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Thread: JB Memorial Moving Forward

  1. #1
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    Default JB Memorial Moving Forward

    Friends, please read and, most importantly, respond!

    Shadenfrau and I have been moving behind the scenes to find a unique way to memorialize J.B. Hehman (aka TLOZ Link5), who many of us have now read was killed when he was hit by a car while being chased by a group of teens in Harlem. We want this memorial to celebrate his life, his love of New York and his spirit of compassion. This afternoon I spoke to a representative from The New Your Restoration Project. You can view their website here:

    http://www.nyrp.org/nygt_gardenlocator.htm

    I had a very productive discussion with them and they are interested in working with us to create a fitting memorial to JB, hopefully right in East Harlem where he was tragically killed. I will be reconvening with the representative in a couple of days as they review the options for WiredNewYork members and people who loved JB and have found this thread and forum. I proposed that we work with the New York Restoration Project to restore / beautify / clean-up one of the many community gardens that exist in this city. It would be a strong statement to bring a beautiful park setting to the neighborhood and, particularly the children and families, of the neighborhood where JB lost his life.

    We have definite opportunities to work with them in the Bronx and Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, but I think I impressed on the gentleman how strongly JB advocated for development and investment in the poorest parts of the city - especially Upper Manhattan. I asked specifically for a project in the neighborhood where he passed and we might well have an opportunity.

    We discussed ideas that centered on cleaning up an existing park, bringing new plantings into the garden and planting a tree in JB's memory with a plaque below commemorating is life. Think of it as JBs garden - a gift of love and life in the community to show people that a good heart and compassion do get rewarded.

    A number of logistical questions came up that forum members must help us with immediately...

    First off, we all enjoy anonymity in this on-line community. I recognize that some of us might want to retain that anonymity (Like me, who has annoyed everyone on here at one time or another). I am proposing to pre-print name tags of the biggest celebrities and socialites. People can show up and decide on the spot who you will be - no one need to loss their anonymity - but no one need lose out on this opportunity for fear of losing it either.

    If we were to put together a clean-up, planting, and plaque dedication ceremony (likely all in one day), I need to know who at this point believes they will join us and how many people would join you. We are shooting for a May / early June date. Please be conservative in your estimates as we would rather over shoot our attendance estimate that fail to produce the number of workers we need to participate. We will make this day a celebration of JBs life, so please do not underestimate your value if you feel that gardening and labor are not your thing. Support and spirit are ultimately what this is about - your energy will propel those with the strength and skills forward.

    I spoke with The New York Restoration project about setting up a dedicated fund for this project under the auspices of The New York Restoration Project. It would likely work that we would make checks or on-line payments payable to The New York Restoration Project and note in the subject line "JB Hehman Memorial Fund."

    So, here is what I need ASAP from forum members and any family, friends and fans of JB (TLOZ). Please respond in this thread if you believe you can be a part of the actually restoration - specifically to volunteer for the day or part of the day. Naturally, we would have an appropriate dedication to JB at day's end. The actual date will be announced at a later date. This is volunteering based on what you know at this point about the project. I am sure availability will change as dates are announced.

    The second part is about funding our project. In the interest of not putting anyone on the spot, I have created a hotmail account to solicit initial pledges. This account will be monitored by Shadenfrau, Lofter1, Stern and myself. The email address is HehmanMemorialFund@hotmail.com. Please put your forum user name in the subject line along with the dollar amount you contribute. We will not collect funds through any members, but will utilize The New York Restoration Project to allow contributions to be funneled to the project and be tax-deductible. Please check with your employers to see if they offer matching contributions.

    Please note that I have directed The New York Restoration Project to this forum as they were very intrigued with the community we have created here. They will be reading both our posts about JB and JB's (TLOZ Link5) posts about New York to better understand us and him. I have created a separated thread in Forum Issues for you to address messages to them as we develop this project.

    It seems there is a certain critical mass we are reaching in this on-line community as we see whether forums such as this do have the power to make a difference in our world.

    Thank you all for your participation and responses.
    Last edited by BrooklynRider; April 13th, 2006 at 01:56 PM.

  2. #2

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    This is fantastic, BrooklynRider. Excellent work on your part.

    I'll definitely volunteer for the labor.

    I just got off the phone with my boyfriend, and he'd like to build a bench, or whatever else is needed, for the park, if that's okay.

  3. #3

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    Brooklyn: Unfortunately I will not be able to help with labour, but will be happy to make a donation to the fund. Keep us posted. I will be in the US in August and look forward to seeing the results of the project.

  4. #4
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    I'm sending a PM to BrooklynRider, but I will do what I can to assist. I haven't been on the board for several days; I am very pleased that folks care enough to do background work and thus create an opportunity so that we all can participate. Your efforts are greatly appreciated, they truly honor JB.

  5. #5
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    Brooklyn- thanks so much for doing all this legwork. I'd be happy to help in any way I can. I'm a bit unclear on what the funding is for, though - is it just for the clean up & plantings for the garden?

  6. #6
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    Actually, that is just me assuming that new plants, shrubs, and a tree that is more than a stick with two branches will cost money. I think we would all like to see a lasting brass or other weather appropriate marker place in JB's honor as well. It all costs money and I believe that degree to which we can contribute both financially and with labor to this project will determine the scope of what we can do. New York Restoration Project has not asked for funding - we are offering it. A clean-up is all labor but presenting a gift to the community will cost some more. I think we should try to provide this project with support on all fronts. This is New York and nothing is cheap (let alone free).

    But, point taken, Ryan. I think this offers members living outside the city a way to spur us on to do it right. Also, my vision is to really make this a labor of love / celebration of life. I plan on working hard. It would nice for us to provide cold beverages and snacks to volunteers. Again, this is my presumption and perhaps my singular vision. NY Restoration Project has made no request at this point.
    Last edited by BrooklynRider; April 13th, 2006 at 01:57 PM.

  7. #7
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    Is there a financial threshhold that needs to be met to have the garden renamed? In fundraising it always helps to have a goal.

  8. #8
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    You got Jersey here to help as well. I will do whatever I can to help all anybody needs to do is ask. I will do whatever is in my capability to help. I will help with the garden as well since I don't live far at all. I also have asked BKRider what I can do. So you have me to call on. It will be an honor and a privilage to help and participate in the spirit of JB's life.

  9. #9
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    BR - NYRP is a great organization and the perfect conduit for JB's Memorial.

    Count me in for a donation -- I'll send you a PM with more info.

    I agree that a "Target Goal" stating an amount would be helpful.

  10. #10
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    BR -- Thanks again for taking the lead on this -- kudos, too, to Schadenfrau.

    Like I said: NYRP is perfect (I've been a supporter of them for a while).

    Count me in for starters at $100 ...

    I could adjust that once I get further news of the needs of the Memorial from NYRP.
    Last edited by lofter1; April 11th, 2006 at 08:07 AM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryan
    Is there a financial threshhold that needs to be met to have the garden renamed? In fundraising it always helps to have a goal.
    Generally speaking, renaming options have a cost beyond what we can raise. The Family Garden was restored and renamed by Tiffany & Co. with a price tag of $250,000. We can shoot for the moon, but a renaming option is not a realistic goal our pool of donors.
    Last edited by BrooklynRider; April 13th, 2006 at 02:00 PM.

  12. #12

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    Id like to make a donation for this project.

  13. #13

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    I'm not really a gardener, but I would be happy to donate. What a completely senseless tragedy. If we are going to do this, shouldn't the garden be named after JB?

  14. #14

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    This is a great idea. Good work, BR and Shadenfrau.
    Count on my donation.

  15. #15
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Bravo, Brooklynrider and Shadenfrau, for your selfless and excellent groundwork to get the ball rolling.

    I wish I could fly over from Oz to help with labour, but you can certainly count on my donation.

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