I'm not the most eloquent of people, indeed I can be downright tongue-tied at times, but I cannot let today go by without a few words and a gentle prod towards something that sits fairly near to the heart of the legacy of our hobby. July 27th marks Gary Gygax's birthday, and in recognition of that fact I want to direct attention towards the Gygax Memorial Fund.
There's a few things that the various people behind the GMF are doing to assist in the further developments of the project. In particular, is their attendance at GenCon, the convention that Gary Gygax began, between August 4th and August 7th. At their booth (number 1541, the Old School Renaissance booth, for those interested), Gail Gygax will be talking about conversations she had with her husband before his death about how he wanted to be remembered, the resulting vision for the statue, and the goals of the Memorial Fund. Gail will also be presenting the ENnie Awards on Friday night. They will also be taking donations, and offering donator rewards of various treasure types.
There's also talk of a Kickstarter project to aid in fundraising for the statue. $500k across everyone who's ever played D&D in it's many iterations, or any of the many facsimiles that came after seems like an incredibly achievable goal. If you can, PLEASE head on over to the Gygax Memorial Fund website and do your bit, even if it's only the cost of a d20. Every drop in the ocean adds up in the end and this is a worthy cause. Also, keep in mind that the GMF has already achieved it's goal of becoming an officially recognised 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation, with all the tax-deductable goodness that that entails.
In closing I want to quote Paul Hughes from the introduction to "Cheers, Gary.", because I think this line gives us an apt and genuinely fitting way to mark Gary's birthday.
"...since Gary enjoyed a fine cocktail, let me lift a Bombay Sapphire martini and propose a toast: "To Gary. Cheers."
So at dinner today, or afterwards wherever you are, please raise your glasses and toast the birthday of one of the fathers of modern imagination very simply, but with feeling. To Gary. Cheers!