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Archive for the ‘News’ Category

10
Oct

The Final Roster

   Posted by: admin

Since the inception of the Quest for the Cure, we have seen a number of roster changes, for reasons ranging from personal to professional to health-related. It has been a long road – no pun intended – and when we bought our tickets last week, we had our final roster in mind.

On September 27th, Dan and Drew will be boarding a flight to Belfast.

This final roster change – bringing us to just two Wayfarers making the trip – does mean a few things will be changing. First and foremost, we won’t be able to hold watches; doing so while also trying to sleep enough for our physical activity levels is just impractical.

We will also be carrying the gear ourselves, but that might not make much of a change – we’ll have less gear to carry, simply because we have fewer people in tents, fewer people eating food, so on and so forth. We’ll still have to carry all of our cooking gear between the two of us, but we can be more selective about what we bring even for that.

To answer a few questions we’ve gotten, though:

Yes, our goal is still $100,000. We are not lowering our fundraising goal, and with your help – everyone reading this – I am confident that we can still reach it.

No, there is no chance that we will cancel the trip. No chance at all. We are committed – and not only because those plane tickets are non-refundable!

We leave Toronto on September 27th, and return on October 28th. We’ll be walking for about 24 of the days in between there, taking a few days off here and there to recuperate and rest our legs. A more detailed itinerary will be posted closer to our flight, I promise – we want anyone in the area to come out and say hello!

What was once akin to the Fellowship has come down to just a pair of guys making their way, but that didn’t stop Frodo and Sam and it won’t stop us.

10
Oct

A New Site

   Posted by: admin

Longtime readers will notice that we haven’t had many updates lately, but I am glad to say that this is about to change.

In the coming weeks we are finally pulling all of the loose threads of a master plan together and publishing our press package for the Wayfarers’ summer campaign leading up to our walk. Part of that is a refurbished website, and that means new content, exciting announcements, and even a ‘vlog that will be published as often as our poor NPC Brittany is able to piece clips of boring walks together.

Our refurbished website is going to be followed by a social media campaign that will see us more active on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and even YouTube and Tumblr in the near future.

This is our inaugural post using our “Facebook-integrated” website, a first (public) step in the new website. Please check out the features we have now – from Facebook comments to easy sharing with your friends! Help us spread the word and get to our goal!

10
Oct

Buy our wristbands!

   Posted by: admin

Paul posted about our Wayfarers: Quest for the Cure silicone bracelets a few weeks back, but as of yesterday we are able to send them anywhere in the United States for a small fee.

Our Wayfarer bracelets, both sidesOn our friend (and NPC) Jenn Syas’ etsy page, you can buy the wristbands for the same price we are selling them in person using any major credit card. A shipping charge of just $2 will be added if you can’t receive the wristband in person.

As Paul posted in his original message, $4 from each wristband sale will go directly to the cancer society for the region in which you live (if you’re in Canada, it will be the Canadian Cancer Society; if you’re in America, it will be the American Cancer Society; anywhere else will be donated to the Association for International Cancer Research). The other $1 will help us recoup expenses for the wristbands, as well as a small amount towards our business cards.

We have already sold a couple dozen of these wristbands but have literally hundreds more to sell – buy one (or several!) and show your support today! Click here to go directly to the Etsy page!

10
Oct

Contest winners and a new one on the horizon!

   Posted by: admin

It’s taken us some time, but we have finally recovered from our fantastic Burns Night at the Dukelast week. In the wake of this we can finally announce the winners of the contest that ended in mid-December… and announce a new one that’s starting today!

After narrowing down the entrants, we settled on a tagline that’s been used on the site since the beginning of this year:

Walking in the footsteps of history for a brighter future.

We believe that it speaks to our mission statement and our methods in a way none of the other entries quite hit. We did have a lot of great entries, however, and thank you to everyone who sent one our way. David Syas of Nashua, New Hampshire, who entered this tagline, has generously donated his prize back to the Wayfarers. His name has been put on our list of donors and the $40 has been donated directly to his home charity, the American Cancer Society.

The runner up, “the journey to end cancer starts with a single step,” was suggested by Pat Scanlon of Rochester, New York, whose t-shirt is ready to be delivered to him!

The visual advertisement we chose wasn’t quite perfect – we got a number of entries that we liked (I am wearing one right now, in t-shirt form, that was the runner-up), but the one we all chose was an early version of the following. We had the winner, Florida native Kelly Lee, do a few minor changes before sending us the following:

Perfect for your new Facebook Timeline!

You can download wallpapers (1024×713800×600640×480) if you like. Kelly’s prize has already been sent.

The runner-up image, submitted by Alexandra Misset of our hometown Toronto, was actually a t-shirt design. We ordered some of these shirts for the Wayfarers’ training this summer and I’ve been wearing my two new hoodie sweatshirts everywhere – I’ll get some pictures soon and post them up.

A New Contest

Starting today, we are holding a contest that hearkens back to the reason we all love high fantasy to begin with: stories.

From now until the end of May – yes, that’s four months! – we are looking for submissions of short fiction, up to 5000 words in length, with a theme of “quests.” There is no genre or formatting requirement beyond that; just make sure it’s about a quest of some sort. Each entry into the contest will cost $5.

Why the cost? Because the winner of this contest will be winning 30% of the total entry fees. Second place will win 15%. Third place will win 10%. All three will get their fiction linked to on our site, as well as a link to their personal websites if they have them. And the remaining 45% will be donated directly to the Wayfarers’ charity in your region – that’s $2.25 per entry towards our cause, and a chance to win big for your writing!

Entries will be judged by a neutral panel of judges that is yet to be determined – we have some big things in the works on that front, so stay tuned for an update next week (including details on how to submit!) and start your writing.

10
Oct

Burns Night Approacheth

   Posted by: admin

When I started bouncing the idea for the Wayfarers around in my head – and in the heads of my friends – I knew that it would be a lot of work.  At first the work involved was simply training and getting gear together; then it expanded to getting the word out and trying to raise funds.

Since then it has exploded to nearly monthly events, starting with this month’s Burns Night on January 23rd.  As already briefly discussed, our Burns Night at the Duke will be a $60 plate event that will include live music, delicious served food and a chance to meet the Wayfarers and talk to us about what we are doing.

We have finally put together the Burns Night Order Form – a simple sheet that you can print off to give to a Wayfarer with cash (if you know us personally) or email details from to us.  Remember that we need a choice made for each of the options at the bottom of the sheet, for every person that is attending.

Accepting anything other than cash payments ends up costing us money; we are willing to do it via PayPal but need to charge an additional $3 (for a total of $63 per ticket) in order to cover our own costs and not take away from the fundraising that we are performing.  If you would like to attend but will not be able to pay cash until the event itself, email us and tell us so.  We will reserve your seat.

That said there are still seats available and we would love to have you for a night of great food from the Duke itself, live music provided by the York Celtic Ensemble and a cause for the ages.

Order your tickets now by emailing us here!

10
Oct

A DCL Donation

   Posted by: admin

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.

10
Oct

Wayfarers Benefit Night

   Posted by: admin

On Sunday, May 20th, the Wayfarers are hitting the road and coming to lovely Hudson, Massachussetts.

We will be joining the amazing Tom Lanigan Band at the Harvest Café (at 40 Washington St) for an evening of food and drink, music and fundraising. With the help of some fantastic local businesses like Hair DivineHair by ChavesSerendipity (Jewelery, Art & Whimsy), and T. C. Lando’s, we are putting on a great auction that will help us push towards our goal of $100,000 for worldwide cancer research and support.

We only have a limited number of spaces available for the event, so if you’re going to be in the Hudson area on the 20th – or are lucky enough to live there – use PayPal (with the handy widget below!) to pay for your tickets by May 16th to ensure we have the right amount of food to satisfy everyone!

[Update: Unfortunately due to lack of interest, the Benefit Night has been cancelled. Thank you for thinking of us!]

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.

Photography

Twelve Months of Magic

by Dan Clarke

Sword and sorcery meets pin-up in this fantastic calendar featuring some of the most popular alt…

Starting – 0.621 Complete

$1,242 raised

10
Oct

A Resounding Success

   Posted by: admin

With fewer than thirty tickets sold, the crowd at the Duke of York on Monday night was quieter than we expected it to be when the event was in its initial planning stages just three months ago.
The York Celtic Ensemble playsWe took only half of the entire floor that we had reserved from the Duke to fit the thirty-five of us into comfortable seats.  While we mingled as people streamed in, five students from the York Celtic Ensemble played a selection of fantastic music.  I wasn’t sure what to expect from them at all, but with a high endorsement from Andrew we banked on quality and were pleasantly surprised even so.  They played beautifully and I am hoping we will be hearing from them again in the near future here at the Wayfarers.

As people entered, they were greeted by Andrew at the top of the stairway just inside the Duke’s front doors.  A handbill that explained who we are and what we do was given to them, and included a pair of coupons – one for Flirty Girl Fitness and one for L.A. Fitness – that would provide some free or discounted workout time at each of the facilities to all of our attendees.

The well-donated silent auctionJust inside the door of the beautiful Queen Bess room at the Duke was our silent auction table.  Two pieces of art on canvas, six pieces of jewellery, an autographed series of books, monthly passes at LA Fitness, a ten-class punchcard at Flirty Girl Fitness and a handwritten letter to be sent from Scotland by us while we’re there were amongst our generously-donated auction items.  More than $400 was raised throughout the night from these tables with the help of our fantastic guests.

As the night went on, we all managed to mingle with most of the guests who attended thanks to the smaller crowd.  I was amazed at the diverse attendance, and so happy that everyone seemed to enjoy themselves even if they didn’t seem so sure on seeing the crowd. Dinner orders were taken as the music was wrapping up, and people were ready to eat.

As the music faded around 7:30, I stood up and said some words with the Wayfarers about what our cause is and what inspired it.

We are here today as our own fellowship – our own group of people here to make a difference. My name is Dan. Many of you already know me. I had the idea for the Wayfarers and our Quest one day while walking the immeasurably gruelling twelve kilometers to Paul’s house in early June of last year. “How great would it be,” I asked myself, “if I did more than twice this distance, every day, for weeks on end?

“What if I did it in costume? No – in armour?”
I knew before I’d finished the walk that evening that I wanted to do this – the fire lit in my head was not going to be ignored just because of the clear difficulties I already saw rising on the horizon.

To help me fight those difficulties I went to some heroes of my own.

Dan gives a speech - sorry, everyone!

My favourite part of the night was being able to introduce the Wayfarers.  I didn’t do it perfectly – the speech was far from my best work – but when I call these men my heroes, I am not just using a turn of phrase.  Each and every one of them has been a hero to me in one way or another, without even taking into account this Quest of ours.  This Quest is just taking it to a whole new level.

After I was done saying my piece, we sat down to a feast: people had a choice of Caesar salad, Scotch broth, or mixed greens for an appetizer, which was put down as I finished my speech.  The wait staff, Elaine and Melanie, were unbelievably helpful and on-the-ball despite the crowd; they were some of the best bartenders and bar staff I’ve had the pleasure of working with in any capacity.  The Duke’s kitchens were quick with the food, too: steaming Steak and Stilton pot pies, tenderly battered fish and chips, or rich Bombay chicken curry was brought upstairs on the double and everyone ate before anyone got restless.  I had the pot pie myself and can speak only to its quality – utterly divine – but have heard great things about all of the food that was served.  The brownie or sticky toffee pudding that our guests had the choice of for dessert sealed the deal and made sure that we would keep the Duke in mind for our next event.

Flirty Girl Fitness' gift, complete with boaThe silent auction ended just before 9pm, with the more than 15 items being given out and paid for in short order.  Despite our having the ability to take credit card payments for the items, everyone opted to pay with cash.  It made our job easier at the end of the night calculating our totals, and the promptness with which people handed it to us (and the smiles on their faces when they did so) went a long way to easing any stresses that may have come with running an event like this.

The event was without a doubt a resounding success, and the Wayfarers knew before we left that with it had come a significant new milestone: at the Duke, we hit $10,000 in worldwide donations.  This is a huge number and mind-boggling to all of us, and with it we can see our goal from a bit higher up on the mountain ahead.

We have a number of other great events planned this year, so keep your eyes peeled… but I’d like to leave you with the end of the speech I gave on Monday, as I think it makes a point about all of you that should not go unheard:

Dumbledore’s Army, the Pevensey family and the Fellowship of the Ring have two very important things in common. First, they stood up against something bigger than themselves. They saw wrongdoing, they saw hurt and darkness and pain, and they said “I can do something about that.” Second, they did their epic deeds with the help of hundreds, even thousands of people.

Without those people, none of the heroes we read about now could have found success. Without you, we can’t either.

Thank you, everyone.

The Wayfarers - January 2012

10
Oct

Burns Night: Five Answers

   Posted by: admin

We’ve gotten a few questions of interest over the last few weeks about our Burns Night and today’s the day to answer the top five for the public!

1. How is the money from my ticket sale being used?

Because this event isn’t free (and none of us – sadly! – has yet struck it big in the lottery), the ticket price reflects a 50% donation to the Canadian Cancer Society and 50% covering of costs.  All money used to cover costs are for individuals’ dinners; none of the Wayfarers will benefit financially from any event we run this year, and many of the things we are using for the dinner have been generously donated either by external corporations or by individuals, including the Wayfarers themselves.

2. How will the auction work?

The auction will be performed as a silent auction, with items (and descriptions) laid out on a table.  There will be sheets that will detail what the item is, who provided or sponsored it, the approximate retail value and the minimum bid.  The sheet will also state what the minimum “raise” is.  Bids that do not follow this minimum raise will be disregarded, so please make sure you’re paying attention!

When you make a bid, write down your name, phone number and the bid you would like to make.  We will be asking that you pay for your item on-site, and for this we are able to accept cash, credit card or PayPal, as we are able to make these payments directly to our charity service via tablet PC.  The phone number is only in case you have to leave the event before the auction winners are announced, between 8:30 and 9:00pm.

We have a few great items for the auction and have more coming in over the course of the next week – we’ll be making a post about some of them around this time next week, so keep your eyes peeled!

3.  Why are credit card and debit card payments not acceptable any more for ticket sales?

Because of the fact that we are collecting all of our donations directly to the organization and not looking to hand out tax receipts ourselves, we are not a registered charity (or even an incorporated not-for-profit) – we are just a group of guys trying to do some good.  Unfortunately, that means we don’t have the numbers we need to get a not-for-profit PayPal account, which limits our ability to take card payments online for things we need to use the money for – per question 1, above.

4.  Why are you holding this night on the 23rd instead of on its actual date, the 25th?

This one’s easy – because we all want to be able to celebrate on the 25th in our own way!

No, in all seriousness it’s because Monday night is a good night for the bar – it will cost us less to use the Duke, and that means more money goes to the charity.  And that’s a good thing for everyone!

5.  What sort of entertainment is being provided?

We are lucky to have gotten the York Celtic Ensemble, from York University, to play us in during cocktails and up until dinner starts.  During dinner we will likely be using a recording to give the poor musicians a break!

You will also be “treated” to some quick poetry readings from Robbie Burns’ repertoire as well as (possibly) some other Scottish-themed readings.

If you have any further questions, fire us off an email at burnsnight@wayfarerquest.com and we’ll reply as soon as possible!  And who knows, your question may find its way into our next questions post.