February 11, 2008

The 100 Chairs Project

Writing by josef lee on Saturday, 24 of February , 2007 at 10:32 pm

100 artists unleashed their talents on 100 wooden chairs, which will be auctioned off as pieces of art. All proceeds goes to the Singapore Children’s Society.

100 Chairs is a fully youth-run project, supported by *scape and Check out the chairs and their artists here. All chairs were displayed as outdoor installations for a week-long auction process at *scape Youthpark, Singapore.

Good news is that ALL chairs were adopted. Bad news? We missed the auction.

Reid Sexton
March 4, 2007


ONLINE networking site MySpace is revolutionising the way Melbourne’s small charities take on their better-known rivals.

Grass-roots organisations and those without ready-made markets beyond small communities are increasingly using the site to raise their profiles and gather information on potential donors, with successful results.

MySpace allows users to create online profiles which include personal information and which can be linked and displayed on other profiles by mutual agreement.

By creating their own biographies, charities immediately gain access to an unlimited amount of potential ”friends”, a list of their interests and a forum in which the charity can be discussed and promoted by links throughout the network.

While the cost of such advertising and market research would have been too high for many charities a few years ago, the free membership offered by the site makes it ideal for those without corporate sponsorship or paid staff.

Edmund Rice Camps, which takes disadvantaged children on holiday, established a MySpace profile last year and has more than 500 friends.

Committee member Gerard Healy said the site and its electronic messaging system had changed the way the committee raised public awareness of fund-raising events.

“We can’t afford expensive direct marketing,” he said. “MySpace allows us to specifically target a market based on individuals’ interests, something that would have been impossible five years ago.

“Before our last fund-raiser, we sent unique messages to people who had linked themselves to our site emphasising aspects of the event which matched the interests on their profile. By aligning ourselves with other profiles we have seen more people expressing an interest in us which will ultimately equate to greater revenue.”

Mr Healy said it was hoped that by having the charity’s profile displayed on other profiles it would go “viral”.

“Because we are a charity people are quite happy to display us on their profile,” he said.

“The more people who display it, the more people see it and hopefully it might become viral if enough people add it to their own profile.

“It is some way off but the plan is to raise our profile to that of more-established charities through this.”

Another not-for-profit organisation using MySpace is OrphFund, which has volunteers in Melbourne and in Bristol in Britain.

The charity reported a 30 per cent jump in attendance at a recent event at a Brunswick bar to raise funds for a new orphanage in Tibet, something fund-raiser Miffy Wood attributes solely to the new community they have created online.

“While we still use group emails and SMS to advertise our events, they are quite random and faceless,” she said. “There’s no immediate interaction. You really can’t see who else is involved just from reading an email.

“But when you are sent a message on MySpace you can click on the site and check out who else is involved in that particular project. It creates more of a community. And you’re not scamming people, only (contacting) people who are interested.”

She said it was not surprising small charities were turning to MySpace: “The latest way people communicate changes all the time … if you’re not up with what’s going on then you’re not going to get your message out.”


The Island Sk8 Society recently brought their campaign for the building of a skatepark on Saipan on the Internet by registering their group in MySpace. (Jacqueline Hernandez) The drive to construct a skatepark for local boarding enthusiast went global when organizers took their mission to the popular internet network, MySpace, in an effort to reach more people interested with the cause.

Since holding their first meeting in the Garapan Roundhouse, the skaters and their supporters have been on a roll. So far, they have filed their articles and bylaws for their non-profit corporation, are currently working on their tax exempt status, and held the first meeting of the Island Sk8 Society.

While young people around the planet communicate with networking sites like MySpace, it has already been shown as a proven tool for promoting a number of local events in the CNMI for all ages.

You can access the site online at to find out more information about the people who grind and glide and their next meeting is set for March 15 in the conference room of the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium at 5:30pm.

Organizers leading the park project now have $90,000 committed toward the project after the Rotary Club of Saipan first provided $20,000 to get the ball rolling. Since then another $10,000 was donated by the CNMI Youth Foundation at the Roundhouse meeting and an additional $60K became available to their effort when Gov. Benigno R. Fitial signed into law House Bill 15-37 which reappropriated $293,608 from a previous measure and tripled the group’s purse.

Local skater Angelo Montenegro’s revised drawing for a 40-feet by 105-feet skatepark received two thumbs up from Seattle-based skatepark design firm Grindline with a new price tag of $149,752.

Currently the skaters fall $59,752 short of meeting that figure but RCS Skateboard Park Project co-chair Laurie Peterka said that the group’s focus is shifting to putting together media kits, tracking down corporate sponsors, and to continuing to seek additional funding through RCS.

For more information about the project, contact Peterka via email at or Dennis Yoshimoto at