I'm sure almost everyone in the Old School Gaming Community has held that in mid-February Ernest "Ernie" Gary Gygax Jr. (pictured at right) had a house fire at his home in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. He, his room mate Scott, and his dog were all okay, but lost all of their possessions in the fire. Luke Gygax reported "Well the good news is Ernie and his roommate escaped the fire that destroyed their quarters this morning. The bad news is that they could not save any of their personal effects. Ernie is currently not working and on disability (deteriorating knees forced him out of his job at Abbott Labs). So this is a tough time to lose possessions, let alone all the irreplaceable games and memorabilia that he had in the house. Keep him in your thoughts. I will see if he is willing to ask for help (paypal or something) to get him through this challenging time."
Ernie and Scott were renting the house. As I understand it, Ernie had insurance that will cover some things (like his computer) but doesn't cover many "personal possessions" while Scott had none. Unfortunately, nothing can replace the original works of his father (Gary Gygax) that Ernie had -- even if his insurance would have covered them. A fund, the Ernie Fire Relief Trust Fund, has been set up to help Ernie (and Scott) replace their personal possessions by the folks at Gygax Magazine.
Last year, we managed to raise quite a bit of money to help a former TSR staff member save her house from repossession save her house from repossession with a combined Cancer Fund/Save a House fund drive. I'm hoping we can do the same for Ernie Gygax and his roommate this weekend.
For the next 72 hours or so (say until 9pm CDT Monday evening -- March 4th, the 5th anniversary of Gary's death) any money donated to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund will be split 50/50 (after Paypal fees, if any) between the Ernie Fire Relief Trust and the cancer fund. Donors will still get full credit for their total donation in chances to win one of the giveaway items available in our current Brown Box/Wee Warriors Cancer Fund Drive (these include a 3rd Printing Brown Box OD&D set and all of the rare Wee Warriors D&D products, follow the link for more info) and the full dollar amount given will count toward the largest donations for the "high donor" items. To make this clear, let's say you donate $50 and there are no Paypal fees (as you donated from your Paypal balance), I'll pass $25 on to the Ernie Fire Relief Trust Fund and add $25 to the Retroroleplaying Cancer Fund. You'd get 5 chances in the drawings and the full $50 would count toward being one of the highest donors in our current Retroroleplaying Cancer Fund drive -- and, of course, access to the special downloads available to RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund donors.
So here's a chance to help two decent causes with one donation. If you can spare a ten or a twenty, or even more, it will help so much. You'll help Ernie Gygax and Scott recover from a house fire that destroyed almost everything they had and my wife and I will pay off more cancer bills. To donate and help Ernie Gygax and his roommate, send a donation in any amount -- small or large -- via Paypal before 9pm CDT Monday evening (March 4th). If you can't donate, good thoughts and prayers for Ernie and Scott are more than welcome. Please spread the word about the Ernie Fire Relief Trust Fund and our fund drive.
The Brown Box/Wee Warriors Cancer Fund Drive is on. 12 giveaway items (including a third printing Brown Box D&D and Wee Warriors items) are available. High Donors will get get six (their choice), the rest will be raffled off with each $10 donating giving you one chance. You can see the complete list of 12 items and read more about this fund drive in this post: Brown Box D&D and Wee Warriors Goodies Available (For Cancer Fund Donors). This is in addition to the usual PDF downloads and other benefits of a donation to the RetrpoRoleplaying Cancer Fund. To get help us pay our cancer treatment related bills (and to get access to some special downloads and a chance at the above-mentioned items), send a donation in any amount -- small or large -- to me via Paypal. Thank you!