Last year, I challenged the IBM i community to raise funds for the Al Barsa Memorial Scholarship. Thanks to your contributions and some generous matching grantors, we raised $2,860.

I think we can exceed that excellent figure.

This time, we have even more matching grantors on board, each one contributing a dollar for dollar match. For example, midrange.com and Jim Oberholtzer of Agile Technology Architects will match up to $300, while Larry Bolhuis of Franken i, Pete Helgren of Value Added Software, Jerry Adams, and Pete Massiello of iTech Solutions will each match up to $500.

So if we can raise $500 … we’ll have a total of $3100.

Ratcheting up the generosity, John Earl of Townsend Security will match all contributions above $500 (up to $500).

This would make the total $4100.

Update 5-Dec: Kevin Mort of Flagship Solutions Group / GlobalMind Technology Consulting (and one of Frankies minders) is raising the bar on the challenge … he’s offered to do a dollar for dollar match on everything we can raise over $500 (to a maximum of $500).

This makes the grand total $4600!

Al Barsa was a pillar of the IBM i community. A passionate advocate for the platform, he was a prolific COMMON presenter, a past president of the Long Island Systems User group, and a very active member of various midrange.com mailing lists.

Al passed away just after the 2008 Spring COMMON Conference ended.  In response to a dramatic public response, the COMMON Education Foundation created, and now manages, the Al Barsa Memorial Scholarship. From the COMMON Education Foundation website: “This scholarship will honor an individual who exemplifies Al’s commitment and dedication to the IBM i community, is a mentor to others, and is an advocate for the IBM i community”

To contribute, download the contribution form from the COMMON Education Foundation website and send it in described in the form (http://urlq.us/abs-contribute).  Just make a note on the form indicating that your contribution is for the Al Barsa Challenge.  If you wish to contribute, please let me know … you can email me directly or fill out this form  http://urlq.us/abs-pledge.

The challenge will run from November 14th through December 16th.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at david <at> midrange.com.

NOTE: The COMMON Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization and, as such, all donations are tax deductible to the extent of the law. Please contact your tax adviser for specific guidance.

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Note: I also serve on the COMMON Education Foundation’s Board of Directors.  Thanks to Ryan Rhodes for his help with this announcement (I’m better at computer languages than human <grin/>).

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 midrange.com. His personal blog is Geeky Ramblings.