Crowdfunding and the Memorial

A Crowdfunding Campaign Previously I have written about a new product I designed called the HandleDry, a silicone accessory for an electric toothbrush that stops the foam from running down the handle. 100% of the proceeds form future sales of this product will be used to promote and ultimately construct the Freedom Reigns Memorial. At present, I am working on building a mailing list of people who show an interest in the product. This endeavor seems like it should be straight forward, but it’s more difficult than you might think. I have several landing pages. I post on Facebook and Twitter. Most recently I tried to boost a Facebook post. I wanted to test a $10, single day boost. The post reached 369 people. Post engagement was 26. We got 2 page likes and no sign ups on our crowdfunding mailing list. When I set up the boost, I used crowdfunding, crowd sourcing, electric toothbrush, and toothbrush as key words directed at US individuals. That $10 gave me some insight, but that’s about it. We just don’t have the money to throw at advertising in hopes for a successful outcome. That could get very expensive with the distinct possibility of no return. We have gotten very nice reviews from users of the product. I hoped the testimonials on the landing page or the use of proceeds would motivate people to sign up. Apparently neither reason was motivating enough. I have done market research and statistical analysis before. Admittedly, the sampling was small, but we should have gotten a few additions to the list. I have read a lot about...

In Memorium – To My Sister

My sister, Valli Louise Dennis Schieltz, passed away on the morning of June 29, 2015. She fought a courageous battle against cancer, but it finally took her life. She was sixty-four years old. This photo of Val with her doll was taken outside a home on Harvard Road when we lived in Winston-Salem. That street was only one block over from our house. Val loved her dolls when she was growing up. It was a blessing for me to be able to edit her books and get them into print before she passed. She received proof copies several weeks ago. It seems like only yesterday when we were playing together at our grandmother’s home in Elizabeth, NJ. It’s almost unbelievable how fast time passes. Before you know it, loved ones are gone, and we are left with only memories. Val’s book, Valli’s Valley, contains a lot of photos, including some of our grandmother’s magnificent home. Clink the link and get one or both of her books. You can also find a link to her books on her Web site. I will maintain her site as a tribute to her life. I will miss not hearing her voice and receiving her weekly calls. She is now without pain in her new home. Thank you for being a wonderful sister. God bless...

Project Update

You all were due for an update. We have been working on this project since 2006. Personally, after years of calling and writing, I have been able to get only one small, local newspaper in Mt. Pleasant, SC to do a story on this project. Senator Bob Dole wrote me and said what an ‘arduous task’ it was raising funds for the WWII Memorial. I can now understand his counsel. I was unable to get any interest in our local area. I talked to a CBS reporter who told me they weren’t interested. The woman said they might be after the memorial was built. I spoke to a reporter working for the News & Observer who was embedded with the troops on occasion in Afghanistan. He was interested in doing a story, but he told me his editor killed it. I’ve contacted major news outlets across the USA. None were interested. I never heard a word from most of them. Plausible deniability no doubt. I never got a response from President Bush or President Obama either. I have now sixty-three pages of failed contacts. Some of the stories I can tell about selected attempts to contact celebrities and corporate leaders are almost unbelievable. It’s a book in itself. Shark Tank’s Robert Herjavec made an apropos comment the other night. One of the presenters said that he was going to contact specified large corporations regarding his product. Mr. Wonderful, Kevin O’Leary, had made this fellow an offer proposing a licensing avenue. Robert asked the fellow if he thought the presidents of those corporations would ever call him back. He went...

Progress Report – An Update About The Memorial

It has been some time since I posted, but I assure you, I have never stopped working on this project. I want to update you on our progress. I have attempted to make contact with celebrities who I thought might be interested in helping us promote this project, but I was unsuccessful. I thought I had finally made contact with Dean Cain via Twitter. He followed me, I assumed since his was a verified account, and I was able to send him a direct message. I asked if he would review some information about the memorial. He replied that he would. I sent him a link to a file, but I never heard from him again. Further attempts to contact him were unsuccessful. I can, and may one day, write a book on my attempts to contact celebrity figures. For the past three months I have had to focus my efforts on site updates. My ISP had to move me to a new VPS server. When that happened, my shopping cart, which I used on three sites, quit functioning. The cart developers decided they would no longer support their product. I had to install a new cart on two sites, my TigersTime Studios gallery and the Zoe Foundation, my tiger site. I had to install a new form on this site. In the past, I used the same shopping cart to receive donations on this site. I decided to use WordPress with the Woocommerce plugin, which seems to work fine. For the past year I have been developing a new product to use as a fundraiser for the memorial....

Memorial Day 2012

This update was written on Memorial Day 2012. The president, politicians, and citizens across the USA honored our men and women who sacrificed their lives for freedom. God bless all our veterans. The past three months, I have been working with several people who I thought could help us move this project forward. Unfortunately, nothing has materialized from that effort. I am working on a new project that I hope will focus attention on the memorial, but it is going to take some time. I would like to launch it by Christmas. I am looking for some inspiring or tragic war photos that I can use. I am sure many of you Afghanistan and Iraq veterans have taken some. If you would like to help out and have your photos credited, please send me a message. I will give you details on the project. In the meantime, If you have any thoughts on how we might work together to move this effort forward, please get in touch. I would like to hear from you. God bless America. Jason...

Does America Care?

Preface: Please do not misconstrue this post or any of my others to be negative. I, along with my colleagues, have been working tirelessly on this project for eight years with the explicit vision to make this memorial the finest and most distinctive in the world. I simply want to honestly share with you some of the realities that make this endeavor, at times, frustrating. Senator Bob Dole intimated in his 2006 letter to me that this would be a most arduous task. At that time, I could not fully appreciate his counsel. Today, I do. The following quote is from the book Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power by Rachael Maddow. “While America has been fighting two of its longest ever boots-on-the-ground wars in the decade following 9/11, and fighting them simultaneously, less than one percent of the adult US population has been called upon to strap on those boots. ‘Not since the peace time years between World War I and World War II,’ according to a 2011 Pew Research Center study, ‘has a smaller share of Americans served in the armed forces.’ Half of the American public says it has not been even marginally affected by ten years of constant war. We’ve never in our long history been further from the ideal of the citizen-soldier, from the idea that America would find it impossible to go to war without disrupting domestic civilian life.” Senator Joe Lieberman made this insightful comment on March 22, 2007. “Our military is fully engaged in this war, but most of the rest of America is not. Five years after September 11,...

Memorial Update

It has been quite some time since my last post. This is an update. Unfortunately, I have nothing good to report. I have tried to make contacts with influential business leaders as well as a young, very popular country singer, but to date, I have had no success. The handlers will not pass along my communications. I am open for suggestions. I now have over fifty pages of attempted contacts. I do keep a log for future reference. Now that we are in the midst of the dollar driven presidential campaign, I doubt that we could get any mention about a memorial to our war dead. Not that we have had any success with that in the past. I am contemplating sharing with you some of the more, what I have to call, unbelievable contact attempts. I have always hesitated from doing that because of the perception of being negative. But up to now, nothing has generated any interest in this effort. I will give this some more consideration. If you are interested, I would be happy to share the results of those efforts...

5K VIP Road Race Being Planned

I am in the process of planning a 5K road race that could be used as a prototype event for a national series; much like the Stroh’s Run For Liberty back in the mid 80’s. I am going to make a survey available to runners to gauge their interest in the event. If you are a runner or one who might like to support the memorial through a running event, I welcome you to take the survey. Visit my running site at www.YourRunningMemories.com and click on the link. A successful series would generate much needed publicity about the memorial project throughout the running community. That may lead to some media coverage as news of the events spread. This road race would be very special. It will honor the participants as the Very Important People (VIP) they are for helping to raise funds for the memorial. It will be an event a runner would not want to...

Tribute Sponsorship Abandoned

We designed a Tribute Sponsorship Program and launched it in January, 2011. The focus was corporate support for local fallen heroes. Basically we divided the projected cost of the memorial by the number of fallen heroes and assigned that dollar figure to a personal tribute destined for display on the memorial. That rounded figure was $3,500. I spent three months earlier this year contacting major corporations. None of them would sponsor a single tribute to honor a local fallen soldier. Several responded with, “It just doesn’t fit with our marketing campaigns.” Every corporation I contacted was flush with cash. A representative from the Wal-Mart Foundation told me they were not interested in sponsoring a tribute for the fallen soldier from Fayetteville, AK., hometown to their headquarters. The corporation had $7.4 billion in cash on hand at the time. A vice president at a local corporate headquarters (Raleigh, NC) told me they simply did not have enough money to sponsor a $3,500 tribute. They had $647 million in cash on hand. I got similar responses from many representatives. A substantial number would not respond to our messages or phone calls. It appears that they decided to use the ‘plausible deniability’ option. We decided to abandon the program. I am now making an assumption, but I believe the failure to attract corporate support may have something to do with our status as an unknown entity. Maybe they simply will not risk supporting an organization they never heard of. We’ll never know because representatives either would not respond or would not respond honestly. I wonder if the representatives would have responded differently...

List Preparation

I spent the day preparing a list of local Tribute Sponsorship contacts for Monday’s calls. The list includes Fortune 500 corporations and local political leaders. Outback Steakhouse, who supports Operation Homefront, suggested on their website to contact a local restaurant about donations. After speaking with representatives at other stores like Target and Staples, I learned that individual stores are authorized to give gift cards, merchandise, and in some cases cash, but the donation level had a very low cap. I may end up contacting Outback’s corporate offices. If any of you can recommend a company or individual who may consider sponsoring a hero’s tribute, please contact...
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