A charity fundraiser that promised to have “American Gods” author Neil Gaiman read the Cheesecake Factory menu if it met its goal has done just that, surpassing $100,000 to benefit refugees.
The Crowdrise campaign‘s final tally came out to $111,611 from 2,280 donors. The money will go to Gaiman’s charity of choice, the United Nations Refugee Agency.
When the challenge was first posed on Twitter by writer and comedian Sara Benincasa, Gaiman, an outspoken advocate for Syrian refugees, agreed to read the entire menu if the fundraiser reached $500,000. He later upped the ante, vowing that if the effort raised one million dollars, he’d also perform a reading of Dr. Suess.
“What a wonderful job you all did! I’m so honored and delighted by your generosity!” Benincasa wrote on the fundraisers page after the goal was met. “On a personal note, it has been a pleasure, and a real joy in my life during dark and difficult times in this world to see such kindness and benevolent goofiness from strangers.”
Though the effort did not reach it’s initial goal of $100,000, Benincasa announced on Twitter that Gaiman agreed to perform a shorter reading. She launched a poll on Twitter to determine whether the author would read one section of the restaurant chain’s lengthy menu or Dr. Seuss’s “Fox in Socks.”
Of course, Cheesecake won.
Along with “American Gods,” Gaiman wrote the acclaimed DC Comics series “The Sandman,” the novel “Stardust,” adapted into a 2007 film directed by Matthew Vaughn, and the novel “Coraline,” adapted as an animated film in 2009. He has also written screenplays including “Beowulf,” and the English adaptation of “Princess Mononoke.”