Mary Kocy Will Water-ski Around Manhattan for Charity

Thumbnail image for mary-waterski12089.jpg
Kocy's fundraising page
Mary Kocy, who describes herself as "a middle-aged woman who can't walk in two-inch heels," will be doing something relatively unheard of, that is, water-skiing around Manhattan on September 18 (with a rain date of September 25) to raise money for veterans facing traumatic brain injuries or post-traumatic stress disorder in an effort she's calling "One Good Turn Around Manhattan." Her goal is to raise $50,000; she's currently at $8,135. She just learned to water-ski last summer.

More »

Terrible Human Steals From Kids With Cancer in Staten Island

Thumbnail image for michaelstbaldricks.jpg
Today in deplorable crimes: Mikey is a 5-year-old boy who was diagnosed with an unidentifiable brain and spine tumor in September of 2008. He's undergoing his third chemo treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering, and his mom, Christine Lograno-Weinstein, is running a fund-raising effort with the help of volunteer-driven charity St. Baldrick's called "Hope is in the (h)Air," to raise $20,000 for cancer research. Recently, a volunteer collecting donations at a Take a Toy/Make a Donation table briefly left his post outside a residence in Donagan Hills, Staten Island. He returned, to his shock, to catch a woman stuffing all the bags of stuffed animals and the donations jug in her car.

More »

Did HRC Drive Off with the NOM Defector's Marriage Equality Tour?

Did HRC steal the name or idea for their bus tour from the NOM defector, or is it a coincidence?
Last week, we broke the story that Kitty Lambert, one of the very first lesbians legally married in New York State, would be joining NOM defector Louis Marinelli, once a staunch opponent of gay marriage, on a national marriage equality bus tour.

Curiously, within hours of our story and Marinelli's announcement (via his new group, the National Organization for Marriage Equality), the Human Rights Campaign announced their own very similar bus tour, launching the same week.

Coincidence? Marinelli says no. HRC says yes.

Regardless, it may keep one of the most significant people to flip on this issue from being able to hit the road as a convert.

More »

Bill Gates Is Giving $41.5 Million to Building a Better Toilet

The modern-day flush toilet, a norm for those of us in countries that have the infrastructure to support modern-day flush toilets, is actually not affordable in much of the developing world, a situation which leads to general yuckiness, along with diarrheal and other diseases, not to mention, death. What to do about this? Bill Gates is on the case! The Gates Foundation recently put forth a challenge to assorted universities around the world "to reinvent the toilet as a stand-alone unit without piped-in water, a sewer connection, or outside electricity--all for less than 5 cents a day." They're giving $41.5 million to the creation of such. Current proposals include"toilets powered by heat, microwaves or solar panels." [LAT]

GLAAD Stops Supporting AT&T Merger with T-Mobile

GLAAD logo.png
Last month, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation got in a lot of trouble when they backed a merger between AT&T and T-Mobile, after their full relationship with Ma Bell was exposed. GLAAD had received $50,000 from AT&T in donations and had a former AT&T executive and lobbyist on its board. The organization sent out a letter opposing net-neutrality before attempting to withdraw that letter.

In the aftermath, GLAAD's Executive Director and multiple board members resigned. Now, GLAAD has flipped on net-neutrality again, releasing a statement supporting an open internet, as well as declaring a neutral position on the AT&T deal.

More »

Rick Jacobs, Founder of the Courage Campaign, On Pepsi and Corporate Giving

Steven Thrasher
Jacobs at the Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal signing ceremony
Last week, we wrote about how the Courage Campaign won $50,000 from the Pepsi Challenge, and our concern about the ways in which Pepsi was able to use an LGBT advocacy group to market its product in the non-profit arena. It seemed especially alarming given how the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation had imploded just a few weeks before, after its $50,000 donation from AT&T tainted its actions. (UPDATE: GLAAD has formally withdrawn its endorsement of the AT&T deal.)

Rick Jacobs, the founder and chair of the Courage Campaign, reached out to us shortly after the story was posted. Surprisingly, he thought there was a "zero percent chance that you're not absolutely right that this is a way for Pepsi to advertise." But he also maintained that it was a very different situation at the Courage Campaign than at GLAAD.

More »

Smash Mouth Will Eat the Eggs; Guy Fieri May Prepare Them

Last week, we told you about one man's mission to get Steve Harwell, the lead singer of washed-up alternative rock band Smash Mouth, to eat two dozen eggs. A month after John Hendren tweeted at Smash Mouth for the first time, they accepted his challenge on the condition that fans donate $10,000 to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. In one short week, that goal was exceeded by enthusiastic fans. Today, Harwell told the Huffington Post that he wants to ask his friend Guy Fieri to prepare the eggs. There is also discussion of how Harwell likes his eggs, but if he's going to do it right, they had better be hardboiled like in Cool Hand Luke.

Courage Campaign and Pepsi: Is $50K the New Sell Out Price for LGBT Non-Profits?

Yesterday, we got an email from the Courage Campaign with the subject line, "We won! Here's what's next." We assumed it would be a belated fundraising appeal responding to New York's Marriage Equality Act, asking for donations to fight on the federal level.

Instead, what we found when we opened the email was, largely, a cleverly disguised ad for Pepsi. Seriously. And in the same way we recently discovered how being gay mysteriously has something to do with supporting corporate telecom mergers, we learned that drinking Pepsi also has something to do with stopping anti-LGBT bullying.

More »

Eat the Eggs Please, Smash Mouth! Twitter Joke Turns to Charity (and Comic) Gold

Back on June 3, one man on Twitter started what would soon become an internet phenomenon when he tweeted at the legendary alternative-rock group Smash Mouth (best known for their work on the soundtrack of Shrek and their brief appearance in Rat Race) offering the lead singer, Steve Harwell, $20 to eat 24 eggs. Yesterday, the band accepted the challenge, and in 24 hours, they have raised nearly $6,000 for St. Jude Children's Hospital.

More »

Wal-Mart Bribes NYC With $4 Million Donation

Bloomberg referred to Wal-Mart as "one of the great corporate citizens in this country" during a press conference yesterday to announce the company's four million dollar donation to New York City's Youth Employment Program. The donation will create 3,400 jobs, and Bloomberg says that's all that matters. While many are suspicious that this donation is part of Wal-Mart's campaign to open up a NYC location, Michelle Gilliard, a representative for the company's philanthropic division, insisted that the money was simply part of an ongoing effort to help children and "make a difference in the lives of New Yorkers."

More »