Friday, January 15, 2010

Message from the Captain (#9)

Ahoy, Mateys! Ahoy! This is your captain speaking, Mentor Cap’n Art, that is! I can see the surprised look on your faces. You are wondering: “Why is my captain contacting me today?” You check your calendar. Yes, it is Friday, and it has been all day. A bit of worry flashes in your eyes, and just a trace of fear flits like a shadow over your visage. You start worrying” “Have I done something wrong? Did my captain catch me sleeping on my watch? Why, oh why, isn’t he down in his berth, swilling some grog or doing some other captainly thing? Oh, I am in such trouble!”

Belay that lubberly talk, my mentoring shipmates, er teammates! No one is in trouble! In fact, everyone is working hard to make this season’s voyage successful. With our first port of call - New Orleans - fast approaching, these efforts are appreciated by all. No, I am contacting you today because I didn’t want to forget doing this later in the weekend. As you know, I have joined the summer team and I will be working away this weekend getting prepared to kick off my fundraising campaign with my initial note Tuesday night. And I have tons to organize before that time, thus my early contact for next week.

I call the Silent Auction a success, and a lot of fun to boot! Thanks, everyone. Here are a few suggestions for next week.

First, I know that several of you have mentees that you are worried about. They typically have not raised much money and seem to avoid contact. Keep trying to contact them. Try email. Try phone. See if Cate has other numbers for them. Ask Cate and I to try reaching them, giving us an idea of the problems that you are having. Short of breaking into their home in the middle of the night and waking them up – no, Cap’n Art is NOT recommending this approach – what else can you do? I do know the feeling from past tours of duty as a mentor.

Second, get everyone back on task – if they have strayed from their course – in updating their web page, getting progress reports / reminders out, and also letters if they have not yet done this. I typically send out reminders and thank you messages, written as campaign updates, every two to four weeks when I do Team in Training.

Third, with the NFL football playoffs going on, here are a couple of specific ideas for the season for your mentees:

* Throw a lavish Super Bowl party. Better yet, find someone with a big screen TV and see if they will help. Advertise it as hanging out on the 50 yard line enjoying good food, good drink, and good company with friends. And of course, no one gets into the Super Bowl for free, so sell tickets. Use your imagination – and if you have some artistic friends, use their imagination – to create cool tickets and “sell’ them to your friends.

* Cut my finger and I bleed Philadelphia Eagles green. In fact it really confused my oncologist with my first blood test as a cancer patient! So you may know that the Philadelphia Eagles were absolutely humiliated by the arch-rival Dallas Cowboys in the playoffs. Maybe your mentees have a favorite team that is out of it (or was never in it), but they have friends whose team is still going strong and their friends are lording it over them and rubbing it in a bit. To those friends, they could make a deal: make me a $50 or $100 donation and I will wear the hated cap of your team for a week at work or school.

Well, Mateys, this note is a bit long, and so I will just say thanks for all you do. No need to flog anyone with the cat o’ nine-tails this week! That’s about it from the Captain’s Chair!

Cap’n Art

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