Drink beer. Support a great family.

You are all invited on Monday, May 20th, the first day of DrupalCon Portland, to honor Aaron Winborn’s ongoing contributions to the Drupal community and to celebrate Drupal’s power to make the world a better place.

I have to admit that I don’t exactly know how to write about this event. I don’t know Aaron personally. But like most of us, I’ve been working with his contributed code and following his writings on Drupal for several years. If you follow Aaron’s blog, you know that he and his family are struggling with his ALS. You may have seen Aaron’s G.D.O. post two weeks back looking for volunteers to help him continue to code in spite of the progression of his illness.

Two things are sure: Aaron loves Drupal, and Aaron loves our community.

One might argue, however, that Aaron’s situation points to a challenge in open source software development: Aaron continues to simply give away his code, and in so doing he and his family won’t benefit long-term from royalties or productization. In this situation, we have a responsibility, or at least a great opportunity, to show that we in open source take care of our own.

But I’m being melancholy. And based on my correspondence with Aaron about this event, he wouldn’t want that. Aaron wishes that he could be at DrupalCon this year. He is excited for us to gather, of course to raise money for his family, but also just to get together and laugh and geek out together.

So on Monday night, the first night of DrupalCon, rather than go pay for beer at some bar, please consider making your way to the EcoTrust building (it’s right on the streetcar) for this celebration, and donate that night’s beer money to Aaron and his family.

We joke that “open source is free as in beer” - that we have an obligation to give back. Now it’s time to prove it:

So far, the generous sponsors of this event have raised over $4,000 for Aaron and his family. Let’s keep the momentum going and hit the goal of raising $10,000 on this special night.

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