Here's a brief report on the statistics and ultimate success of the fundraiser for Mark's Bench, as read at Mark's Celebration of Life this past Saturday, 3/24. 

Please note the news in the last bullet and get ready for Phase 2!

  • Mark's Bench website launched on Friday, March 16 at about 4:20 pm.

  • In less than 24 hours, we raised $1,000.

  • In less than 48 hours, we'd raised almost $1800.

  • 50 people donated cash via the website (donations ranging from $2 to $200).

  • Over 1K people visited the website this week, from the US, Canada, the UK, New Zealand, Australia, France, India, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Lithuania. And they're still coming.

  • Thursday's auction on Facebook was a smashing success. In 24 hours, over a dozen people came up with items to donate to the auction. We auctioned an item each hour on Thursday starting at 10am. Just before 5 I came up for air, realized we'd blown past our goal by several hundred dollars. Auction donations were still coming in.

  • We suspended the auction to brainstorm about what to do. People wanted to help. They wanted to be part of it. Should we keep going? What to do with the overage? Scott had suggested a doggy bag dispenser--everyone loved that. Janna and I talked about the possibility of a sculpture. I was pondering a sculpture that dispensed doggy bags. Then Elizabeth told me someone had suggested a Clarion West scholarship fund in Mark's name. I think that's something he'd really get behind (although he would have loved the doggy bag dispenser, too, especially if it was arty). :)
I'll keep the website up and transition it to a fundraising website for the scholarship fund. I'll continue accepting items and services for donation, and I'll continue holding auctions via Facebook and eBay. Contact me on Facebook or via the contact form on the Questions page if you want to get involved or donate.

This has been a humbling, healing experience and I thank Elizabeth for letting me work on it. Thanks also to everyone who donated cash and items and bid (and won!) and shared and tweeted and sent me notes. What an amazing week.

Stay tuned for more updates on the Mark Bourne Clarion Scholarship Fund (working title).

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