Ross Murray's Border Report
Ross Murray
is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at
Posted 05.31.15
Stanstead, Quebec



STANSTEAD, QUEBEC | Later this year, my wife and I will celebrate our 25th anniversary. I think we can all agree she deserves something nice.

For many years, Deb has said she would love to go on a cruise. And not just any cruise. An Alaskan cruise. That's Alaska, USA, by the way, not Alaska, Greece or Alaska, Barbados. I've been putting it off all this time because she's crazy. But also we've never been able to afford it. We have mouths to feed. And the two-legged members of the house are pretty expensive, too.

But you only have one 25th anniversary. Actually, that's not necessarily the case, although if you manage to have more than one 25th anniversary in your lifetime, you clearly have both commitment and procrastination issues.

I would like to take my wife on an Alaskan cruise, even though we still can't afford it. So please send me money.

I understand that's how things get done these days. Crowdfunding, it's called. I don't know much about it other than someone says, "Here's my project," and then strangers say, "Here's some money." Simple. Go get your wallets, folks. I'll wait.

Come to think of it, you're not really strangers to me at all. You're family. Or more like not-very-close cousins. And who doesn't ask their not-very-close cousins for money all the time?

For the record, I don't know much about Alaska either, other than what I learned from that show "Northern Exposure" and Sarah Palin. Both were eventually cancelled. I think there are fjords up in Alaska. And with your help, I will be able to "a-fjord" to see them.

Are you back with that wallet yet?

You see, this fundraising campaign is not just about me. It's mostly about me. But, as with many crowdfunding campaigns, there are benefits to you, the donor. For example, by making a cruise affordable for me (and my wife; nearly forgot about her!), you're providing me with the much-needed rest that can only be provided by the pure Alaskan air and the semi-pure Alaskan moose and the state flower, the alpine forget-me-not, as I have decided maybe I better do a little research on this topic after all.

The aforementioned rest will allow me to come back rejuvenated so that you, the reader (my cousin!) will no longer have to suffer through lame fjord-based puns. And, really, isn't that all you've wanted for at least three paragraphs?

Plus, you get to feel good about helping me. And feeling good feels good. My Alaskan cruise is like a big bowl of soup on a hot day. And Deb likes soup too. It's a win-win-money-win situation. Really, you'd be doing yourself and all your cousins a favour.

Personal cheques are fine.

I continue to do research as I write this, because I owe you that much (but I don't owe you money, just to be clear). Did you know that there is something called PetFundr? It's a crowdfunding site to help pets in need. Sure, pets are cute, but can they enjoy an all-you-can-eat deck-side seafood buffet under the Northern Star, or as they call it in Alaska, "the Star"? No. Pets shouldn't eat seafood, unless they're pet whales, and they're too big to need any help.

Why send money so that ol' Shep in Sheboygan can undergo hip replacement surgery when you can help a beloved columnist celebrate a love that, like Pearl Jam, has been delighting audiences worldwide since 1990?

I might set up a PayPal account.

With some crowdfunding campaigns, there's risk involved. But I can assure you that I will take your money and spend it on a cruise. You have my money-back guarantee on that, except, again, I'm not giving the money back. I will, however, post fjord-side photos of my wife and me on Facebook. If you're still stuck on that PetFundr thing, because boohoo kittens, we'll bring one of the cats along on the cruise, but it's going to cost you extra!

You'll be able to look at those photos and feel the satisfaction of a cruise well done. Maybe the photos will go viral, again a benefit to mankind.

The beauty of all this is that it takes only a small contribution from absolutely everybody reading this to create this magical opportunity. For me. And my wife. I know it's a good thing to do, and Juneau it too.

Please, hurry, for everyone's sake.