Monday, September 08, 2008

The Roaming Penguins Plan

I want to start with some great news: as of this morning, good Friend of The Show and penguin mama Stephanie S. has reported that sales of the Roaming Penguins have netted $165 (actual cash in hand) for the Mario Lemieux Foundation! There are still more orders, so that number will go up. We'll keep you posted!

So, I left you on Friday with a teaser about big news regarding the Roaming Penguins. I had another unexpectedly busy weekend, so I apologize for not getting to post about it as promised. I was offered a free ticket to the Penn State v Oregon State football game on Saturday. I pass Beaver Stadium on my way to work every day, but in all the years I've lived in this area, I had never been to a PSU game. Let me tell you it was a lot of fun. Despite a recent blow to PSU's defense because of multiple suspensions, Penn State dominated with a 45-14 win. Here's a shot I took of #22 Evan Royster's 28-yard touchdown at the beginning of the second quarter:

What a play! If you don't know much about football, that guy is turning out to be a big deal. In the 2 games played so far this season, he has had 3 TDs in each.

Enough about football! ;) At last, here is the announcement I had planned to make this weekend. Another good Friend of The Show, Daily Su, came up with a simply fantastic idea to create story books using our Roaming Penguins' travels for children in the hospital. After some discussion, here's how we decided we're going to do it: You'll keep taking pictures and sending them in, I'll keep posting them with stories and maps, and Su will copy the pictures and the stories, organize them, and have them printed.

If she can get a lot of books printed, we thought the books would probably have the greatest impact at the Pittsburgh Children's Hospital. We figured since the Penguins themselves do a lot of charity work there (as shown in the majority of today's photos, which came from a visit the Pens made on 01-16-08), the kids would already know and love the Pens.
The kids would get to keep the books and take them home when they get better. Also, if we have extras, we MAY sell them to any Friends who'd like a copy - but we won't know if that will happen until we find out how many copies Su is going to be able to get. (Proceeds of any sales would go to the Mario Lemieux Foundation.)

But in the event she can only get a few printed, we are going to send them to the MLF so they can put them in all the "Austin's Playrooms" where the books would stay. (If you aren't already aware, "Austin's Playroom" is a sort of daycare that hospitals have for the older siblings of sick children and premature babies. When Mario's son Austin was born prematurely, Mario's wife Nathalie had to take their daughters to the hospital a few times because she didn't have a babysitter, but they were too young to be allowed in the NICU, and there wasn't really anywhere for the girls to go while their mom tended to their sick infant brother. That experience inspired the Mario and Nathalie to use some of the money raised by the MLF to fund the construction of these playrooms.)

Mario Lemieux, Nathalie Lemieux, Mr. McFeely from "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," and Children's Home CEO Pam Schanwald cut the ribbon for a new Austin's Playroom on March 15, 2007.

Now your job is to get your Roaming Penguins out there and visiting some unique places. We decided that we'll be accepting pictures until November. I'll post a more concrete deadline as soon as we figure one out. (*** See the Late Edit section below for new due date details. ***) Since the season will be underway, someone out there HAS to get some Roaming Penguins pictures at the Mellon. How awesome would it be to have a shot of Sidney Penguin watching Sidney Crosby on the ice??? Of course, we'd love to see S.P. watching S.C. in other arenas, too (hint, hint!).

Also consider taking the little guy to local landmarks, museums, or parks. Pack him up and take with you on vacation or on business trips. Take lots of pictures and send them in - the more pictures we have, the bigger the book will be. :) Don't worry if you've already sent in some pictures; we'll take as many as you want to send. If you don't yet have a Roaming Penguin, get all the ordering details here. It seems pretty likely that Sidney Penguin's story will be the longest story, but so far we've also got Brooks Penguin, Petr Penguin, and Marc-Andre Penguin making appearances, so feel free to get any Penguin you'd like.

DISCLAIMER - now that you know about our intentions to use your pictures in our book, all Roaming Penguin emails received from this point on will come with the assumption of permission to use your images and/or names. (Your names will appear in the book as they do on The Show, so if you use a screen name, that's what will be in the book. Otherwise it will be your first name and last initial.) For those of you who have already sent a Roaming Penguin story and do not want your photos used, please send me an email to let me know and Su and I will gladly comply.

Hopefully you all are as excited about this new project as we are. And don't forget about our wallpaper project! FYI: I got a couple of requests for the name of font that I used to create TSCS's logo so it can be added to wallpapers. It is called Harting, and it is available for free at (Don't fret if you've never installed a font on your computer, Dafont provides easy to follow installation instructions for both Windows and Mac OS.)

Stick with TSCS - these last lingering weeks until the season starts can't get boring if we're too busy creating wallpapers and taking pictures in random places! ;)

Now it's time for TSCS's Quote of The Day:
"How many more points would he have had if he stayed reasonably healthy? Four hundred? Five hundred? Six hundred? We'll never know. No disrespect to Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe, Mark Messier, Bobby Orr, Gilbert Perreault ... but Mario did things nobody else could ever do."

~ Bluejackets' forward and Pittsburgh native R.J. Umberger

LATE EDIT: Based on your feedback in the comments below and several emails, the due date has been pushed back to Friday, January 02, 2009. This will allow plenty of time for Stephanie to make and ship these little guys to everyone who wants to be a part of the book without putting too much stress and pressure on her to get them done in a rush. Plus, I figured it would increase the chances that we'll get a shot of Sidney Penguin hanging out with Sidney Crosby... ;)

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