With a world record attempt the Bowspirit Kids start the crowdfundraising phase for their floating holiday and recreation camp for sick and traumatised children.
The Bowspirit Kids Group wants to acquire an older passenger ferry to operate all year round as a nautical recreation camp for sick and traumatised children and their siblings - often called the "shadow children" - who will experience fun and take a recreation from illness during their journey.
"During the planning phase we felt it was relatively uninspired to ask other people only for donations for our important project", says Michael Speckenbach, co-initiator and founder of the Bowspirit Kids Group. "We wanted to combine the fun of helping with an achievable challenge. That's how the idea of the 'world's largest floating pinboard' came about."
And it is not just a corkboard with pins on a small boat. Or a pinboard that simply gets tossed into the water. No, it will be on the sides of an actual large seagoing vessel. This has never been done before and it will be a world record.
But before that, the virtual sides of the ship on the Bowspirit Kids Group's website (https://www.bowspirit-management.com/en/view-pinboard.html) need to be filled with entries that are subject to a fee and thus co-finance the purchase of the ship.
Each entry on the virtual pinboard will be affixed to the sides of the real ship with printed film. This method has long been established in the maritime industry for use as corrosion protection and for affixing large advertising messages.
All pinboard entries remain on the sides of the ship for at least twelve months and thus travel with the ship through the real world: e.g. from the shipyard to the base port. Or from the base port during recreation camp voyages through the Baltic Sea, North Sea or around Europe. Or on special trips to the Arab world or the American East Coast.
"We have already set a new record", Speckenbach is happy. "Never before has there been such a large virtual pinboard in which visitors to a website can zoom, scroll and browse through the entries of their fellow users. The web designers of the Lübeck-based web-agency VICON have broken new ground here and with a size of 130 x 6 metres for every side of the ship have created something unprecedented."
With the help of a freely selectable pseudonym, your own entry can also be found by (social media) friends and family in no time at all and is displayed centred on the screen in the highest zoom level - no matter where and on which side of the ship it is located (pseudonym examples to try out: oneshoop, papa, guehh).
And the great thing is that everyone can join in with an individual text, greeting, graphic or photo. The creation is very easy thanks to the integrated text and graphic editors. A text entry can be formatted (font, font colour, font size and background colour). Or you can upload a finished graphic file. A calculator shows the amount of the fundraising contribution for each entry. The prices are graded according to size: The prices start at one euro per square centimetre with a minimum size of 18 sqcm for text messages or 100 sqcm for graphic posts.
For the first 520,000 sqcm, a special price of 0.50 € per sqcm applies for graphics and image files, for a maximum of 200 sqcm per supporter.
The "world's largest floating pinboard" is especially suitable for entrepreneurs with heart to place their (advertising) message, because the pinboard entry is not a classic donation due to the return service provided, so there is no upper limit for the tax claim as a business expense.
"It is our goal to have filled our virtual ship's sides by early summer 2019 in order to be able to enter into the real implementation", says Michael Speckenbach. "It is an ambitious project, but world records don't lie on the road. Every small and large contribution counts. And everyone has the chance not only to do good with a few euros, but also to become part of this world record."
Elke Thompson, member of the board of trustees, explains why the Bowspirit Kids campaign should be supported: "Bowspirit Kids has the potential to not only brighten the lives of sick children, but also those of their families. I am a mum and step mum to seven kids - my first husband died suddenly and unexpectedly, aged only 34, in 2009 - and I know first hand how much a life-threatening or rare, lifelong illness can turn a family's life upside down. In 2012, I myself was diagnosed with breast cancer; the same year my then seven-year old son got the diagnosis 'narcolepsy / cataplexy'. Tests. Check-ups. Hospitals. Fear. Not knowing. Medication. Chemo. Doctors ... - that was our new normality. As much as we tried to continue 'normally' - it was impossible. Our other children lost the part of our attention that was now taken up by fear, uncertainty, hospital appointments and treatment. The emotional stress was enormous - for everyone. Laughter almost an exception. Bowspirit Kids would have been such a great and welcome distraction, which would have provided us with new, much needed, strength and life energy."
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The Bowspirit Kids Group was founded in spring 2018 in Lübeck, Germany. Our activities focus on the creation of a maritime holiday and recreation camp that will give sick and traumatised children and their siblings - often called the "shadow children" - the opportunity to have fun and take a recreation from the illness. To this aim, we want to take advantage of the mobility of a passenger ferry to be able to operate outside of the base location in order to present the Bowspirit Kids Group and its work worldwide and to initiate further projects based on the guiding theme of a "recreation from illness".
The group has two companies - the non-profit company Bowspirit Kids gemeinnützige GmbH (www.bowspirit-kids.org) and the commercially managed Bowspirit Management GmbH (www.bowspirit-management.com), which are intertwined under company law in such a way that the profits generated cannot be distributed to shareholders, but are directed towards the overarching charitable objective.
The Bowspirit Kids Group intends not to base its activities solely on classical donations, but also to raise financial resources through social events and business sponsorships. In the fourth quarter of 2018, the campaign "The world's largest floating pinboard" was launched as kick-off event.