Wilbur Joins the Fight against Cancer!

February 8, 2009

Yesterday, my number one fan turned 35.  He’s a bit sensitive about it, so he would not agree to a birthday party.  He would; however, agree to have friends over for food and drinks on the day that happened to be his birthday – so long as we did not call it a “birthday party.”  With this in mind, I planned a FIESTA! We had pitchers of margaritas, sangria and lots of Mexican beer.  I made too much food, but most of it got eaten anyway.  Best of all, a thoughtful guest brought a pinata – the severed head still hangs from the ceiling in the basement.  It looks like a really festive hunting trophy.

During the planning stages, I had a brainstorm – what better time to ask friends for money than after you have plied them full of alcohol?  I bought a large mason jar from Goodwill and set it on the table.  It looked a bit uninspiring. It needed something . . .but what?  In the search for pizazz, I may have stumbled upon my personal mascot.

wilbur2Meet Wilbur, the protagonist in Mo Willem’s latest picture book, Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed.  The story opens with the narrator informing the readers what they need to know about naked mole rats: 1) They are a little bit rat. 2) They are a little bit mole. 3) They are all naked.  Except for Wilbur, and therein lies the story. (Side note: this is a great story about embracing differences – buy it for any preschooler that you love.)

At the conference mentioned a few posts ago, I picked up a poster advertising Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed.  It got crunched in my suitcase and was no longer suitable for hanging, but parts of the poster were salvageable, including the image pictured above.  I cut it out and taped it to my jar, along with a sign declaring, “Be a Hero!  Put $ in this jar.  Ask Joy why.”  It worked, I think.  I wound up with some cash, but even more, lots of people asked me about the event and took the cards I had printed with my donation website.

(Note to Mo: please excuse my unauthorized use of your most venerable character, Wilbur.  Rest assured, his image is used for a noble cause – to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  Perhaps you’d like to make a donation?)

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