Hey, I think that it is a great idea.
Anything that can help get some exposure to motivate people to get outdoors and to light weight alternatives to traditional backpacking is a good thing.
To help "sell" him on the idea of coming out, maybe you want to email him a link to the photo gallery of the photo essay from last year to give him an idea of what we did?
Regarding the charcoal, even though I won't be there to start the hike out with all of you, I am going to make a point to pack a few lbs of charcoal in my pack.
Skinny dude that I am with my love of fire and staying warm, I will bring as much as I can.
Hope others can bring some too...just sorry that I was not able to follow thru with my original plan to have baggies pre made up for people to carry in.