As many of you know, the COMMON Education Foundation’s Al Barsa Memorial Scholarship is very important to me.

A discussion thread on MIDRANGE-L was the impetus for the scholarship and has made a yearly contribution.

This year, however, I want to try something different.

I’m going to borrow something from public broadcasting … and do a CHALLENGE grant.

A challenge grant is pretty simple … for every dollar contributed by other people, will also contribute a dollar (up to a maximum of $300). This challenge is going to run today until December 24th.

Because this is somewhat spur of the moment, I wasn’t able to setup a formal mechanism to handle this … so I’m going to use the honor method of verifying contribution. Email me directly and tell me how much you are going to contribute and will match it.

If you have any questions, feel free to comment on this post or email me directly.

Duane Christen had a great idea also …

I would like to suggest that if anyone else is so inclined, to contribute to the Al Barsa Scholarship in memory of Lukas Beeler and /or Simon Coulter, two exceptional contributors to the IBM i community, and specifically, who passed away this year.

Small disclaimer … I am, at least in theory, on the board of the COMMON Education Foundation.

Thanks to my brother Mitch (who happens to be non-profit charitable giving expert) for the idea.


Q: Where should contributions be sent?
A: Send contributions directly to the COMMON Education Foundation using the forms they provide. The URL is

UPDATE 29-Nov-2010

We’ve received additional matching grant commitments from Pete Massiello and Larry ‘Dr. Franken’ Bolhuis. So every $1 contributed by the community will be matched with an additional $3 (up to a maximum of $300). Assuming we hit the maximum of $300, a total of $1200 will be contributed.

Thanks Larry & Pete!

Update 9-Dec-2010:

Well, we’ve met the initial $300 challenge with room to spare.

However, to challenge the community further, Townsend Security (by way of John Earl) has offered a dollar for dollar match on all contributions from $301 to $800.

Thanks Patrick & John!

Update 10-Dec-2010:

Pete Massiello has increased his matching contribution to $500!

Thanks again Pete!

About David:
David is a Principal Software Engineer for PTC, Integrity Business Unit. He cut his teeth on the S/36 and has more than 25 years of experience on the IBM i / System i / iSeries / AS400. He primarily works in Java and ILE RPG specializing in cross platform integrations. David has received the COMMON Distinguished Service award and was named an IBM Power Systems Champion. David is an active volunteer with the American Diabetes Association's Tour de Cure fundraising bike ride. He is currently captain of Team RED Chicago. David runs and maintains His personal blog is Geeky Ramblings.