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Pixels mean cash for web fundraiser

David Plappert is a salesman of the future.

For this 15-year-old student at the Math and Science Academy has already raised $1,200 by selling an unlikely product -- dots.

That's pixels, to the more computer-literate among us; but regardless of the vocabulary used, the task facing Plappert -- to reach a grand total of $10,000 -- is an impressive one.

He's selling ads made up of a set number of pixels on a web page he has created especially for this fundraiser, to bring in cash for missions organized by the Sheaves For Christ program of the United Pentecostal Church.

And according to Jeff Marchand, the president of the Minnesota youth section of the church, Plappert will succeed in achieving his target.

"Minnesota as a whole traditionally will raise $40,000 in a year," he said.

"David has established the goal of raising $10,000 himself; it shows you how great of a goal it is -- and he is going to reach it."

Plappert, who lives close to Royal Oaks Elementary School, says he found himself inspired to set up the website -- -- after attending a service on the work of Sheaves For Christ at his church, the First United Pentecostal Church on Hudson Boulevard in Oakdale.

"I was in such a rush after the Sheaves For Christ youth service," he said. "I launched the site on April 6, at 1:30 a.m.

"I stayed up all night programming it and making sure it worked."

He has already sold 14 ads on the web page, with the majority coming from relatives, friends and business contacts of Plappert and his father.

Those wishing to buy in to his vision can secure ad space for $25, $100 or $400 depending on the space (and therefore the number of pixels) involved.

Plappert says he was inspired after reading about a similar fundraising effort by Alex Tew, a student in England, who sold pixels for a dollar per pixel to raise funds for his college education.

His website, the Million Dollar Homepage, attracted media attention from around the world -- and brought in $1 million.

Plappert is hoping to emulate his success, although he decided he would cut the price of a pixel from a dollar to a cent to make it more affordable for subscribers.

The cash raised will go towards different works of Sheaves For Christ, including purchasing transportation for overseas missionaries, funding a children's home in the U.S. and supporting a chemical dependency program, among other missions.

"My main motivation was seeing the end result of what happens with the money," said Plappert.

To purchase some pixels, visit his website at or call Plappert at (651) 894-4607.