29/05/2007: DUSTED! We managed to climb Ben on the 27th as planned. The weather was fine and all had a wonderful time. I've written up the experience here, and you can find details of my offline donations here. Thanks for all the support!
10/04/2007: Thank you for visiting my fundraising page. Please dig deep and... No. NO. I refuse to use the stock template. If I'm going to hit you all up for money, then the least I can do is give you something different and possibly even entertaining to read, huh? After all, you're going to be sponsoring me, right? Right?
I know these things induce eye rolling for some of you (or perhaps just me), so instead of giving you the usual spiel (usually involving orphans and the like) here are THE FACTS:
* The climb is for Ulfa Aid. See here. Ulfa Aid was set up by the Imam of Yusuf Islam's Islamia School, so you know it's legit and worthy and all that. Cough cough.
* The event is to get to the top of Ben Nevis. Now, apparently, Ben Nevis is the tallest peak in the UK. It even has snow at the top. Crikey!
* I'm not training for this. This will mean it will be difficult for me, which in turn implies I will experience a certain level of pain during the ascent. That's worth anybody's money, I'm sure you'll agree.
* Since I'm late on the whole fundraising thing, it seems that a few... "astute" friends of mine have poached potential sponsors that I may have had access to. I won't name these devious fiends, but it'd be real justice if you all showed her that blatant cheating alone won't enable her get the highest amount of sponsorship. Uh... Not that it's a competition or anything: Good luck to her! GO TEAM!
* If you're a UK tax payer then bad luck: I feel your pain. On the bright side, sponsoring me means that the UK Government will boost your donation by a whopping 28%! Bonus! Just make sure you tick the little box declaring you pay tax and bob's your uncle. This doesn't apply to those of you with dodgy accounting practices, so you'll just have to give me the extra 28% manually.
* I'll need to confirm this, but my workplace may be willing to match your donations; for simplicity let's just assume that they will. This means that your 10, 20 or 50 pounds is actually worth 20, 40 or 100! Mega bonus! And no, that doesn't mean you get to donate half as much.
* Every donation puts you in a draw to win an SUPER SECRET PRIZE! (Prize may be of little or no monetary value)
* I'm sure I have at least one more bullet point left in me. Um. Have I mentioned the orphans yet?
If you would like to help Ulfa Aid and have a second to spare, then just click on that there button above and hand over some funds (not forgetting that all important UK tax declaration worth an extra 28%). Any amount will be graciously received (since I know some of you put even my frugality to shame).
To maximise your donation (Justgiving take a fee of 5% of your donation plus CC charges - that's at least £1 out of each £20), I would strongly request that sponsorships of over £20 be passed to me directly. If that's convenient for you, then I can be contacted at sshaikh at hotmail, or at www.radioshak.co.uk. If not, then I'd love to hear from you anyway!
If you choose not to sponsor me, then I respect that decision. I can see why some would choose not to give money to a good cause. There's no pressure here, and you supporting me will not affect our relationship in any way. Although, ladies (and possibly, men), you should know that the more you put out, the more I might in return.
Although perhaps that last bit isn't really appropriate. Hmm.
Thanking you kindly.