I have a contest to help raise money for Autism Awareness.

A few months ago I bought two tickets to see Paul F. Tompkins, an excellent comedian who will be making a triumphant return to Seattle in May. Last week, my wife (who loves to laugh but not necessarily at all the same things I do) suggested I offer one of my tickets as a prize to giveaway in a drawing. To enter, a person can make a donation to our Walk Now for Autism Speaks team. I loved this idea and built on it.

The next morning, I wrote Paul F. Tompkins the following email:

Dear Paul F. Tompkins,

Autism Speaks is an organization dedicated to increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders, to funding research into the causes, prevention and treatments for autism, and to advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. This signature fundraising event brings together hundreds of thousands of participants annually across the United States and Canada with a common goal of supporting Autism Speaks. So here's the reason for my borderline intrusive email. . .

My son has Autism and it is a subject I passionately want to raise awareness about. This is why I have decided to hold a charity contest giveaway for my extra ticket to your show in Seattle on May 15. Hopeful winners can enter by making a minimum $20 donation at my Walk Now for Autism Speaks team page. After the yet-to-be determined deadline, I will print out the names of the donors and post a video on the team page announcing the winner.

Would you be interested in participating in my giveaway by offering an autographed copy of Freak Wharf and perhaps a pre-show backstage hand-shake and photograph? If so, I can promise three things:

1. Donations received go directly from the team page to the organization. In other words, I will never be handling any of the funds. It is legit.
2. Getting out the word, organizing details, contacting the winner, arranging meeting up with you at the venue with the contest winner, etc will all be handled by me. It will require only a little extra time and generosity on your part.
3. It is for an extremely good cause and my son would be eternally thankful.

If you are interested, please let me know and I will make the necessary changes to my team page and get this thing rolling! To make replying simple and to avoid divulging private email addresses, you can simply reply to me via twitter. I look forward to hearing from you and all is well.


Chase Roper

Just like that, and he was on board. For a moment, I felt as though all things were possible. The next step was to get some press for this charity giveaway. I wrote up a press release and sent off some emails to various radio stations, newspapers, etc and didn't really get a large response. The producer for The Bob Rivers Show on KZOK wrote back and between her, Paul, and myself, we were able to work out a phone interview with the station and Paul for 4/29 at 8:35. This is just one day before the end of the contest deadline. I really wanted this to be something big. Something that drives more donations for Autism Speaks, and makes myself and the comic I have involved now, feel like a difference was made.

Yesterday, I was in contact with Justin Wieging, the Pacific Northwest manager for Autism Speaks. He was awesome enough to blast out an email to their mailing list about the drawing as well as post it prominently on the Walk Now home page.

Here is was I am asking you to do (Besides donate and enter to win for yourself.)

At the top of this post, you'll see both a Facebook and Twitter button. Please share this with your social networking friends. It is for a great cause and for most parents who have children with Autism, it is one of the few things you can do that feels like you helping the fight against autism. Right now, I feel like the contest is going nowhere, and it is immensely frustrating. Below are some clips of Paul F. Tompkins and the details for the contest including links to the donations page are at the very top of this website.

Here is a clip from his upcoming one hour special for Comedy Central, discussing people in Hollywood who dress up like movie characters for the tourists. One time, a Freddy Krueger stabbed a dude.

Paul F. Tompkins - True Stabbing Story
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