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asleep at keyboardYou folks have cost me a lot of sleep, and a marble or two, the last few years. And I love you for it.

That’s because at each of the last three MLB Trade Deadlines, your generous support forced me to blog for 24 hours straight back in 2011, then for 30 hours straight in 2012, and then for 36 hours straight last year. That last one may have nearly set the upper limit of what I can do without dressing up my cats and making them act out scenes from ‘LOST.’ (I say “nearly,” because I’m going to try and top it this year.)

But I left each of those Blogathons feeling unbelievably blessed to be able to write at Bleacher Nation as a full-time job, and be a part of such a special community. We’ve developed a nice little corner of the Cubs’ online world, and I feel very privileged to be a part of it. Never have I felt more privileged – and touched – than last year, when you folks turned it out to support a great cause, donating more than $12,000 to Make-A-Wish, and we adopted the wishes of two young Cubs fans.

Again this year, because we have all been blessed to be part of a very cool community, I think we should use this year’s BN Trade Deadline Blogathon fundraiser to do some real, tangible good out there. Specifically, I’m asking you to help give children special, Chicago Cubs-related wishes.

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Bleacher Nation is partnering with Make-A-Wish® Illinois. The mission of Make-A-Wish is to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Make-A-Wish cannot accomplish that mission without the help and support of others, and that’s where you come in. Together, our goal this month is to sponsor the wishes of some young Chicago Cubs fans.

I’m going to do a Blogathon at the Trade Deadline, but it’s up to you to really get me there. So let’s make a deal.

I’ll commit right now to blogging for 24 hours straight leading up to the Trade Deadline on July 31. No breaks. No sleep. Constant coverage. Writing. Tweeting. Commenting. Kvetching. The run-up to the deadline is among the most important times in the baseball season, and I intend to go crazy covering everything out there during the BN Blogathon on July 30 and 31. You’re getting 24 hours right now, guaranteed.

But who wants 24 hours when you can have 30 hours? Or 37 hours?

If you folks collectively donate $6,000 – the cost of sponsoring a child’s wish – by July 30, I’ll step that 30 hours straight. And if you really dig deep, and we go over that $6,000 mark, I’ll tack on an additional hour for every $1,000 you generous folks donate. If we make it to $12,000 raised – the cost of two wishes – I’ll add on one more additional extra hour gratis, making the total Blogathon 37 hours (yes, that’s one hour longer than last year).

make a wish arturoAlthough I’m going to cap the Blogathon at 37 hours, there’s no limit on the amount we can raise together. Every dollar raised will go straight to Make-A-Wish with the intention that it be used to grant a wish to a child who wishes for an experience related to the Chicago Cubs. We all love the Cubs, and it would be pretty amazing to help a child do something that will deepen his/her own love of the Cubs.

It’s up to you to make this happen.

Here’s how you donate: go to the BN Blogathon fundraiser page, and make your donation there.

Make-A-Wish is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, so, to the extent you were wondering, financial contributions may be deductible for federal income tax purposes. Just throwing that out there.

This is win-win for you, my friends. By giving whatever you can, you not only help change the life of a fellow Chicago Cubs fan, but you also ensure ridiculous, over-the-top coverage at the Trade Deadline. The bonus is seeing if I can make it to 30 or 33 or 37 hours without thinking I’ve invented time travel and the couch is an Egyptian pharaoh taunting me with his superior leadership skills. I can get people to build a pyramid, too – I just don’t believe in your kind of cruelty, mister!

Thank you for your attention, your support, and for telling your friends and family about this fundraiser. Here’s a look back at the two young fans we helped last year with the fundraiser.

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