Dean is running the 2012 Antarctica Marathon to promote fitness and raise money for penguin conservation!



Crazy Things I’ve Done for Conservation

Over the course of the last several months, I’ve done some strange things to support penguin conservation…

I ran a half marathon in a head-to-toe penguin suit.
I started the race in last place and passed over 500 runners. Let me tell you, that suit was swelteringly hot. Ironic, yes.

Endured 50 Miles on a Treadmill at the Zoo
Back in December, I ran 50 miles on a treadmill at Riverbanks’s Zoo penguin exhibit. Even the penguins wondered if I’d lost my marbles.

Sacrificed a Prized Comic

I auctioned off my mint copy of The Amazing Spider an #252. Someone else now owns this little piece of nerd history. I told the buyer that I fully expected them to sing it to sleep every night.

Discovered ThermaJock
I ran into a fine company that has developed a cold-weather product for that special part of the male anatomy. Apparently, they also specialize in euphemisms. And they have an odd mascot.

Secured an Original and Rare Earnest Lee
Renowned painter of El Greco style chickens, Earnest Lee didn’t think painting penguins was the least bit necessary. After several rounds of abject begging, Lee agreed to make the switch. Ten minutes later, he produced a plywood masterwork.

Geeked-out with the Waddlers
The folks at Case-Mate gave me a batch lovely penguin-themed iPhone cases to give away. I photographed them with my favorite friends first.

Got My Warholian 15 Minutes
How many penguins does it take to secure the front page of The State, coverage on all four local networks (repeatedly), two magazine spreads, a series of electronic billboards and a wide array of online blog stories? Apparently just one.

Received a Pointed Letter from the SC Secretary of State

I am now monumentally aware of the various laws and statues governing the proper non-profit solicitation of funds in our fine state. I also have decidedly stark opinions of said laws and statutes.

Roasted Oysters at an Antebellum Plantation

Vying to win an award for oddly juxtaposed party themes, we held an oyster roast supporting penguins that funded an off-continent environmental cause amidst Halloween decor at an Southern antebellum mansion while listening to live music offering critique of Southern culture. The evening was brought to a close by local police enforcing noise ordinances. Fabulous in every way.

Acquired Copious Amounts of Chocolate
While the fine people at Endangered Species Chocolate did not elect to fund Oceanites (they already do great deal for conservation), they did send me something like a metric ton of chocolate.

That’s not all…
Only the people at flo know what’s in store on February 28th, two days before I leave. And wait until you hear what I plan to do when I get to Antarctica….

I want you to do something crazy as well… DONATE! »



Give and Ye Shall Receive

I believe in reciprocity. Fear not, I won’t give you krill. Though if you were a penguin, you’d find that delectable. Alas, you are human. Donate to penguin conservation and I’ll give you more palatable rewards:

Video Thank You from the Frozen Continent
I’ll film a video shout-out to you direct from Antarctica. You’ll feel like you’ve been there, except you won’t get the slightest bit cold. Bonus: Your social network will flip.

Fine Art
Three amazing posters have been created for the occasion by graphic designers of enviable talent. Your poster will be signed and ready to adorn your home of office. Far better than an NPR coffee mug, these will instantly raise your coolness quotient.

What’s your favorite?

True Satisfaction
You’ll experience the joy of knowing you’ve contributed to real-world conservation, a beautiful thing to do with your hard-earned resources.

Tax Deduction
Foil the tax man! Oceanites is a 501(C)(3) organization. Your gift is delightfully tax deductible. Cha-ching!

Go for it! Donate Today! »

Missed The Top Ten Reasons to Donate for Penguins? Check it out. Reason number 4 is clearly the best.


Bringing it Home

Together, we’ve already raised close to $23,000 for Oceanites (Antarctic and penguin conservation) and another $2,500 for the Riverbanks Society Conservation Support Fund (Humboldt penguin protection in Peru).

This is a BIG deal. I’m so thankful to be surrounded by such generous people!

The final fundraising push is underway. Let’s raise $2,300 more by the time I leave for Antarctica on March 1st! That will put us over the 25k mark with Oceanites; a serious haul for real-world conservation.

$2,300 breaks down to about $110 a day between now and when I depart for the frozen South.

Totally doable!

Heck yeah! I want to donate »


Remember, donors get a wonderful original poster (signed by the artist) and a video shout out direct from Antarctica! Don’t forget, your gift is tax deductible as well…

Watch facebook and twitter for other donor giveaways!


Look Too Much and You’ll Never leap

When the opportunity to run the 2012 Antarctica Marathon tweeted across my iPhone, I jumped at the chance. When I found out that I would have to be chosen for the privilege of fundraising, I wrote a letter virtually demanding that Marathon Tours & Travel pick me immediately. When it became clear that I’d have to raise a huge amount of money, I never hesitated. When fundraising proved more difficult than I’d imagined, I refused to give up.

I don’t mean to toot my own horn. Honestly.

I want to encourage you.

The paralysis of anxiety, fear and doubt stops us from doing a great many things. Our reasons for inaction may seem completely logical and prudent. But I assure you, when our number is about up, we won’t fuss much about what we’ve done in life. Rather, we’ll lament the things we didn’t do.

Success is not certain. Life is not fair. Somewhere, somehow a bureaucracy will interminably frustrate you. The unknown is scary. Heisenberg was right; You can’t predict everything.

So go for it.

Help me finish the job! Donate to Antarctic & penguin conservation! »


Thirty Days and Counting…

In a mere thirty days, I depart for the frozen South.

I’ve got a lot to do, and precious little time left. I have to cram/train for the actual marathon, forge a plan for interacting with South American taxi drivers, acquire AT&T’s best Argentinian plan, and buy a specialized garment called (I hope I get this right) a “coat”.

To commemorate this phase of the adventure, I will write a post every day, right up until my departure for Antarctica via Buenos Aires and Tierra del Fuego. That’s thirty days of offbeat travel preparation, Ushuaian weather reports, and blistering insurance complexity. What fun we’ll have!

Mostly however, I want to encourage you to give.

Together, we’re funding real conservation science in Antarctica. And I think that’s just plain cool. My lofty goal, which once seemed unattainable is now wholly in view. We’re only three thousand dollars away from the magical twenty-five thousand mark. Amazing!

Every donation, no matter the size, is wonderfully helpful and deeply appreciated. Certainly, the Antarctic penguins will squawk your praises. As well they should.

Giving is easy!
Donate online through »

Now, if you’ll pardon me, it’s time to train in patently ironic, horrendously gorgeous seventy degree winter weather…

See you tomorrow,

– Dean


Because You’re Fancy

Tired of that boring iPhone 4/4S case? Yearn for something more interesting; something unique? Want to proclaim your love for penguins to all who see you chatting or texting?

Problem solved.

I am giving Waddler Cases to donors.
The wonderful people at Case-Mate have seen fit to give me a bunch of their iPhone 4/4S Waddler cases. I am giving them away (while supplies last) to folks who donate $100 or more to penguin conservation.

From his raised flipper to the attached webbed feet charm, the penguin-inspired design takes shape with colors and geometrical lines. Combining a textured silicone with modular sections of smooth, plastic colors, the playful case covers and protects your iPhone. The captivating charm of this flightless bird, including the innovative lay flat design, truly elevates him to womanizer status.

Waddle on over to my FirstGiving site to make your donation to this fine cause. Then drop me a line about which color Waddler you’d like!

– Dean


Fifty Miles with Penguins: My Uplifting Day at the Zoo…

Running 50 miles is a chore, yes, but it is a task made much easier when surrounded by friends, well-wishers, the incredible Zoo staff and of course, the wonderful penguins! A sense of community and purpose resounded from the birdhouse Saturday. I feel privileged to have been a part of it.

I began the day at 9:20 AM and finished up at 8:30pm. Through 5pm, I was inside the birdhouse right near the irresistibly cute penguins. I narrated the penguin feedings, joked with visitors, talked to the media and thoroughly enjoyed all the fantastic, inspiring artwork done by children. Later, I moved out to the main courtyard and finished up the run along with the jolly crowds enjoying Lights at the Zoo. I finished in just over eleven hours and honestly enjoyed every single minute.

I can’t say enough about our amazing Zoo. What a treasure, full of dedicated and passionate people. Special appreciation goes to Lexington Medical Center for the faithful support and huge banners. Thanks also to the Northwest YMCA for loaning the treadmill (they’ll have to forgive me if I avoid indoor cardio for a while).

Most excellent and humble thanks go to everyone who donated for the penguins on Saturday! You have done a great service to the cause of conservation. Now I hope you’ll go a bit further… encourage all your friends and colleagues to donate as well. Together we’ll reach this goal!

Donate to penguin conservation!

Thankful (and a bit tired),

– Dean

(Deadline 03/2012)

Raised so far!

Please give to, a wonderful non-profit dedicated to Antarctic Conservation and of course, penguins.

Heck Yeah!
I want to donate!

Donate and GET STUFF!

All Donors receive:

A beautiful poster created for this occasion by award-winning graphic designers. Signed by the artist of course.

A video thank you from me, directly from Antarctica.

Satisfaction that you've done a good deed by supporting conservation!

(All donations are tax deductible as well!)