As I write this, the Bench-O-Meter sits at $980. That's nearly a thousand dollars raised in the less than 24 hours this site has been up. You people are amazing.

Watching the donations pour in for Mark's Bench, one surprising thing has been the fact that some of you never knew Mark. You chipped in because you knew people who loved Mark, you saw how losing him affected your friends, and you were convinced that you would have loved him, too, had you had the chance. You saw a community coming together to support a friend, and you wanted to help.

Here's to one of your friends. ~ Stephen Dale

I did not know Mark, but I knew of him, and how much he was loved by Scarlettina and others she knew. Please accept this in his memory. ~ GraceAnne DeCandido

I didn't know Mark, but they say you can judge a person by the company they keep. And I do know many people who knew him and judging by that criteria, the fact I will not get to know him is a huge loss. I look forward to visiting Seattle, sitting on his bench and hearing stories about him. ~ Jaq Greenspon

Thank you, friends of friends. You are testament to the power of love.

More notes coming soon. Leave your comments below. Click the tabs at the top of this page for more information.

Moments after I posted this, a new donation put us over $1K in 24 hours. Way to go, people! You ROCK!

And another note from someone who didn't know Mark:

I never met Mark or Elizabeth, but I know too many friends affected by his passing. What an awesome memorial tribute. ~Daneen McDermott

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