I’ll send you two of my autographed and personalized bookmarks.
If you pledge 20 cents per species seen, I’ll add two of the America’s Best Comics issues that I worked on, most written by Alan Moore, autographed by me, my choice of issues.
For a pledge of 30 cents per species or more, I’ll add a collected edition such as one of these, also autographed and personalized, my choice.
How much of a financial commitment is this, you’re probably wondering. Well, last year our team total was 138 species seen. It’s quite unlikely our team, which only covers Cape May County, will see more than 150 species. So, a 10 cent pledge will be less than $15, a 20 cent pledge will be less than $30, and a 30 cent pledge will be less than $45, more than likely. I’ll be taking payments for pledges using PayPal, money order or personal check. You’ll also get our complete team checklist, and your name writ large and glorious in my blog, with much thanks (unless you’d rather remain anonymous.)
If you’d like to pledge, send me an EMAIL to let me know, and I’ll put you down, then notify you afterwards when the results are in. Our team will be entering our total on the Finish Line board I put together every year, down in Cape May Point the evening of May 9th, and I’ll email you the following day with your pledge total.
Okay, blog readers, it’s up to you. Do something good for nature, or not, it’s your choice. And thanks for considering it!