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Friday, November 27, 2015

A Closer Look at the Gygax Memorial Fund - Some Questions for Gail Gygax

+Gail Gygax has kindly agreed to answer questions posed by the gaming community regarding the Gygax Memorial Fund. I've done my best to present those questions in a coherent manner. The questions are being presented to the gaming community via this blog post as I concurrently pass them on to Gail. I appreciate the time that Gail will need to set aside to answer these questions and look forward to the responses and the opportunity to present the community with an updated post with said answers.

-As of the end of 2013 there was $222k in the Gygax Memorial Trust Fund according to the Tax Filing. What is the current asset total of the Memorial Fund? How much more is needed before work on the memorial can commence?

-When will the 2013 and 2014 tax returns for the fund be linked on the Memorial Fund's website?

-How much was donated by WotC / Hasbro from their sales of the AD&D 1e reprints? What year(s) did the fund receive those monies?

-What, if any, legal expenses have been incurred by the fund?

-How much money has the Memorial Fund spent on things not directly related to the creation of the memorial (salaries, litigation, auto expenses, etc)?

-While 5 hours a week, as reported on the tax returns, may not seem like much, time, that is still 260 hours a year or 6.5 full work weeks. In that time per year, what HAS been accomplished versus what has not?

-How many bricks will be sold and at what cost to the buyer? What is the expected margin on the bricks that will go to the Memorial Fund?

-What is the hard-line number needed to make the memorial a reality and how far is the fund from achieving that number?

-The Gygax Memorial Fund is a 501 (c) (3) organization under Wisconsin Law. When was the last time the Board met? (it must meet at least once per year) Where can we view copies of the minutes of previous board meetings? (this is a public record) Yearly audits of the fund's expenses and income must be made. Again, these are public records. How can one obtain copies of these audits?

-Is this the actual listing of the current board members. I've been told by multiple sources that Jim Ward has never been informed that he is no longer on the board. Board members must be elected on a yearly basis. Who votes for the board members?

-Apparently Tim Hutchings had no idea he was the Memorial Fund's "Audio Visual Engineer" and hasn't been contacted by the fund in years. Ryan Browning says he didn't design the logo, just took the old shield and turned it into vector drawings. Is the page currently displaying those listed as affiliated with the fund accurate to the best of your knowledge? When was the last time this web page was updated?

-What is the current state of the project?

-Have you considered a more modest monument?

-Is there more planned than just the monument?

Again, I would like to thank Gail Gygax for agreeing to take the time to answer the community's questions regarding the Gygax Memorial Fund. If I may make an observation of my own, I think some of these questions would have been answered on the fund's website if it was updated more often (monthly perhaps?) Hopefully the fund's website will see more regular updates in the future.

Thanks again to all who submitted questions.

-Erik Tenkar


  1. As heartbreaking as this sounds.. this memorial will never get built.. Unless somebody else does it..Hell at least DDO had an online memorial you could visit..

  2. Replies
    1. Yeah, I'd like to know who they are and what their connection to the community is...

    2. Erik told me that he thinks their Gail's sister and brother-in-law.

      So Gail wishes to insure that HER family earns money off of the GYGAX name, but Heaven for-fend that Luke and Ernie should make money off of their OWN name.

      I like this woman less and less.

    3. Okay, to be fair, I'd like to read HER explanation of it...

  3. I'm sure that's it's been said many times before, but I would think that the best memorial to Gary would be to keep his works in print for future generations of gamers.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Where the heck is Donian Park? I've never heard of it. When I look it up on Google, it takes me to the Lake Geneva Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, which is located in the well known Flat Iron Park. (I grew up there, so you can imagine my confusion about a completely different park manifesting in my home town! There's apparently something I did not know.)

    1. Donian Park is the now manicured area that exist between the start of the White River and the other short waterway that used to be next to the Town Crier furniture store (now torn down and changed to Condos).

  6. Over/under on questions answered is one, and I'm taking the under. Gail doesn't employ an army of lawyers for nothing...I'd be shocked if they told her anything different than "don't respond".

  7. Over/under on questions answered is one, and I'm taking the under. Gail doesn't employ an army of lawyers for nothing...I'd be shocked if they told her anything different than "don't respond".

  8. I posted a question for you on facebook but I guess it got missed:

    If Gygax items are transferred to the local museum will there be any money exchanged? Will the memorial fund reimburse the family for donated items?

  9. The only reason I didn't donate to this memorial is because I still think it should be a Gygax & Arneson memorial. Like a memorial with them both at the gaming table in their fun days.