Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Mighty Dream

Johnny on the ice,
in the soft glow of the spotlight.
Just exactly where our dreams would have him.
Photo © David Ingogly.



Upon the brink of a wild stream, 
he stood and dreamt a mighty dream.
— Aleksandr Pushkin



This Pushkin quote has long been one of Johnny's favorites. He lists it on his website under things he loves, and he also told People Magazine recently that it was his quote in his high school yearbook.

And it still fits him today, as he works to the point of exhaustion (see below) to achieve his comeback dream, the crowning glory of which is his hope of competing at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

But it's a long road to there from here, and many challenges lie ahead of him--not the least of which is the enormous expense involved in returning to competition.

When he first announced his comeback in January of this year, he posted a message on his official website that ended with this heartfelt line:

I can’t wait to go on this journey with my fans.

And so I'm thrilled to see his fans rallying behind him to help support his dream, as announced by the Facebook group, Show Johnny Weir the Love, on Monday night:

BIG NEWS!! We are excited to announce an addendum to our birthday project!

Show Johnny Weir the Love recently became aware that Johnny’s previous competitive funding options are not available to him this season. And from coaching to costumes to choreography, figure skating is an expensive sport, costing top competitors $100,000 per year or more.

Without funding, it can be next-to-impossible for a skater to step out onto the ice for that first event—no matter how amazing his talent, or how good his programs. And we can’t imagine this upcoming Grand Prix series without Johnny!

What Johnny wants more than anything is to make his comeback dream a reality. And who better to help make it possible for Johnny to return to the ice than the people who most want to see him there, and for whom he most wants to skate: his fans?

And that's us!

So fans came up with a simple idea to help out. And the idea was presented to Patti Weir, who has graciously given us permission to go forward with it!

That means our birthday gift is now a two-fold project:

(1) A donation to Garden State Equality in honor of both Johnny’s and Victor’s birthdays, and in honor of their marriage; and

(2) The initial establishment/endowment of a simple, gift-based training fund for Johnny: “Johnny’s Comeback Gift Fund.” Fans can contribute to the fund all year-round—not just for Johnny’s birthday. This will become an ongoing project of Show Johnny Weir the Love, and the gifts collected in the fund will be given to Johnny on a regular basis.

Patti will work with us to make sure that Johnny receives our donations. And periodically Patti will post a message on Johnny’s official website to let us know how his training is going, and thanking fans for their gifts to help Johnny achieve his comeback dream.

So if you'd like to participate, please know that half of your birthday gift will be donated to Garden State Equality, and the other half will go toward establishing Johnny’s Comeback Gift Fund.

Just think: If every one of his 109,443 fans on Twitter alone donated just $1 to his training... !

As always, please send your birthday project donation via PayPal to annaa63@hotmail.com. Just $5 gets your name on the card! Deadline to participate is Friday, June 22. 

We also are launching a website where fans can donate to Johnny's Comeback Gift Fund year-round. More details on that coming soon!!!

(Note: Please be sure to choose "gift" when sending your donation via PayPal, and please include the word "gift" in the optional message field.)



In fact, the "Johnny's Comeback Gift Fund" website launched last night! It currently links back to the Facebook group, but once the birthday project has been completed, a PayPal link administered by Patti will be added to the website to make it easy to donate to the gift fund year-round.

Since the project was announced, there has been a fair amount of discussion about it. Please know that, of course, there's no pressure, no obligation, and no salesman will call. Here's a brief FAQ about what we're doing:

(1) Why is Johnny asking his fans for money? He's NOT. The gift fund was created by fans as a surprise for Johnny. He's never solicited cash donations from fans, although fans have stepped up to help make his dreams come true in the past. Skating's expensive, whether you're just starting out or at the elite level. Even skaters who receive USFSA funding also receive help from foundations and directly from fan contributions.

(2) Why not do this as a Kickstarter or ChipIn campaign? Kickstarter is designed to fund creative projects rather than competitive athletes. ChipIn is a great site, but Show Johnny Weir the Love would prefer to run this project in the same way that the group has handled special gifts for Johnny since 2010. We'd also have to set a specific end date with ChipIn, which doesn't fit what we hope to do.

(3) Why not donate to the New England Amateur Skating Foundation instead? This very worthwhile fund has accepted cash gifts on Johnny's behalf in the past. Donations to their program are tax-deductible. However, due to their structure as a charitable program, NEASF is unable to guarantee that money earmarked for Johnny will necessarily go to Johnny.

(4) Are our gifts tax-deductible? No, unfortunately, we're not set up as a nonprofit agency. But we're also not looking for huge sums of money from individual donors whom we've alerted that he's really a Nigerian prince who needs your help to reclaim his untold fortune. The idea is just to send him a few bucks as a gift. Like you would if he were your kid. Although, unlike with your kid, you will get a receipt (well, maybe your kids give you receipts. Mine don't. Sometimes I get hugs. Other times--just a grunt or an eyeroll...). 

(5) Doesn't Johnny really just want a sponsor rather than fan donations? It would be wonderful to see Johnny backed by a corporate sponsor! (BRB filing letters of incorporation for The Cabal LLC...). And I'm sure we're all ever hopeful that this will happen. However, until then, if every one of his fans on Twitter / Facebook / Weibo / etc. gave just $1 to help defray the costs of his competitive season, we'd be offering him solid financial backing (though sadly minus the sparkly onesie crafted entirely of sponsor logos...)

(6) Why not designate our donations to pay for a specific expense? To this, I offer a personal answer, speaking only for myself: When I give a gift, it's just exactly that--a gift. Freely given. With love. No strings attached. I trust that it will be used however it needs to be used. Patti Weir will be at the helm of this gift fund. I would trust that woman with my own children. And thus there's no one on earth I would trust more than Patti to use our gifts for Johnny wisely and well.

The beauty of this simple PayPal gift fund is exactly that: its simplicity. 

We love.

We give.

He skates.

Everybody wins.

You know, we can't go out on the ice for him. We can't land quads for him. We can't tailor his choreography or hold an audience spellbound or control what the judges do. What we can do is help ensure that, of all the stresses that go along with returning to competition, money isn't one of them.

Johnny's fans are known around the world for their fierce devotion to him. Now we have an amazing opportunity to actually BE a part of Johnny's comeback. So please spread the word to every Johnny fan you know. As has been noted, "the absolute and terrifying power of Johnny's fanbase is kind of legendary." Let's put our legendary selves to work to help Johnny achieve his mighty dream. 

Because, as my dear friend Karen Weeks said: 

His dream is our dream. 



"A Hell of an Afternoon..."

Not his best day ever: Photo of Johnny 
receiving medical attention, tweeted Tuesday afternoon 
by Victor: "Dehydrated and exhausted. It's been a hell of
an afternoon. Let's all send good vibes to @JohnnyGWeir." 
Worried fans responded with a deluge of well wishes 
to the husbands, and were immensely relieved 
when Victor tweeted about four hours later: 
"@JohnnyGWeir is home safe and in bed. 
Thank you everyone for all your wishes. We love you!" 
We love you both, too. #ThankGodforVictor



Bonus pics from the holiday weekend!! 
Adorable artwork tweeted by @ayukovon. 
Yes, Tyoma looms large in their lives....


And gorgeous pic tweeted by Victor:
 "‪#HH‬ on Holiday."



Yes, we're also doing a wedding gift
 for Tara and Joshwho were married on May 10! 
As always, just $5 gets your name on the card. 
Please send via PayPal to misfitmimes@gmail.com
Deadline is Monday, June 11. Mazel tov!!



From "The Essence of Poetry," the latest series 
of black-and-white photos of Johnny at rehearsal. 
Not to be missed. 
Photo © David Ingogly.



HE REALLY, REALLY IS!! 
Landing quads and kicking ass 
at a Grand Prix event near you!
Read his comeback statement 
on his website!



New on Johnny's website!! Johnny returns 
to perform again in Sun Valley this summer! 
He'll be the headliner at the Saturday, August 4, ice show, 
and tickets are on sale now!! Don't miss it!



Please click to vote for Johnny 
once a day as "Best Sportsman"
Because he retweeted Luisa Lotka to tell us 
he wants us to! (Note: With his "58.132" rating, 
he is currently in 1st place in both 
Figure Skating AND across all sports!)



New on Johnny's website!!
In early June he'll be heading to China 
for Artistry on Ice: Red Temptation
Weibo, here we come!!



It's not too late! Subscribe now 
and get the entire Johnny Weir perspective, 
including his never-before-heard free skate commentary 
available exclusively on icenetwork.com!



Q and A! Go read it now!



with MAC is pretty much sold out, 
but I'm leaving this video on here 
for a little while longer 
because I love it so much.



Yes! Johnny's dresses are now available
for purchase only on eDressMe.com!



At last: Pop Star On Ice is now available on DVD!
Order yours today from the Pop Star On Ice website!



Johnny tweeted:
"Buy my single,'Dirty Love' via iTunes.
Tell all your friends to as well. The more copies sold
takes me one step closer to making a video! №1!"

IN THE SAME WAY THAT IT NEEDS AIR.
You know what to do.
Please buy the song from Johnny's website,
or just click the "Buy" button on the player
at the top of the blog!



Hey, Welcome to My World also is available
as an eBook! More info on Johnny's website!


copyright 2012 / Binky and the Misfit Mimes / Lynn V. Ingogly / all rights reserved
This post is featured on Binky's Johnny Weir Blog's page at Sports Blogs.

5 comments:

Angela Gripesalot said...

1. I preferred the sharp-edge pictures more; soft-focus is just so... soft focus. Heh.

2. I have PayPal; I will answer your call!

Bless.

germansoulmate said...

Thanks for clearing things up b/c there seem to be some...people who already twist Johnny´s tweet into a direction he has never intended to go.

I will happily take part in this special fan project with what I can give. It will not be muc but as you have said, every little Dollar counts.

I would like Johnny to know that his fans have his back.

aaaack said...

Seeing Johnny so thin and gaunt makes me think about the extreme demands of ice skating and dance on the body. And reminds me also of the anorexic demands made on racing jockeys. Sending good health vibes toward New Jersey and hoping that Galina will be understanding.

Meanwhile, my health insurance company switched my primary care physicians without telling me directly, so now I owe $3000 in medical expenses despite paying $2000 in medical premiums since January. Despite recovery from a Lyme-like tick-borne disease, I'm feeling ill for insurance claims denial reasons. If most of my petitions and appeals are approved, I might be able to help Johnny.

Meanwhile, I'm watching Johnny's skate of a Chaplinesque "Smile." And relating to your daughter's blog.

Carmina said...

..sending plenty of warm hugs (not too warm though, can't have him overheat and be back in the hospital!) and well wishes Johnny's way...and, yes, I will be sending along my support of the other kind, at some point - without a doubt...

PS ...I encourage the use of my funds to be used towards keeping him fueled by Starbucks!

Maggie St. said...

Heck, I don't need a receipt, I'd be thrilled with a grunt or an eyeroll from Johnny! LOL

Seriously contemplating taking a weekend job to help out Johnny.

Heck, even cranky people can be greeters at Wal*Mart too, yes??