Thursday, 10 February 2011

Non-prophet week: Update 2

Not many photos from Monday’s bake sale as I forgot to charge the battery in my camera, and the photos that were taken on my phone have been lost into the digital ether as my memory card decided to inexplicably corrupt itself. I’m doing my best to try and retrieve them, but you’ll just have to take our word for it.

Work commitments of the various people helping out got in the way of bucket shaking on campus yesterday, but we more than made up for it today with our second bake sale. I baked blueberry and apple crumble-cake (a hotch-potch recipe that was semi freestyled), honorary humanist Emma Birkett baked apple and toffee cakes, which were out of this world, and Jack Hooker lived up to his promise and baked some dark chocolate muffins with a luminescent orange frosting that even the most bleary-eyed student could spot from a distance! 

We braved the biting wind for an hour and managed to sell pretty much every bit of cake we had. One of my favourite reactions: “Mmm.. Godless cakes are they? Could do with one of those right now”. 15 minutes more and we would have sold out but I decided to save some for some colleagues and friends who I knew would be more than happy to make a sizable charitable donation in return for an afternoon sugar pick-me-up!

By my guess we raked in at least another £40 today from the bake sale today. Most people were happy to pay a £1 although the suggested donation was 50p and we even had someone donate £2 even though they couldn’t take a cake because of a nut allergy (none of the cakes were nut based but we couldn’t guarantee that they hadn’t been near nuts). To top it off, we were approached by a lady who wanted to commission us to bake cakes for her personally! 

A few bits of each of cake were saved for entry into the Birmingham Skeptics in the Pub bake-off at this evenings talk with paranormal researcher Hayley Stevens (check out her excellent sceptical blog here and the consistently brilliant Righteous Indignation podcasts here).

Patrick Redmond, co-organiser of the Birmingham SITP let me say a few words at the beginning to the meeting to plug Non-prophet Week and then very generously offered to donate the profits from that evening’s talk to Aston Humanist’s fund-raising total, which ended up being around £50!

Unfortunately, none of the humanist entries won the cake-off (we lost out to a super-moist carrot cake), but the feedback from those that tasted our cakes were all the right side of brilliant! The total money raised from the bake sale, bucket shaking and Birmingham SITP will be split evenly between Book Aid International and One World Action.

Emma Moseley completed her sponsored silence at 9pm on Tuesday. She managed to go 120 hours without saying a word. (First words: “Yah! I can speak!”) What a star! You can reward her fantastic achievement by donating to Volunteers for Educational Support and Learning here.

I am now 3 runs into my seven day challenge and doing pretty well. After a disappointing 25:02 run on Tuesday (left pic) I managed a decent 23:04 along the canals this morning (right pic). The most important thing is the amount of money I manage to raise, not my best time; including my offline sponsorships I’ve now surpassed my (admittedly modest) fund-raising target! I’m not resting on my laurels though. Still four more runs and four more days of fund-raising to go! 

We now also have another longer-term event added to the rosta. The aforementioned Jack Hooker will be climbing (or at least attempt to climb) Mount Kilamanjaro in June this year to raise money for Childreach International and needs all the help he can get to raise a mammoth £1,900 in the next 5 months! More information about the project and his sponsorship page can be found here.

The next event will be Friday’s Donation Station. Lots of posters have been put up across Aston’s campus encouraging people to donate any unwanted items that in good condition. Everything collected will be donated to the Banbury branch of Barnardo’s. We’ll also have our bucket there to take spare change and if a couple of us have any spare time there might even be one final cake sale too – like children, students just cannot get enough of very brightly coloured sweet things!

Estimated mid-week total stands at around ~£500!

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