Combine the power of Twitter with the cache of celebrity endorsement and you have a powerful fundraiser ready to roll. Comedian Drew Carey, and the host of CBS’ The Price is Right has put his celebrity name to work, using his ability to drum up publicity to draw attention to an individual’s personal fundraiser. After seeing an @ message through Twitter, Carey was alerted to the fact that cancer afflicted Drew Olanoff was auctioning off the name @drew as a fundraiser for LiveStrong, a cancer research foundation started by the cyclist Lance Armstrong. Drew Carey initially bid $25,000, increasing the amount to $100,000 if he managed to reach 100,000 followers on his Twitter account. A few days later, on a live broadcast of a CBS morning show, (host station of The Price is Right), Drew Carey exponentially increased the amount to $1 million if he managed to reach 1 million followers on his twitter account by December 31, 2009, thus demonstrating the power of social media to spread the word. Drew Carey also offered to pro-rate his donation if a lesser number of followers was reached.
The result? Drew Carey’s Twitter followers increased from 13,000 on October 3 when he first put in his bid for the @drew Twitter name, to 50,000 on October 7, after the CBS broadcast. By October 16, his Twitter followers had reached 99,473 and counting...!
Drew Olanoff, a 29 year old blogger and avid social media user from LA has been fighting Hodgkin's disease since May 2009 and turned to the power of social media to help him through his illness and raise funds for cancer research. Blogs, Tweets, and websites have given him a sense of support and community, while his, “Blame Drew's Cancer” campaign provides a sense of purpose and meaning.
You can find Drew Olanoff at @drew and @BlameDrewsCancer on Twitter. You can also follow his campaign’s progress on the campaign website at http://www.BlameDrewsCancer.com where people are invited to blame the small and not so small things that go wrong in their lives on Drew’s cancer. People are invited to tweet their woes on Twitter with the hashtag #blameDrewsCancer. Well intended tweets use humour to cheer on Drew Olanoff is his battle with cancer. The tweets intentionally range from the sublime to the ridiculous and come from friends, from people unknown, and from well known celebrities. Actress Alyssa Milano BlamesDrewsCancer for the Dodgers losing their game, while a_inawindstorm BlamesDrewsCancer for a car needing new tires. To date, almost 14,000 people have blamed over 33,000 things on Drew’s cancer.
The, “Blame Drew's Cancer” campaign is also using the power of YouTube to spread Drew Olanoff’s social media campaign to his friends, supporters, and well wishers. Friend and music artist Paul Dateh wrote the song, “Blame Drew's Cancer,” weaving it into a music video that encourages viewers to add their name to the cause. You can watch this musical message and tribute at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHDiurJY3lg and add your support by tweeting your woes at http://twitter.com/?status=I+%23BlameDrewsCancer+for+.
You can join Drew Olanoff’s fundraiser by following @DrewFromTV on Drew Carey’s Twitter account at http://twitter.com/DrewFromTV. Each follower will result in a $1 donation from Drew Carey to the LiveStrong foundation, (up to a maximum of $1 million). Details can be found at http://milliondollardrew.com/ and Drew Carey’s personal blog at http://drewfromtv.blogspot.com/.
Below you can watch the Drew Carey’s CBS interview where he announces his $1 million pledge, a CNN Skype interview between Drew Carey and Drew Olanoff, and listen to Paul Dateh’s YouTube music video tribute to his friend.
CBS Interview with Drew Carey
Watch CBS News Videos Online
CNN Skype interview with Drew Olanof and Drew Carey
Paul Dateh’s YouTube song, “Blame Drew's Cancer”