David DeMarco has put his body on the line for Make-a-Wish Nebraska.
No, he's not running a 5K or dashing into a freezing body of water in early January. This is a little more personal.
The co-owner of Legend Comics & Coffee has made a unique promise to his customers for the store's Amazing Spider-Man Fundraiser in honor of Free Comic Book Day. If Legend raises more than $25,000, DeMarco has promised to get a custom-designed Legend My Little Pony tattooed on his arm.
The running joke at Legend is that DeMarco is a “brony,” a male fan of the “My Little Pony” television and comic book series, which he admittedly is. A customer came in with a mock-up of the pony, and DeMarco's co-workers dared him to get the tattoo. DeMarco couldn't say no.
This isn't the first time Legend has worked hard to raise money for Make-A-Wish. For the past two years, the shop has offered a chance for customers to win some prizes in exchange for a $5 donation to the Make-a-Wish Foundation. This year, customers who buy a raffle ticket have a chance to win a copy of “Amazing Spider-Man #1,” the first comic book in the Spider Man series, which is valued at $4,000. DeMarco is offering up the book from his own collection; he has all 700 “Amazing Spider Man” comic books.
DeMarco's dedication to the fundraiser is not without good reason. His niece, Alyssa, was diagnosed with leukemia when she was 5 years old. She had a wish granted by the Make-a-Wish foundation. Her cancer went into remission; Alyssa is now 21 years old and attending college in Iowa.
DeMarco said Alyssa is constantly raising money for cancer research.
“I'm trying to live up to the example that she has set for me,” DeMarco said. “It will take me many comic books and many tattoos to get there.”
This tattoo would be his first, but it may not be his last. DeMarco said he may get a new tattoo every year for fundraiser, until he's “90 years old with an arm covered with ridiculous Internet memes.”
Tickets are available on Legend Comics & Coffee's website as well as in the store at 5207 Leavenworth St. The shop is also offering prizes from other local businesses, including McFoster's Natural Kind Cafe, Beercade, Funplex, J. Coco, American Tattoo, Askarben Cinema and more. Legend customers have donated prizes as well, including a variant copy of “Star Wars #1” and a Spider-Man mosaic print. The final drawing will be held on Free Comic Book Day on Saturday, May 4.