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ty65933Fully 72 hours before the annual visit of the Solstice Monkey, the Parenting Beyond Belief Solstice Drive is over, and I’m simply at a loss for words.

As of yesterday morning, thanks to the humanistic generosity of the many friends of this site, we had raised 53 percent of the year’s operating and upgrading debt. I was thrilled and humbled by your willingness to help out with this effort so I can continue to offer and improve on this level of support for nonreligious parents.

Then last night, my thrilled-and-humbled-ometer blew out completely as Richard Hendricks and Angie Lemon — an Austin couple who attended my recent seminar there — retired the remainder of the debt in a single stroke.

A note from Richard and Angie:

My wife and I would like to thank Dale for all he does for the secular parenting community. As secular humanists, we understand that all we have to rely upon is each other, so the help and generosity we show to one another is especially precious. And so we decided that we could make a real difference here, and support the kind of community we would like to see grow, by paying off the rest of the website’s fees for the year. Thank you Dale for all your hard work.

Richard Hendricks
Angie Lemon
Austin, TX
Parenting our son beyond belief since 11/8/2002

You are so welcome. Thank you, Richard and Angie, and many, many thanks again to all who participated.

Though the donation button will appear again at some point to defray ongoing expenses, this is the first and last time I’ll ever mention it. Now that we are out from under that financial unpleasantness, I plan to turn our efforts outward. Watch for an exciting new charitable initiative in early ’09.

In the meantime, start scattering bananas to get the Monkey through that longest night!

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Dale McGowan is the author of Parenting Beyond Belief, Raising Freethinkers, and Atheism for Dummies. He holds a BA in evolutionary anthropology and a PhD in music.