|Joliet Family Fun Fest|
|By Sakic Jade on Aug 28, 2015 at 8:10 PM.|
The kids are back in school. Do you still want some quality family time on the weekend? The Midwest Garrison will be out Saturday, August 29 in Joliet, IL for Family Fun Fest. The event runs from 11:00 AM to 3:30 PM. at Silver Cross Field, home of the Joliet Slammers baseball team. Come to see your favorite costumed Star Wars characters, and stay for an afternoon of fun filled family activities.
For more information on this wonderful event, you can click here.
|Wizard World Chicago|
|By Sakic Jade on Aug 19, 2015 at 9:08 PM.|
This weekend, Thursday, August 20 through Sunday, August 23, the Midwest Garrison will be at Wizard World Comic Con at the Donald E Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL. You never know which of our troopers you are going to run into, or what crazy photo op you might find. Whether you want to pick up a trading card or you are interested in joining the ranks, look for our booth and talk to our members. We would love to see you there.
For more information on the con, Click Here.
|Midwest Garrison Cards|
|By Sakic Jade on Aug 17, 2015 at 8:38 AM.|
You've seen us at events. You've taken your picture with our members. Have you gotten a card?
Did you know that many members of the Midwest Garrison have a card of themselves? These cards are handed out by some troopers at different events all over the state. The cards are just another way that we can make a connection with the public; a more tangible way for them to remember their interaction with us. What child wouldn't want to come home from a parade or a baseball game with a unique trading card to show their friends and family.
Sometimes, something as small as a trading card can make someone's day. There was an event for Toys For Tots last winter we were invited to. As usual, some of our troopers would hand out their card to the children. One of our Stormtroopers was outside posing for pictures when he was approached by a special needs adult. She loved Star Wars, and truly believed our trooper was straight out of the movie. The Stormtrooper played along, but told her that he didn't want to make the other Stormtroopers in the movie feel bad by revealing which one he was. She told him that she was going to put on the movie when she got home and figure out which one he was. He handed her his card, and told her it was to help her figure it out. You would've thought he handed her a million dollars. She couldn't believe a real Stormtrooper gave her a card of himself. Obviously, it made her day but it made the day of our trooper as well.
The kids love it when they get a card from a trooper, and they remember it too. We were invited to speak to a gifted class of 6th graders at a local elementary school. After talking to the kids, we opened the floor to questions. One child raised his hand, and asked us if we knew code name "Blacksun" because he had his card at home. One of the Stormtroopers at the event was that trooper. The smile on the student's face was unforgettable.
So, the next time you're at an event, be on the lookout; maybe you can grab a Midwest Garrison card of your own. Just remember, not every one of our troopers will have them. Please be respectful.
|Close Out Your Summer With The Midwest Garrison|
|By Sakic Jade on Aug 10, 2015 at 8:03 AM.|
Its that time again. Summer is winding down and the kids are going back to school soon. We have had an amazing summer. We have marched in several parades and attended baseball games. Many library events have come and gone. We walked in two Relay For Life events, raising over $10,000 alone between the two events. However, the fun doesn't need to stop. The Midwest Garrison will be out and about for the rest of August with plenty of opportunities for the kids, big or small, to see us.
On Saturday, August 15th, we will be appearing at the Wheaton All Night Flea Market. Come to the DuPage County Fairgrounds and see us. The event starts at 3:00 PM and we will be there until midnight.
On Sunday, August 16th, we will be in Bartlett for Kids Fest. Come see us from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM at Banbury Fair Shoppes in Bartlett. For more information on Kids Fest click Here.
For those of you in southern Illinois, we will be at the Centralia Balloon Fest to see the Darth Vader hot air balloon. The event is on Saturday, August 22. We will be appearing with the balloon from 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM. To read more about this event, click here.
We have one more baseball game on the schedule this month. On Sunday, August 23rd we will be in Normal at the Cornbelters Game. The gates open at 2:00 PM. Come see us and enjoy the game.
Finally, on Saturday, August 29th, we will close out the summer in Joliet at Family Fun Fest. From 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM, we will be at the Joliet Slammers Stadium. This is a family event, so the more the merrier.
We hope that you've had a summer as amazing as ours, and that you come out and see us at another event soon.
|The Midwest Garrison Walks For Relay For Life|
|By Sakic Jade on Jul 19, 2015 at 7:25 AM.|
While the 501st Legion was initially founded to unite costumers with a penchant for Star Wars villainy, one of our real-world missions is to bring good to our communities through volunteer charity work. The Midwest Garrison is always looking for opportunities to brighten the lives of the less fortunate and to bring awareness to positive causes on both a local and global scale.
While we do not charge a fee for appearances (public or private), we enthusiastically welcome donations made to a charitable organization in the name of the Midwest Garrison.
This summer, the Midwest Garrison is supporting the American Cancer Society and has two teams walking in the Relay For Life at different events.
A few weeks ago, a team in central Illinois, the Imperial Walkers had their relay event for the year. This team has been walking for several years. In 2015, the troopers of this team raised over $5000 for the fight against Cancer.
In a couple weeks, another team of members, TIE Fighting Cancer will have their walk. Fundraising is still underway for this walk, and the troopers are looking to raise $5000 of their own.
If you'd like to help, you can make a donation to the team HERE. You can also go to RelayForLife.org to learn more about these amazing events.
|MWG Trooper of the Month April and May 2015|
|By Sakic Jade on Jul 8, 2015 at 8:30 AM.|
Congratulations to Eric Werner and Mike Mathews for being voted Trooper of the Month for April and May 2015 respectively.
Eric co-coordinated C2E2 for the first time this year. A lot of effort was put into planning, including ways to make the droid hunt more successful, and a revamped Blaster Academy. As the event drew near, the co-coordinator's real life got in the way, and Eric took on the job of running almost the whole con by himself. Because of Eric, the Droid Hunt was AWESOME and we got a ton of kids through not one, but two days of the Blaster Academy. Eric arrived first on Friday morning to set up, and was the last to leave on Sunday after break down. He made that convention what it was this year: AWESOME!
Mike has been a true Road Warrior in the Garrison. When an event pops up you can almost be sure to see him signed up for it. He has coordinated and trooped many events, sometimes having done multiple troops in ONE day. The one troop that stands out the most to me is the New Lenox package delivery for a sick little boy. Mike was gracious enough to step aside so other people could troop and make this little boy happy.
Thank you Eric and Mike, and keep up the great work!
|4th Of July Weekend|
|By Sakic Jade on Jun 29, 2015 at 1:01 PM.|
It's summer again, and that means you can see the Midwest Garrison out and about in celebration of The 4th of July. This year, we will be marching in two parades over the holiday weekend.
On Saturday, July 4th, we will be marching in the 46th annual West Peoria 4th of July Parade. The parade steps off at 10:00 am. For more information, please Click Here.
On Sunday, July 5th, we will be marching in the Bartlett 4th of July Parade. We step off at 1:00 pm. To find out more, please Click Here.
We hope that you can come out and see us this weekend. Have a safe and happy fourth!
|Trooper Spotlight: CC-128 Phil Cline|
|By Sakic Jade on Jun 25, 2015 at 8:22 AM.|
Today's Trooper Spotlight is Phil "Journeymanprotector " Cline.
How long have you been a part of the garrison, and what is it that sparked your interest in joining?
I've been in the 501st Legion for 14 years and joined the Midwest Garrison in 2013. I'd always wanted to be a stormtrooper as a child and once I realized armor was out there I couldn't wait to suit up! I was vaguely aware of the 501st Legion and was reached out to by my local squad.
Of all of the troops that you have done, which one stands out in your mind as meaning the most to you and why?
The specific memories I tend to latch on to are the kids who really just can't get enough of us. On one of my first troops in 2001 we were at a video game store and this one little kid, maybe 4 years old, lived in the neighborhood. He spent the whole day coming back to the store to see us, play hide-and-seek, and we had a lot of fun. At the end of the day his mother said he wanted me to have something; it was a Valentine's Day Card made out to the couple of us. It was September. I still have that card.
How has being a part of the MWG impacted your life?
In the first place, it made moving to a new city infinitely easier. I knew I'd have dozens of instant friends just waiting to be met at various events. It also pulls me out of my shell. I know that each week there are likely a few events I can head out to, meet some new friends, and spread some smiles.
Outside of trooping and 501st related stuff, what do you do for a living, and what are some of your other interests or hobbies?
I'm the campus operations director for University of Phoenix Chicago Campus. It's a pretty broad job scope so every day is different and it keeps me on my toes! When I'm not working or trooping, I like to oil paint or do various crafting projects.
What support you get from friends and family regarding the 501st and all the great things that you have done for the garrison?
By now, most of my friends are members it seems like. Those who aren't are either very jealous and live vicariously through me or don't really get it but are happy for me. My family thinks it's cool as well, particularly that I get to help charities, spread joy, and rack up a list of really surreal experiences like singing Happy Birthday to Criss Angel while dressed as Darth Vader. Who does that?
And lastly, is there anything, Star Wars related or not, that people might not know about you that they might be surprised to find out?
I speak decent Spanish. It's a lot of fun when out in armor and I meet a family that's speaking Spanish. Most of the time I'm Commander Wolffe and speaking with that New Zealand/Australian accent and it just sticks when I switch into Spanish. That must be really strange for a native Spanish speaker to hear!
|Hawks Win, And So Does Charity!|
|By Sakic Jade on Jun 16, 2015 at 6:13 PM.|
Congratulations to the 2015 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks!
Prior to the Stanley Cup Final, the Commanding Officer of the Midwest Garrison threw down the challenge to the Florida Garrison. Whichever garrison loses the Cup will have to pose with the winning team's flag - complete with garrison banners and all - and post it up on their social media channels. And to make it a little more interesting, the losing garrison will have to make a donation to a charity that's local to and chosen by the winning garrison! We chose the Children's Advocacy Center of North and Northwest Cook County. The Florida Garrison accepted, and chose St. Joseph's Children's Hospital in Tampa.
It was a fun rivalry, played out on Facebook and Twitter. Too see some of the back and forth, search the hashtag #501stCharityCupChallenge on both.
Since the Blackhawks won the Cup, The Florida Garrison will honor the bet and make their donation. However, due to the hard fought series, and for the sake of the children, the Midwest Garrison will also make our donation as well.
The Blackhawks may have won the Cup, but two great charities are the real winners here.
|MWG Trooper of the Month March 2015|
|By Sakic Jade on Jun 11, 2015 at 1:39 PM.|
Congratulations to Kristen Avara for being voted Trooper of the Month for March 2015.
Kristen had a very busy month of March for the Midwest Garrison. She trooped seven events, with two on the same day. She traveled to two states outside of Illinois, trooping with two other Garrisons, and spent over 30 HOURS in her car!
Kristen has gone above and beyond by representing the garrison at a wide variety of events in numerous locations and should be commended for making and taking the time to troop all over the place.
Keep up the good work, Kristen.