It's been a tough year for Peacejam, the homegrown nonprofit that over the past fifteen years has reached out to hundreds of thousands of kids around the globe, showing them that in the toughest circumstances, it's still possible to push for peace -- and then proving it by bringing ten Nobel Peace Prize winners to Denver for Peacejam's tenth anniversary celebration in September 2006.
I've told the story of how Ivan Suvanjieff came up with the idea for Peacejam after the 1993 Summer of Violence, and soon joined up with Dawn Engle to make it real.
But I haven't related the most recent chapter: How donations dried up in the tough economic climate -- a deal to sell the office in Arvada, a historic bungalow that ounce housed the mayor -- and Suvanjieff's health problems have added to their woes. But Peacejam just keeps jamming.
And now you have a chance to help Peacejam out of a jam.
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Starting Monday, Peacejam will auction off five hand-painted guitars -- each signed by ten of the Nobels, as Suvanjieff and Engle call them.
Here's your chance to do good by bidding on guitars signed by such do-gooders as the Dalai Lama and Archbiship Desmond Tutu (their appearance at the University of Denver three years ago was a show-stopper), Jody Williams, Betty Williams, Rigoberta Menchu Tum, Oscar Arias Sanchez, Mairead Corrigan, Shirin Ebadi, Jose Ramos-Horta and Adolfo Perez Esquival, who signed the guitars when they were in town for the tenth anniversary.
The result is something for the person who has everything -- although as Suvanjieff points out, "that's not true until they buy one of the guitars!"
For full details, go to ebay.com/peacejam. The starting is $2,999.99, and there's no "buy now" option.