Devs For Wendy – Benefit Dinner Update…

Two weeks ago, I posted here at about a benefit dinner being held July 7th, 2010 to support one of our own NYC area developers, Wendy Friedlander who has been stricken with a rare form of cancer.  This benefit dinner is being organized by multiple folks in the community, spearheaded by Sara Chipps.  Stephen Bohlen has posted an update on his blog that I think is worthy of being re-shared here.  In short, the dinner will be more than a dinner as some notable speakers in the community have agreed to come and speak to attendees, providing some edu-taining value besides supporting the generous cause of helping Wendy & her family.

Via Stephen Bohlen…

After taking some time to recover from treatment and reconnect with her family, Wendy hopes to return to her coding ways.

And we hope to welcome her back!

What Can *YOU* Do To Make a Difference?


To help them financially and to show support for them emotionally, the NYC-area software development community is organizing a benefit dinner to help raise money for Wendy and her family.  This brilliant idea was started by Sara Chipps and I have been contributing what effort I can to assist in helping out where needed.

This dinner will be held At 7pm on this coming Wednesday evening July 7th in New York City – the exact location is still awaiting confirmation (and may need to vary based on the number of RSVPs we receive).

The cost of this dinner is $75 per person and 100% of all proceeds go direct to Wendy and her family.  Its likely that the dinner will consist merely of the oh-so-common user-group fare of Pizza and Soda so you can rest assured that probably $65 or more of every $75 collected will go to benefit Wendy.

You can RSVP for the dinner here – and the sooner the better so that we can begin to select a location capable of accommodating the right number of attendees.  Payment is accepted via most major credit cards, PayPal, and even electronic check if that suits you.

Times are Hard, I can’t Quite Swing the $75


If you don’t think you can handle the $75 per person cost of attending the dinner, cannot adjust your schedule in time to attend, or are simply too remote to attend the event, please consider strongly making a donation directly to Wendy and her family.

Donations are accepted here and may be made in ANY amount you feel comfortable contributing.  1$, 5$, $10, $50 or more – the wonderful thing about SCALE is that even the smallest of contributions when added together can often produce GIANT results.  If even 100 people each gave $10, that would be $1000 for Wendy and her family.

Think about it.  Really.  Please.

A Very Special Guest Speaker :

Charles Petzold

image We are very pleased to be able to announce that Charles Petzold has graciously agreed to be our featured speaker at the event!  Author of about a gazillion books on Programming, Computers, .NET, and more, if you have never had the pleasure of watching him deliver a talk, you are in for a real treat!

Clever, entertaining, enthusiastic, and informative, Charles never fails to deliver a talk worth seeing on just about any topic.  For this event, Charles has promised to deliver a very special talk on a unique topic available only to paid attendees at this benefit dinner:

The evening will include a unique presentation by Charles Petzold on an obscure (but interesting) chapter in the history of computing with appearances (in chronological order) by Cicero, Galileo, Kepler, Newton, Fourier, Charles Darwin, Lord Kelvin, Madame Curie, and Albert Einstein.

The intent of this talk is actually to take a look at some of the history of computing in a different and historical light so as to appeal not only to the technology crowd but also to be broad enough to be of interest to spouses, life-partners, and significant-others that might also be interested in attending the event.

Seriously – think about buying an extra ticket and bringing your spouse or significant other to this event – despite the presence of pizza and soda, this evening will prove to be so much more than your typical geek-fest – we promise

Also Starring Miguel Castro


Venerable NYC-area (yes, and NJ-area too <g>) “.NET Dude” Miguel Castro has also volunteered to speak at this benefit event!

Boisterous, annoying, flippant, and frequently insulting, if anyone has seen a Miguel Castro presentation before you can rest assured he has promised to deliver something very un-Miguel for this event so you needn’t worry too much!

I am of course kidding 🙂  Miguel actually has promised to deliver a talk just for this event that’s a little different from his usual fare, but I’m sure we can count on his usual personality still being front-and-center for us all to “enjoy” !

(Seriously – Miguel is actually a great speaker who never fails to deliver an excellent and thought-provoking talk on some of the more complex technologies in the MS universe so this is a great chance to see him in perfect form!)

Free 30-day TEKPUB Subscriptions for EVERY Attendee!


To sweeten the pot for attendees even more, the great people behind the screencasting / developer education site TekPub have graciously committed to provide a free 30-day unlimited access subscription to all of their content for every attendee who purchases a ticket to the event.

With screencasts on topics ranging from NHibernate to Ruby on Rails to ASP.NET MVC to Entity Framework 4 and more, this 30-day TekPub subscription will permit you to ‘drink from their firehose of content’ as much as you can for 30 days!

To accommodate those that cannot attend, anyone making a donation of $75 or more will also qualify for this guaranteed subscription offer.

Further demonstrating their commitment to the developer community, TekPub has also contributed a single 1-year subscription to their site which  is to be raffled off at the event to one lucky attendee!

More Cowbell, More SWAG!


We also have commitments from several other vendors (including JetBrains and more!) to donate additional software licenses to raffle off to attendees!  All of this points to a whole host of reasons why you should make it a point to try to attend this event next Wednesday evening!

And if by chance you cannot attend due to schedule, finances, geography, or other constraints, please, please, please consider making even the smallest of monetary donations.  The economics of scale can easily turn the tiniest of efforts into a very effective campaign!

Help Get the Word Out to all the Corners of the Internet!


Please do what you can to share info about Wendy, this event, and the donation link with your friends, acquaintances, connections, followers – heck, even share this with your ENEMIES!

Help get the word out so that we can all collectively do everything in our considerable power to help Wendy and her family through this difficult time.

If the word ‘community’ is to mean anything, then its in support of something like this that it can really show its ability to make a difference in a meaningful way.

Your contribution of money, time, effort, or just spreading the word is much appreciated by everyone!





[Update: 6/30/2010] More from my teammate Rachel Appel...

Wendy Friedlander is very deserving of our community’s support, so I’d like
to request something of all  group leaders:  For the month of July, please ask
your user group attendees to donate $5.00 when they attend meetings. 
Participation is not required, but your Microsoft DPE team as well as the
organizers (Sara Chipps and Steve Bohlen) are very appreciative of your help. 
And as a bonus, you just know you’re doing a great thing too! We’re asking you
to only
ask your members for donations only, not to require them
to pay anything.  As a suggestion, I think it would result in more funds
collected overall by putting out a donations jars at meetings as well as links
to PayPal or other means to collect money. 

Additionally, any event promotion that you could help with on the various
social media sites available such as Twitter, Blogs & Facebook would be very
valuable in helping us out.  Feel free to contact the organizers or your DPE
team if you have more questions or would like to become more involved.

Thanks for your support.


DevsForWendy Organizers: Sara Chipps (sarajchipps @ and Steve
Bohlen (
sbohlen @  - remove


Your NYC DPE Team: Rachel Appel, Peter Laudati, Bill Zack and Bob Hunt

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