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Pat Dryburgh

For the last several years, Stephen Hackett, Myke Hurley, and the team at Relay FM have organized annual fundraisers for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a nonprofit operating in Memphis, Tennessee that is a leader in childhood cancer research and provides treatment, care, and support to young cancer patients and their families at no cost to them, made possible through donations from people like you and me.

Through the support of individual contributors, St. Jude has been able to quadruple the childhood cancer survivor rate from 20% to over 80%.

Three years ago during the inaugural fundraiser, the Relay FM community was able to raise $69,000 for the kids of St. Jude. A year later, the team set their goal for $75,000, hoping they might push it to $125,000. They raised $315,000 in one month.

Last year, the team set an initial goal of raising $315,000. The goal was reached during last year’s Podcastathon and by the end of the month, Relay FM and its listeners had raised $456,000.

When this year’s fundraiser was announced, the goal was set to $333,333.33 with the added acknowledgment that once they had raised a little over $196,000, they would hit the incredible milestone of having raised $1,000,000 in three years. That milestone was reached last week.

As of this writing, they have already surpassed this year’s initial goal and sit at $336,000 raised. They’ve since added another milestone of raising $400,000 by the end of the month.

But my question is: while it took three years for Relay FM and its listeners to raise their first $1MM, how long would it take to raise the second?

We don’t have enough yearly data to come up with a reasonable estimate for the rate of year-over-year growth, but as an exercise let’s assume this year will see a similar rate of year-over-year growth as last year (~44.76%). At that rate, we could estimate that by the end of this month Relay FM will have raised a total of ~$660,105 this year. Subtracting the $196k needed to reach the first $1MM milestone leaves ~$464,105 that would contribute to the second $1MM, leaving $535,895 to be raised for next year. Assuming the same growth rate for next year, we could expect to see the total amount raised reach $955,568, pushing Relay FM well beyond their second $1MM by the end of next year’s fundraiser.

Now, maybe using last year’s growth rate isn’t fair. The good news is that Relay FM could still reach their second $1MM in two years if their growth rate dropped to 25%, which seems very reasonable to me.

All of this made-up math—and the very real work happening at St. Jude—requires that people continue to donate. If you have even a little bit of cash to spare, please consider donating to St. Jude’s. Every little bit helps!

The Relay FM team will be hosting their annual Podcastathon from 12-8 PM on Friday, September 17. They will be sharing stories from families who have been helped by St. Jude as well as hearing from some of the great people who make up the Relay FM network.

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My friend Carly Thomas’s latest—and in my opinion, best—album, Behind the Ficus is available now for purchase and streaming. I had the opportunity to perform guitar and backup vocals on her last EP, Explode, and believe the last 7 years have seen tremendous growth in maturity and confidence in Carly’s songwriting.

Due to personal circumstances over the last couple of years, I turned down a couple of offers from Carly to record a few tracks for this album. Listening now, I’m torn between regret and gratitude; regret for not getting to be part of what I see as Carly’s best work to date but grateful that now I can listen to and enjoy this wonderful work free from self-critique. The songs are so strong and so good and the performances so rich that it’s a pure joy to experience this beautiful creation from a dear friend that I can listen to on repeat for years to come.

Check out Behind the Ficus on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, or buy it now at BandCamp.

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Excited to attend this year’s Micro Camp, streaming live today at 1pm EDT. Register and join the stream to hear some lovely music created by the Micro.blog community before a 10-minute meditation led by David Johnson happening before the conference at 12:45pm EDT.

If you missed this year’s Micro Camp, you can still register to watch the recordings of the weekend’s sessions. Manton has said the videos will possibly end up at https://micro.camp in the future.

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Got home late last night from visiting my friend Carly and her musical companions who were rehearsing for her album release party happening this Friday July 23 at London Brewing Co-operative.

I’m really excited to attend my first concert since lockdown began. The last public performance I attended was Kill Tony at the world famous Comedy Store in West Hollywood, California on Monday March 9, 2020. The virus was being discussed, but things didn’t lock down until a couple days after I got home. The idea that we wouldn’t be able to attend a live performance for more than a year was inconceivable at the time.

This has been a difficult time for everyone. While in no way do I expect things to ever return to “normal,” it’s nice that some things from The Days Before are starting to happen again.

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I’ve been meaning to write about the arrival of the 88 Keys of Light project to downtown London. I haven’t had a chance to go see my friend Edward’s amazing work in person, but now I’m really sad I didn’t. After spending 45 days delighting thousands of people on a street corner in Toronto, the piano was vandalized just days after moving to London. The keys were broken rendering the piano unplayable and the stool smashed, causing my friend to have to add plexiglass to prevent further damage.

Thankfully the buttons that trigger the preprogrammed song and light demonstrations still work and surveillance has been increased in the area where the piano is currently on display. If you are in the London area, check out 88 Keys of Light at Covent Garden Market Square at 130 King St.

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