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MondayNovember 2012

This song seems appropriate when celebrating Al McWilliams.

For Al McWilliams is, indeed, a jolly good fellow — and we’d be the last to try to deny it.

Al is a jack-of-all-trades who works just down the street from us at his own advertising agency, Quack! Media. True to the jack-of-all-trades label, Al has done a variety of wonderful things for 826michigan…

He was the top fundraiser in this fall’s The Great Write Off.
Al had ambitious goals and a lot of stories to write from October 3 to October 5, but he pulled it off brilliantly — raising $1,651 for 826michigan’s program and winning himself a happy hour drink with Dave Eggers in the process. (They’re good stories, too. Here’s an excerpt from one he put together with the elements “children’s” “spooky” “a dam” and “spaghetti”:

The dam had been there as long as the river had run. It wasn’t like the new dams with steel and cement. It was wooden and leaky and creaky. It held the river back fairly well at the edge of Lake Farilywell. It had to. Hundreds of people lived in the valley below the dam, below Lake Fairlywell, and if the dam were to fail Lake Fairlywell would crash down into the valley, washing away everything in its path.

The people who lived in the valley were nervous folk. With such a leaky, creaky old dam, certainly something would go wrong, some day. So sometime long ago a woman walked up the path to the top of the dam, on the edge of Lake Fairlywell to inspect the dam. After a few days had passed the woman had not come back to town and the people of the valley feared the worst. Some of them went up in search of her, but she was nowhere to be found. People started taking plates of food up and leaving them on the edge of the dam, on the edge of Lake Fairlywell just in case.

Now, it has been over a hundred years since the woman walked up the dam to make an inspection and never returned. The dam is 100 years more creaky, and 100 years more leaky. People still bring food up there a few days each year as tradition dictates, but certainly the woman is gone by now. Even if she had survived those many years ago, she would be over 100 years old – but they still bring food.

We’re impressed!)

Al is a great person to have around in a crunch.
When inclement weather forced us to reconsider the idea of having Sweater Weather: An Autumn Orchard Picnic with Dave Eggers outside, our reaction was something akin to “panic”. Fortunately, Al came to the rescue and helped us secure an alternate, indoor, lovely venue and the event went swimmingly. We won’t forget that any time soon.

Al is a great ambassador for 826.
From helping us stage our annual music festival fundraiser, Mittenfest, to writing stories, to generally being a friend to 826, Al has done and continues to do so much for 826michigan. We’re very fortunate to have Al on our team!

Thank you, November Supporter of the Month Al McWilliams! We’re so glad to know you!

115 East Liberty Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 761-3463