Perhaps you’ve heard of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and the Light the Night walk they do every year. But perhaps you haven’t heard of the amazing work of the Foundation Beyond Belief Light the Night team, and their partnership with the Stiefel Freethought Foundation. Each year, for the past one year, they’ve formed a national team, made up of individual local teams across the country (and Canada, I guess) to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to help fight cancer.

And this year, they’re doing it again! Their goal this year is to raise $500,000. To help them, FreeThoughtBlogs and Skepchick have begun a friendly rivalry to see who can outraise the other. And, of course, I have cast my lot in with Skepchick.

FTB’s fundraising goal is $10,000, so naturally, Skepchick’s goal is $10,001. Many of the Skepchicks have offered incentives if we reach certain donation levels. The ones currently announced, stolen shamelessly from this page, are:

  • For every $1,000 we raise, Melanie will create superhero likenesses of and for 5 kids with cancer. Being created right now!
  • When we reach $2,500, Anne Sauer from Mad Art Lab will design a custom nonalcoholic warm beverage and share the recipe with all of us!
  • If we raise $3,500, new Skepchick Olivia will shave her head.
  • When we raise $4,000, Kaoru from Queereka will write a positive review of a comic or movie suggested by you, the more irredeemably awful, the better: 2048: A Story of America’s FutureEvery Young Man’s Struggle? A couple of Spire Comics’ Christian versions of Archie books? Kaoru will find something legitimately good about it and write a review.
  • If we raise $5,000, Brian G from Mad Art Lab will draw a mash-up masterpiece that has to integrate ALL of your suggestions, no matter how unrelated. The original will then be auctioned off, with all proceeds going to LLS.
  • At $7,500, Melanie will dress up as a stormtrooper and do my laundry at a public laundromat, with pics to prove it.
  • When we hit $8,000, Kaoru will create a super hero costume, go someplace public, and spend several hours helping people in character. Suggestions will be welcome for powers, design ideas, and so forth.
  • If we raise $10,000, Rebecca will dye her hair again and you choose the color.
  • At $10,001, Elyse will spend an entire day out in public, running errands, while wearing a shirt with HERO on it as well as all her race medals (6) around her neck, with pics to prove it.
  • Sarah Moglia is offering incentives on her personal fundraising page: If you donate $15, she will hand write a card and mail it to you; for $25, she will Skype or Google Hangout with you and you can pick her brain and ask her questions; for $75, she will write a blog post on the topic of your choice.
  • Rebecca has also added incentives to her personal fundraising page: If you donate $20 through her page, she will Tweet you a very nice compliment (from @rebeccawatson); for $25, she will Tweet you a very nice insult; for $50, she will make a Vine in which she says your name and thank you, and also a cat will be there looking adorable; $100, she will make a YouTube video thanking you and also maybe talking about how smart and good looking you are.

As if that wasn’t enough, there’s even more! If you want, you can join the Skepchick Team as a virtual supporter, and help us raise money. If we get 300 virtual supporters, Courtney Caldwell and Elyse Anders will wear giant light-up cowboy hats while doing the Dallas Light the Night walk. Plus, the virtual supporter who raises the most money will receive a free Surly! So that’s awesome.

Lastly, I’ve also decided to throw an incentive into the mix. When we raise $6,000, I’ll create a juggling video in which I’ll include your suggestions for what to juggle. Now, the Skepchick site does say non-dangerous items only, but I will point out that the definition of “dangerous” is slightly different for jugglers. Basically, flaming torches are totally in. No chainsaws though, not because they’re sharp, but mostly because they’re really heavy and unwieldy. Also expensive.

And just when you thought this couldn’t get any more awesome: Todd Stiefel (of the Stiefel Freethought Foundation) has also thrown his hat into the ring. In addition to offering a matching donation (where any money you give gets matched by his foundation) he has also declared that if either team (Skepchick or FTB) gets to $20,000, he will shave his hair into a mohawk, and whichever team reaches that goal first gets to choose the color.

I’m counting on you, dear readers! Help us squash FTB and dye Todd’s hair neon fuchsia or whatever. Go here to donate to our team! You could also, I suppose, go here to donate to FTB, but I have no idea why you would ever chose to do that.

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