Event Round-Up, December

January 24th, 2018

12/02–Holiday Drive in Support of Blue Ribbon Project, Annapolis

The Blue Ribbon Project took over the parking lot of a shopping center, set up some tents, and really threw a great party for the community and the project’s kids.  The theme was Christmas in Candyland, and all the decorations made the children feel like they were inside the game.  Kids were treated to reindeer antlers, MANY sweets, and photos with all kinds of costumed characters.  We posed for many photos and smacked numerous high-fives.   One youngling almost tackled our TIE Fighter Pilot to the ground with a surprise hug – she was VERY happy and grateful “we came to visit her.

Troopers:
Bill – TI
Cheryl – ID


12/2–ESC Children’s Holiday Party, Ft. Meade

We arrived in kit and were shown to the back part of the gymnasium where the Spouses Club members were dressed as Jedi. They explained that they would have groups of kids coming through every half hour; they would receive training in lightsaber combat, then test their skills against Darth Vader and Kylo Ren (also both members of the Spouses Club), make their way through a cave to find a kyber crystal, cross a lava pit, and then a balance beam. After all these Jedi trials, they would be rewarded with a certificate, and then finally have their picture taken with us (saved the best for last!)  Each group had about two dozen children, and they loved the lightsaber training and obstacle course.  However, even upon receiving their Jedi training certificate, we were successful in convincing most of them to join the Empire!

Troopers:
Bill – TI
Cheryl – ID


12/2–VFW Children’s Christmas, Rosedale

We arrived, were greeted warmly, and then shown to the spacious changing room. Once there, we were introduced to a friend of Eric’s, who portrays an amazing Rey (she is working on her Rebel Legion approval). Once we were ready, we were led to doors to a large hall. The hosts introduced us by playing the SW theme music (unfortunately they didn’t have the Imperial march). As we entered the kids and adults went crazy. They had no idea we were coming. They were told “special guests” would be appearing. The TK’s entered, followed by Rey, then the TI’s followed by Darth Revan. After processing in, we formed a semi-circle near the DJ table at the front of the hall. Since everyone was so excited, they all wanted to run up to us but the host organized everyone into a single file line for picture opportunities with the whole group. Once all the group pictures were taken, we broke rank and interacted with the audience until it was announced that Santa Claus was about to arrive. We made our exit and proceeded outside to get a picture by the howitzer located in the parking lot in front of the VFW. We did this quickly as traffic began to slow down and cars started pulling over. So as not to cause an incident we returned to the changing area, de-suited and talked for awhile. The organizers were very pleased and could not thank us enough for coming.

Troopers:
Eric – TK (First Troop!)
Melissa – TI
William – TK
Charles – TI
Matt – SL
Bryan – TI


12/02–NSA-CWF Holiday Party

We arrived at 08:00 and were shown to an office area to change. We were a little overzealous and were ready to troop by 08:30, but the party didn’t start until 9:00. We hung back as McGruff the crime dog, the Baltimore Oriole, Poe from the Ravens, and Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer all joined us. It was getting a little cozy, so we headed out to the game room at 08:45. CWF provided us with a volunteer escort, appropriately attired in a wookie sweatshirt. We patrolled the game room, giving out many high fives and hugs, and posing for photo ops. Occasionally, we were able to surprise unsuspecting guests who were too immersed in their games to see us approach. The party was most impressive, with face painting and balloon animals in addition to the games and food. Once the last call was announced, we stationed ourselves near the exit for last minute high fives and photos before heading back to change.

Troopers:
Melissa – TI
William – TK


12/03–Baltimore Ravens Star Wars Day, Baltimore

We arrived at our designated gate and were then escorted to locker rooms in the underground level of the stadium to suit up. Once we were all in kit, we posed for some pics with Poe (Ravens Mascot), both outside the locker rooms and on the field. Afterwards, we were led out the the RavensWalk in front of the stadium where we set up a backdrop, and took pics with fans for 3 hours. At 1pm, we were led back into the stadium to de-kit. Our contact with the ravens presented us all with tickets for the day’s game.

Troopers:
Emily – CC
Jesse – TS
Matt – Echo
Jason – R2


12/9–Star Wars at Your Library, White Marsh

We arrived at 13:00 and headed in to a conference room off to the side of the library. We got suited up and stored our bins in a closet, as the conference room area was to be used for some of the event activities. We headed out into the main library just before 14:00 to greet the arriving patrons and pose for some photos. We patrolled various areas of the library, pausing for some time to play balloon toss with an excited youngling. We took a brief venture outside and enjoyed a snowball fight. The TKs, alas, were mostly ineffective but the Jawa scored several direct hits. As the event died down, we headed back to the conference room at a 15:30 to change, heading out around 16:00.

Troopers:
Melissa – TI
William – TK
Chris – ID
Bry – TA
Pat -TK

Galactic Academy:
Connor – Jawa


12/9–Ocean City Comic Con, Ocean City

We arrived at our designated area to set up around 8:30am. We were given 2 tables right in the main lobby of the hotel. The Con organizers were extremely helpful and generous. They provided us with a huge green room around the corner from our table that had private, curtained changing areas, a bathroom and enough water and snacks to feed the Imperial Army. The three of us suited up around 9:30 and hung out at our tables not expecting much action given the weather and the fact that this was their first con. Even the organizers were shocked by the immense turn out. The lobby doors remained open for 5 hours straight to allow the long line of people into the con. That of course meant the cold air poured continuously into the lobby freezing us in place. The attendance was incredible for what was supposed to be a small time con. We hung out for pictures, talked to folks, and patrolled the hotel for a while. We were joined by a handful of our Galactic Academy kids who actually outnumbered us. We packed out around 3:30 as things began to wind down.

Troopers:
Warren – TA
Jesse – TS
Rob – TK

Galactic Academy:
Delaney – BH Boushh
Gabby – ID Staff Officer
Bobby- SL Kylo Ren
Izzy- TB


12/9–SW Intergalactic Celebration, Annapolis

We arrived around 2:00PM. There was a fairly decent crowd. My squire took a lot of pictures with all the kids
and adults. The library had Star Wars activities set up for the kids. We wrapped it up around 3:30pm, taking a final picture with the librarians

Troopers:
Nick -TK

Squires:
Dan & Lisa Dinko


12/11–TFA Viewing Party – Oxen Hill

Librarians of this branch were hosting a Viewing party of TFA for its teen audience in order to promote excitement and entertainment in anticipation of TLJ’s upcoming premiere. There were various activity stations set up for participants to include a selfie/picture station with 501st members. Troopers arrived between 5pm and stayed until the event ended at 8pm.

Troopers:
Robert – TI
Phil – DZ (Jawa)


12/11–Cub Scout Holiday Party, Fort Meade

Wow, what an exciting night for the Cub Scouts of Pack 337!  Shep and Charlie arrived at the church at 5:30 and met the Scout Master. They reviewed the plan for the evening and were shown to the changing room. The Fort Meade police had their mobile command vehicle available for the scouts to check out. It is practically a monster truck! The pack meeting started at 6:00pm and the scouts were recognized for the many badges and belt loops they had earned. The ugly sweater contest began, and we made our entrance to the sound of the Imperial March. After reviewing the ugly sweaters, we selected the Christmas tree with actual glowing lights as the winner. The scouts took pictures with us, then headed outside to meet Santa and receive their pinewood derby kits. The meeting wrapped up right on schedule with cookies and juice in the church foyer and we had a final photo with all of the adult leaders.

We also received a really awesome ornament from Pack 337!

 

Troopers:
Allen – TR
Charlie – TI


12/13–Childrens National Medical Center Virtual Santa, Washington DC

We arrived at the location @ 9:15 and parked. We then proceeded to the Seacrest Studio on the main floor and got suited up. Jason was already onsite with R2. Once we got suited up, a representative from Seacrest Studio’s went over the game plan. We were to take photos with the patients, guests, employees, etc., and then direct the patients to a table where they could pick out a gift. We posed for tons of pictures and the kids were really excited to see us and R2. We danced a bit while R2 played some Christmas songs as well. Around 1:15, we packed it as the gift table was empty and the crowd started to thin out.

 

Troopers:
Charlie – TI
Jesse – TS
Jason – R2


12/14-17/2017 – The Last Jedi Premier @ the Senator – Baltimore

12/14

Once again the Senator Theater was very accommodating for us. Most of us showed up between 1530 and 1630 and started getting changed. The Senator provided us a changing room in the form of Theater #4. By 1700 everyone was suited up and headed outside to greet those crazy enough to have braved the elements and lined up early.  People as always really enjoyed us being there to be their pre-movie entertainment. At 1745 we piled into the main theater were we continued the tradition of taking a group photo in the front of the historic theater. Once the photo was completed we headed to the lobby where we set up our honor guard lines and greeted the guests as they came filing into the theater to grab their seats. After that we desuited and grabbed our seats, ready for the latest installment in the Star Wars franchise.

Troopers:
Allen – TR
Barron – TB
Bob – TI
Bob – TI
Emily – CC
Eric – TB
Geoff – TK
Jason – R2
Lue – TI
Mark – TB
Melissa – TI
Patrick – TS
Todd – TK
Warren – TA
William – TK

Other Garrison Troopers:
Josh
Arielle
Jess
Matt
Rich
Shiloh
Marc
Brian
Kellie
Liz
Ed

Galactic Academy
Delaney – BH

Squires:
Kelly

Late Show:

Troopers:
David – FOTK
Tom – TI
Melissa – TI
William – TK

Other Garrison Troopers:
Andrew
Jamie

***

12/15

We suited up around 4:30 am and milled about the Theater for a while listening to the 98 Rock Morning show broadcasting from the stage. ABC2 News was there in the morning and did a couple of interviews about the 501st with Pat and Ladies of the Legions with Chloe. We took a few photos with people in the lobby until it was time to unsuit.

Troopers:
Chris -TR
Devin – TB
Emily – CC
Pat – TS

***

12/16

Rob arrived with Bobby at 10:15 and the manager showed us to the storage room for changing. They were joined shortly after that by Devin Minnich. We put our kits on and proceeded outside to the front of the movie theater’s entrance. This was a fantastic crowd as everyone was happy to see two Biker scouts before entering the theater. We took many pictures and waved to onlookers from there cars. The scouts happily report no Ewoks were spotted and some droids were found but they had papers and moved along.

Troopers:
Rob – TB
Devin – TB
Bobby – GA Kylo

***

12/17

Jesse and Bry arrived at the theater at the same time. The Senator was very accommodating allowing us to change in their stock room. While they were suiting, Rob arrived already dressed (he drove to the event that way!) Once we were ready, we went out front and proceeded to wave to passing traffic and take pictures with patrons and passers-by. We had very favorable reactions including honking horns, cars pulling over to take pics, excited kids in cars, thumbs up from drivers, and compliments from the movie-goers. Jesse had an excited debate with a group of young fans as to who the good guys and bad guys were pictured on the Last Jedi poster. The result was a stalemate. At 1pm we desuited and went on our way.

Troopers:
Rob Heck-TB
Jesse Pollock-TS
Bry White-TI


12/14-16/2017-TLJ Air & Space Museum -DC/VA

12/14

Troopers from OLG, Tyrannus, and the Mandalorian mercs were represented. We arrived around 1600hrs, got suited up and walked the halls of the museum and then stayed near the theater entrance/ line area once the films were playing. We also gave an interview with WUSA 9 News.

Troopers:
Robert – TI
Matthew – CT

Other garrison Troopers:
Christian – ID
Joe – RL
Amelia – RL
Kat – MMCC
Sean – MMCC

Squire:
Bill – MMCC

***

12/15

By 1715 the first shift of Troopers were already out taking pictures with the Museum goers as well as those already lined up for the 1930 showing of the movie. A few more troopers started showing up and getting in kit for the 1830 shift.  We then headed out and joined those that were there for the first shift. By this time the Museum was closed, and we only had those that were waiting for the next showing of the movie so we did our standard walk around and take pictures with those that had yet to get theirs. Once the theater was ready to move the 1930 audience, we stood in an honor guard line and guided the moviegoers to the theater which they enjoyed and tried to snap some last minute photos of us. After that, the earlier showing let out and the crowd went wild seeing Star Wars costumes waiting for them.  Of course they had to grab a quick photo with us before leaving the Museum.  After that, we got together and did a group photo at the moon lander in the entrance area and then people either started dekitting or took a break until the 2230 crowd started to show up. All in all, it was another successful troop at the Air and Space Museum and they said they, of course, wanted us back for the Han Solo movie coming out in May 2018.

 

Troopers:
Allen – IG
Brian – TK
Charlie- TI
Corey – TB
David – FOTK

Other Garrison Troopers:
Ben – GT
Bria – GT
Joseph – GT
Julia – GT
Lance – GT
Marc – MM
Jamie – RL
Nick – RL

Squires:
Corry
Rowan

***

12/16

We suited up around 4:30 pm and headed to the front area of the museum to take pictures with people at the museum. Once they closed the museum, we entertained people lining up for the movie and those coming in from security.

Troopers:
Robert – TIE
Corey – TB
Emily – CC

Troopers From Other Garrisons:
Bria – FO Officer
Clayton- TX
Anna – Jango
Christopher – Montross
Lance – TIE
Lance’s son- Officer
Christian – Officer

Squire:
Nishaad


12/14–TLJ @ Leitersburg Cinemas, Hagerstown

Some of us arrived at 4, but the crowds had not yet arrived. The theater gave us an office to change in, luckily the stairs didn’t cause too much trouble. Closer to the movie showtimes, the crowds started getting larger. There was a DJ set up playing Star Wars music, as well as an R2-D2 from Droid Builders. We interacted with moviegoers, some of which were in costume, and took plenty of pictures. The theater was kind enough to offer us 20 tickets to see the movie. Excitement was high, and Star Wars was in the air. We wrapped up just before the 10 o’clock showing.

Troopers:
Nick – TI
Cayla – DZ
Joshua – TI
Jess – TK
Brian – FOTK
Maureen – TR

Squires:
Michelle
Christina
Andrew

 


12/16–Toy Drive & TLJ – Frederick

We suited up in a storage area across from one of the theaters. We had great attendance, so we spilled out into the hallway a bit. Once we were ready, we headed out shortly before 13:00 and stationed ourselves front of the theater with the toy donation box. We were joined by sever members of the RL and Mercs. Many of us brought toys, so the box was well seeded when we got started. Visitors came by in waves, bringing toys, and posing for pictures. It was a little cold and windy, so we took a few breaks inside to keep warm. As each showing of TLJ ended, movie patrons were extra excited to interact with us on their way out. At 15:30, we wrapped up and headed back inside. Congratulations to Becca and Henry for their first troop.

Troopers:
Andy – TR
Brian – FOTK
Henry – TI (first troop)
Jess – TK
Maureen – TR
Melissa – TI
Rebecca – TI (first troop)
Rob – SL: Vader
William – TK

Visiting Garrison Troopers:
Scott (GC) – TI
James (GC) – Snowie
Sarah – TD (GA)
Jason – R2

Squires:
Drew McLain


12/20–Lucas’ Toy Chest – Washington, DC

What a heartwarming event at the Children’s National Hospital Center!  Our troopers arrived at the hospital around noon, and were escorted upstairs to the fourth floor Art Center. The Metropolitan Police Department officers were already bringing up tons of toys that were donated by members of MPD’s 5th district. They created a wonderful display around the room. We quickly changed into our Imperial outfits and the first few children arrived. They were welcome to choose any toy they wanted for the abundant cornucopia. Some were a little intimidated by the Empire, but warmed up after checking us out from a distance. We also had some passionate discussion with Rey about who truly are the “good guys” in the galaxy. We then visited the patients rooms to make sure everyone had a chance to see the Star Wars characters and choose a toy. Officer Brent’s son Lucas, who was the inspiration for the whole event, joined us toward the end.  Congratulations to Amelia from Terrapin Base for trooping her first official event as Rey!

Troopers:
Charlie – TI
Corey – TB
Robert – TI

Rebel Legion:
Amelia – Rey
Nick – Jedi

Galactic Academy:
Nick’s daughter – Rey


 

Event Round Up, October & November

December 8th, 2017

10/7–Caiden turns 10, Laurel

We all arrived a little before 19:00 and changed in the restrooms. Once we were ready, the Emperor’s Hand and TK 86347 arrested the birthday boy while the pilots stood guard. We visited with the party goers and the pilots tried a video game where you drive simulated landspeeder-like vehicles around a virtual track. The roller rink staff were, perhaps, more excited to see us than the children and we posed for several photos. At 20:30, we said our goodbyes and headed back to change, leaving at 20:45.

Troopers:
James – TI
Melissa – TI
Stephanie – Mara Jade
William – TK


10/7–Walk for Autism, Ellicott City

Troopers arrived between 7 & 8 am; we gathered with members of the Saber Guild and our favorite R2-D2 unit in a pavilion to suit up.  Runners and families were delighted to see us (especially R2). Several younglings impressed us with their knowledge of Imperial equipment and personnel. TI-13621 gave a short-course on TIE Fighter technology and configurations to a rapt group.  We stood along the start line and gave high-fives to the runners as they began their race, and cheered and directed them to the finish line upon their return.  After some final photos, we said our goodbyes and headed for Home.

Troopers:
Bill – IS
Cheryl – ID
Melissa – TI
William – TK
Jason – R2-D2


10/7–WALK to END Hydrocephalus, Baltimore

All troopers and rebel legion members completed the 5k walk along with several hundred members of the community.  OLG troopers and fans combined in a team to raise $1526 for Hydrocephalus research through the foundation.

Troopers:
Devin – TB
Kyle – SL

Rebels:
Chloe – ANH Leia


10/7–St. Mary’s LexiCon, Lexington Park

Brian arrived right as Josh finished suiting up. They moved the changing area to the back offices/work room, to allow for easier suiting up. The Con was in the same spaces as last year, with vendor tables set up in the entry/foyer and panels/trivia going on in the two multi-purpose spaces. The library proper was not part of the event, though I did end up making a round through. There was a food truck out front this year, a welcome addition to not have to play Frogger getting to the closest restaurant.

Josh took post by the registration table to guard the staff from unruly teens, and Brian patrolled the small convention space. Periodically he made his way outside to beckon guests to the con and take pictures. The event started winding down around 2:30, and we de-suited at 3:00 when the crowd moved to the back rooms for the cosplay contest. All in all a nice local con.

Troopers:
Brian – TK
Josh – TR


10/13–SW Reading Night, Sandymount Elementary School, Finksburg

We started the event by walking into the school gymnasium where the children and families were waiting. After being introduced by the event organizer, we posed for a few pictures before heading to the library where we spent the majority of the troop. We interacted with and took photos with the students as they rotated through.  After the last rotation, we went back to the gymnasium for a parade of the kids led by R2 and a few questions.

Troopers:
Andy – TB
Jason – R2
Melissa – ID
Michael – TI
Patrick – TS
William – TK


10/14–Star Wars Reads, Severna Park

We arrived at 10am and were led to our changing area in the back behind the front desk. The library was decorated with a dozen or so cardboard Star Wars standees which added to the atmosphere. There were several children anxiously awaiting, dressed in their Star Wars costumes as well. We then proceeded to get dressed and then assemble in the hall. Our host advised us that we could then go out and mix with the crowd of kids and parents who were waiting.

We entered the main library floor, where Charlie got us and the kids lined up for a brief QA session in which correct answers were rewarded with MD Cog pins and coloring books from the PR bin. The kids seemed to really enjoy this, and Charlie did a fantastic job as always in MC’ing the session. After about 15 minutes or so, we broke off into small groups for photos. We continued to take photos for about another hour before mingling with the other guests, answering questions, etc. After about 2 hours, we headed back to the changing room to change back into our civilian clothes and call it a day.

Troopers:
Bill – TI
Bry – TI
Charlie – ID
Cheryl – ID
Corey – TB (FIRST TROOP)
Eric – TB
James – TI
Jesse – TS
Marc – SL: Vader (FIRST TROOP)
Matt – TC
Melissa – TI
Patrick – TS
Ryan – TI
Stephanie – MJ
William – TK

GA:
Regan – GA DZ


10/14–MoCo Light the Night, Rockville

Troopers were able to home in on the astromech’s signal (yes, the same droid involved with the stolen Death Star plans) and find where to stage our campaign. We were joined by a visiting Jawa, and a pair of Jedi Knights were bold enough to taunt us (though they kept a safe distance). We made ourselves available for many photos and high-fives. The R2 droid played music to the delight of the crowd, especially a very small youngling, who eventually decided the music was good enough to dance to. As the walkers departed the staging area, flashlights in hand, we lined up and sent them on their way with more high-fives. We departed the walk, and the group met for some refreshment before heading home.

OLG Troopers:
Bill – IS
Cheryl – ID
Melissa – TI
William – ID

Visiting Troopers:
Kate – DZ

Droid Builders:
Jason – R2

Rebel Scu…uhh, Legion:
Norm G.
Joe F.


10/21–HCPL Comic Con, Bel Air

The library really expanded this event from last year! Rather than being confined to just a room or two, there were events and activities all over the library, and the crowd was steady and lively all day. Troopers started arriving around 9 and were suited up when the doors opened at 10. We wandered about the branch, taking pictures, giving high fives, and garnering smiles both inside and outside the building. As this was a longer event, we worked in shifts to keep it covered for almost the entire time. The library folks took care of us as usual with plenty of space for changing and pizza and waters for lunch. The last Troopers rolled out by 3.

Troopers:
Pat – TK
Dan – ID
Devin – TB
Bryan – CB
Chris – TR
Ryan – DZ (GA)

Squires:
Matt

Rebels:
Chloe – ANH Leia
Charles – Jedi
Joe – Jedi


10/21–Star Wars Party, Forest Hill

There are some parties where people aren’t really sure how to Star Wars. This was not one of those parties. These folks were HUGE fans and had plenty of memorabilia to prove it. They were very kind and really glad to have us there. Pat and I arrived around 4:30 and were suited up by 5, just as guests started to arrive. Most of the 30-40 people there were dressed in some kind of Star Wars costume. As their choices tended heavily rebel, however, it was a good thing we were present to keep lawlessness from breaking out. There was plenty of food, a movie screen in the back of the wooded lot, and several themed games ready to go. There was also a Death Star pinata, which the misguided youth took too much pleasure in beating apart. It was heartbreaking to watch. We wandered the yard, taking pictures and greeting guests for about an hour, departing for the evening just as the movie was about to start. The hostess was immensely grateful and said they would be taking up a collection for disaster relief. She is supposed to email me once the donation has been made.

Troopers:
Pat – TK
Chris – TR


10/26–Walk a thon, Bel Air Elementary School, Bel Air

We arrived a little before 1200 and started getting suited up. We were teamed with staff who also wore costumes, one of which was a Spider-Man suit and a pretty decent Batman suit that was definitely more than the Target special, and our organizer was Superman. The Bel Air Police Department joined us and had a McGruff suited up as well. The “good guys” were introduced, then us “bad guys” were brought out for the entire school to very high levels of cheers. Lots of kids were in hero costumes to do their walk around Bel Air and there were a lot of Star Wars fans in general attending the event. We high-fived a lot at the beginning, and met them about 2/3 through there walk for more high fives and pictures. It appeared to be a very positive experience with the kids and staff.

Troopers:
Rob – TB
Pat – TK


10/27–Haunted Halls, Joint Base Andrews

We arrived at about 17:30 and were shown to a conference room to change. At 18:00, we headed out and Levi showed us to the trunk-or-treat. We patrolled the area, taking pictures and handing out high fives. One youngling that was dressed as an owl took a good 15 minutes creeping up to us and building up confidence but couldn’t get enough of high fives and fist bumps at the end. Around 19:00, it started to get pretty dark, so we headed to the front of the haunted halls to hang out under the street lights. At 19:30 we headed in and left around 19:45. The attendance was a little sparse but this was a very fun event and we had a great time.

Troopers:
Melissa – TI
William – TK


10/28–KidsPeace 5K/1 Mile Walk, Baltimore

We arrived dark and early as the crew was setting up outside of the main gate. We met up with our contact and were shown to the Auxiliary Clubhouse to change. At 6:30, we headed out to greet the runners and walkers, who showed up in a fun array of costumes, including at least two poop emojis. We took lots of photos as the guests arrived and saw them off when the run began. Once the runners and walkers were away, we took a quick moment to sneak into the photo booth and to take a few selfies overlooking the field. We then arranged ourselves on the sidelines of the last stretch and cheered on the returning runners. Once everyone was back, we visited a bit more with some of the younger patrons before heading back down to change at 9:30. As with last year, this was a great event and they took great care of us, well worth the early start!

Troopers:
Melissa – TI
William – TK
Jason (R2)
Joe (Rebel Legion)


10/28–Family Fall Festival, Severn

The Church provided us with a changing room for our bins. The Maryland National Guard and Anne Arundel Police Department were present. Our contact Mary Jo Swartz Taylor helped out with a nice lunch and drinks. They had a covered pavilion for pictures and activities. The Rebel Legion, Mercs and R2 Builders club also joined in on this troop! As usual we all were accessories for R2!  It was an excellent turnout and only a few kids cried, but overall it was a great time.

Troopers:
Ryan – TI
Jesse – TS
Mike – TB
Olivia – (GA)
Eric – TB
Nick – TK

Squires:
Dan & Lisa


10/28–Walk for Alzheimer’s, Baltimore

Troopers arrived at 9am to Canton Waterfront Park. After getting suited up, Rob was overwhelmed with joy to see the 1700 people who were attending for this to help raise money to end Alzheimer’s. The Troopers took many photos with participants, some of which are fairly popular in Maryland. We then did the 5k walk which lasted about an hour.  Rob was also part of a team which raised $2000 for the cause!

Troopers:
Rob – TB
Bobby – GA Kylo

Squires:
Tiffany
Gabby
Valerie


10/28–Halloween Parade, Dundalk

We arrived at Eric’s house around 4pm and were led into his basement which housed his awesome SW collection. Eric and Chris provided us with refreshments as we got kitted up for the parade. After suiting up, we all formed up outside for some pics before heading down to the end of the street to meet up with the fire truck.  After checking ID’s and searching for droids, we proceeded to patrol the neighborhood with the local fire department. We posed for many pictures and answered several questions. The kids seemed to really enjoy having us there. After some additional pics and games with the kids, we headed back to Eric’s house to break down.  This was a fun little event in a beautiful neighborhood. Thanks for having us, Eric, and good luck on your approval.

Troopers:
Jesse Pollock – TS
Rob Heck – TK
Sebastian Danese – TK

Galactic Academy:
Bobby Heck – GASL – Kylo
Gabby Heck – GA ID
Niko Loucas – GATB
Aileen Danese – GADZ

 


10/28–Library of Congress popup exhibit, DC

Robert arrived at the LOC at 11am and met with our Imperial informant Shasha Dowdy who provided a tour and overview of the area of operations. Our main objective was to provide Imperial support and presence as well as scout out and recruit future Troopers. There were several Propaganda photos taken through out the facility and event. The Moff (The 14th Librarian of Congress) even mentioned our efforts. There was also a report of a Jedi being present. Overall people really enjoyed our presence and we were helpful in making the pop-up exhibit a success.

Trooper:
Robert Boyce – TI


10/28–Wedding – Havre de Grace

We arrived at 14:00 and the wedding planner was a bit surprised to see us. The bride was pretty good at keeping us a secret to everyone but the groom, to whom she had spilled the beans the night before. We dressed and positioned ourselves around the courtyard to greet the wedding party as they arrived at around 15:00, with Vader standing at the head of the staircase. It was a beautiful day and once the bridal party arrived, we posed for several pictures overlooking the water. TI-13621 was thrilled to be the tallest one in a photo when the photographer asked her to stand on a bench behind the bride; however, that excitement was short-lived when TC-35088 was asked to stand on the other bench and, once again, towered over the group. Once the photos were done, we headed up to the sidewalk level to greet the other wedding guests as they arrived and pose for a few more photos. Once all of the guests had filed in to the reception hall, we took a few more formal photos with the bride and groom before heading back down to the dressing area at 16:00.

Troopers:
Jason Pangborn (R2)
Marc Colburn
Matthew Ely
Melissa Ralph
William Ralph

Squire:
Kat


10/29–Buddy Walk, Baltimore

Jesse arrived at 8am and made contact with the Event Host, Brian, and parked over by Rash field. It was raining pretty heavily at this point. Brian had reserved a classroom for changing in the Science Center. Jesse made his way over and got suited up and then walked back over to the field area where registration and the vendor tents were set up. Jesse greeted the folks as they were registering and shortly after, made contact with Eric of the Rebel Legion. He led Jesse over to the tent that they had assigned to us. There was also another RL member who was participating in her first troop, dressed as Rey.

The kids were very happy to see us. We posed for dozens of pics, gave plenty of hugs and high fives, as well as congratulated all who cross the finish line. We even took pics with the Oriole Bird, and Poe the Ravens Mascot. This was a very fun event, despite the rainy conditions. Around 11am, we packed it up and headed out.

Troopers:
Jesse Pollock – TS


11/4–STEM Awareness, Columbia

We arrived at 08:30 to find that we were at the wrong location. A few more event demonstrators were in the same predicament, and we put our heads together to figure out the correct location. Fortunately, we were only slightly off and the event was at the middle school right next door to the high school.  We were a little over-eager and ready to go by 9:30, which turned out to be a good thing because a few early birds had already arrived. We posed for pictures and dolled out high fives. The cafeteria area of the middle school had been set-up with tabletop demonstrations from both African American STEM organizations and some employers in the STEM fields. A particularly nice presentation featured posters and busts about notable African American STEM professionals. Farther on, we found a replica of one of the droids we’ve been looking for, a student-made small-scale replica of R2D2. Next door, in the gymnasium, there was a hands-on activity related to art and architecture. The Lt. Governor even stopped by to tour the exhibits. For us, though, the highlight of the event was one of its attendees. Young Claire, only 15 months old, was very taken with us and not the least bit scared. She came over to us several times for high fives or to just stare at us and giggle, each time reporting back to squire Rebecca with a lengthy discourse in babbles and squeals that, unfortunately, eluded all our attempts at translation. As the event began winding down at 12:30, we excused ourselves to take a break before the next event started. At 14:00 we re-entered the cafeteria, which had been turned over for the new event. There were different posters and a few different exhibitors while, for the most part, the employer groups remained the same. TI-13621 attempted to train in the use of a device called a stethoscope but, alas, it was not well suited for use with a helmet. After touring the exhibits we returned to the lobby for more greetings and high-fives. Only one youngling was afraid of us, but he eventually warmed up and conceded to a high-five. Towards the end of the event, the Governor of Maryland came through. He asked if TI-13621 and TK-36347 were on different sides and was quickly corrected by one of his aides, who knew that we both represented the empire. While the event was scheduled until 17:00, it began to wind down at 16:30 and, as it had been a long day, we retired to our classroom to change.

Troopers:
Melissa – TI
William – TK

Squire:
Rebecca


11/4-5–Brick Fest Live!, Timonium

Jesse arrived @ 845 and was shown to our area. He had the PR-Lite kit, and began to set that up before the event started. Jason already had R2 out and his backdrop set up as well. There were several other troopers there too. After we got the table set up, we all got suited up in our changing area behind the table. Our event contact then stopped by with a case of water for us and mentioned some events that he would like us to participate in. We then stepped out and started taking pics with the guests. The lines for photos were INSANE. We took hundreds of pictures throughout the day, signed autographs, and delivered many hi-fives and Alderaan fistbumps. All in all, it was a very fun set of days.

Troopers:
Bob Metcalf
Bryan White
Eric Grubb – Event Lead
Erin Blank
Jason Pangborn
Jesse Pollock
Lue Metcalf
Matt Blank
Matt Sullivan
Neil Shivelle
Rick Bouwhuis

GA:
Niko Loucas
Ethan Blank
Adin Blank

Squire:
Sam White


11/09–Children’s National Medical Center, Washington DC

What a wonderful and inspiring event! Our appearance at the Children’s National Medical Center was facilitated by Rebecca Hawk, who dressed as Anna from Frozen. She also brought in Batman, Captain America, The Green Arrow, a Jedi Knight, Supergirl, Wonder Woman, and R2-D2. We were provided large changing rooms and a secure area to store our belongings on one of the upper floors of the hospital. We then proceeded down to the atrium at 1:00pm. The hospital had decorated the area with banners and balloons to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of the Ryan Seacrest Studios which allows them to share special guest appearances on the hospital TV network with the patients that are not able to leave their rooms. There was a gigantic cookie with frosting, a popcorn station, and a wagon full of Star Wars books. We posed for pictures with the many excited children and their families, and exchanged many high fives and fist bumps. The ceremony was wrapped up around 3:00pm with a raucous rendition of the Happy Birthday song and tons of confetti!

Troopers:
Charlie – TI
Jason Pangborn – R2


11/11–Stone & Skirts wedding, Essex

We arrived shortly before 14:00 and found that Jason had already secured us a changing room. We got suited up and hid in the bar/pool hall area from the groom, who didn’t know we were coming. Shortly after 15:00, the wedding began. TK-86347 and TI-13621 processed ahead of the bride, with R2 behind. We stood flanking the stage for the ceremony. After the ceremony, we left the hall and were announced as we re-entered. We danced and posed for informal photographs and then headed back outside for some formal photos. After more mingling and dancing, our gracious hosts insisted that we take a break for a few minutes and have some food. We obliged for a few minutes and then rejoined the festivities. After the dollar dance, the bouquet toss, and the garter, we stood guard while the bride and groom cut their cake. After that we said our goodbyes and headed back to change at about 17:30. Special shout-out to Johnny Adams, who stayed with us the whole time and took great care of us.

Troopers:
Jason – R2
William – TK
Melissa – TI


11/11–Veterans Day Parade, Ellicott City

After some running around, Emily and Patrick made it to the start of the parade and changed in the parking lot. Not long after, they met up with some Rebels. We got into position in the parade and made our way down to the clock in Old Ellicott City. At the end of the parade route, Patrick had to run to work while everyone else hung out for pictures.

Troopers:
Emily – CC
Patrick – TS


11/16/2017 – Battlefront 2 Launch, Severna Park

The Empire arrived at the location of the video game distribution center at 6:00pm and quickly took control of the area. After slogging through two hours of traffic surrounding Washington DC (no doubt caused by Rebel insurrection), Iden Versio arrived to provide reinforcement. A Jedi knight was also on the scene, but was not causing any trouble. The employees of the local establishment were thrilled with our Imperial presence, except for one Rebel sympathizer that was taken into custody. Electronic Arts bumped up the release time of Battlefront II to 9:00pm so that civilians could get a three hour head start on their Imperial training. Late into the troop, an undercover Imperial Staff Officer arrived dressed in standard civilian clothing matching the indigenous population. The agent proceeded to gather intel and provide incognito support. Around 11:00pm, several patrons came to the establishment and queued up to get the latest pocket monster simulation. The Empire wrapped up the troop at midnight and hit the rack for some much needed rest.

Troopers:
Nick – TK

Visiting Trooper:
Bria – Iden Versio

Rebel Rabble Rouser:
Joe – Jedi

Squires:
Charlie – Undercover Imperial Agent
Dan
Lisa

Event Round Up, September

October 24th, 2017

9/1-3 Escape Velocity, DC

Friday Kevin and Shep were there early to set everything up, EV gave us a nice big space to fill up with PR Table, Helmet and Weapons display as well as a nice changing area attached to the booth area. It was pretty much Kevin, Caela, and Shep on Friday and the crowd was pretty light, but we talked to all that showed up to the table as well as wandered around. Saturday, of course, was our biggest attendance.  We had a good number of troopers suited up to hang around the table as well as go wandering about. Sunday was very light both in Trooper numbers as well as the crowd, and we pretty much kept ourselves entertained. We were selling the MD Cog Pin and raised $24.26.

Troopers: (List troopers in alphabetical order)

Friday September 1
Allen Shepherd – TI
Caela Mandigo

Saturday September 2
Allen Shepherd – IN
Caela Mandigo
Bill Thomas – IS
Cheryl Thomas – ID
Melissa Ralph – TI
William Ralph – ID
Robert Boyce – TI
Todd Blatt – TK
Phil Gastilo – DZ

Sunday September 3

Allen Shepherd – IG
Brian Vetter – TK
Emily Schram – CC
Melissa Ralph – TI
William Ralph – ID
Robert Boyce – TI

Other Garrison Troopers
Kevin Belling (GT) – TK


9/3–Nick & Emily’s Wedding, DC

We arrived at 6:30 and dressed in the Air B&B that our hosts had graciously rented for our use. A friend of the bride and groom, Dalton, took great care of us, helping us get ready. Around 7:30, we headed out for a short walk through the city to the ceremony venue. Dalton was a natural and expertly fended off photo requests and a house party invite, keeping us on task and on time. We did make a small exception for two EMTs who pulled their ambulance over to take a quick photo with us. We arrived at the venue to cheers and took a quick photo with the bride and groom. We then escorted the party from the ceremony venue to the reception to even more cheers and thinks from passing motorists. We arrived to a lightsaber arch, through which we led the bride, groom, and their guests. We then posed for photos and danced a little. The bride announced that the guests were welcome to add to the donation the couple planned to make to Casa Ruby, a charity for at-risk LGBT youth, on our behalf. She gave the guests a brief overview of the 501st, emphasizing our charitable work and referencing our 2016 fundraising accomplishments from the 501st.com site. We were truly humbled to have our work recognized in such a thoughtful way. After more photos and dancing, we posed for one more photo with the happy couple at about 8:30 and Dalton escorted us back to change. This was a very fun and rewarding experience and we wish Nick and Emily all the best.

Troopers:
Charlie Mann – TI
Melissa Ralph – TI
William Ralph – TK
Brian Vetter – TK
Jess Wedlock – TK


9/9 – Deafopia Expo, DC

TK-86347 and TI-13621 arrived at 15:00. We had a little trouble finding where to park but got that sorted out quickly. We got ready in a room at the university’s hotel and conference center. We headed down at 15:30, shared an elevator ride with a few puzzled patrons, and posed for a few pictures in the lobby. Out host picked us up in a golf cart and showed us to a small stage area where Deafies in Drag were about to perform. We posed for some group photos and flanked the show, then went off on patrol. It was a little challenging to combine limited ASL proficiency with gloves and a helmet but with liberal use of the signs “I’m sorry,” “I’m hearing,” and “thank you,” we got by. Everyone we interacted with was thrilled to see us. We patrolled the expo, posing for photos, dancing at the DJ booth, and having a great time. At 18:00, we called it an evening, and walked back to the conference center to change and grab some water. We changed and headed back down to the lobby at 18:45. Our host says he wants 20 of us next year. With as much fun as we had, that shouldn’t be hard to deliver.

Troopers:
Josh Orr – TR
Melissa Ralph – TI
William Ralph – TK


9/10 – Fired Up for Childhood Cancer – Severna Park

Troopers arrived by between 10 and 11, and we were escorted to the Firehouse gym to change and store our gear.  We headed out and were immediately rushed for photos by those in attendance.  There were different types of firetrucks, and we posed for pics with the equipment and crew.  We stood beside the road and waved at passing traffic, inviting them to come in.

A special moment came in our day when a youngling came up to us, saying he was lost and couldn’t find his parents.  His grandmother quickly found us, and was very pleased to have found him.  What we all noticed immediately was that the young lad had walked past the firefighters and police officers to come to us for help – respect for the Empire extends across the galaxy!  We took breaks as needed, and our host made sure we had water and food on this hot day.  We took one final picture with all the event’s costumed attendees, gave our thanks, and said our goodbyes.

Big thanks to Dan and Lisa for their expert Squiring!

 

OLG Troopers:
Bill Thomas – IS
Cheryl Thomas – ID
Melisssa Ralph – TI
Pat Vatrone – TK
Rob Cross – SL: Vader
William Ralph – TK

Visiting Troopers:
Donna Ratledge – TI (GC)

Galactic Academy:
Conner Vatrone -DZ
Mary Ratledge – IC (GC)
Nick Dinko – TK

Squires:

Dan Dinko
Lisa Dinko


9/16 – Andrews AFB Air Show, Camp Springs

Phil picked up Nishaad and Thomas at Nishaad’s residence. They arrived at Andrews AFB, Pearl Harbor Gate at 0600 and proceeded through the sentry hut and met our POC, Randy Sena, at the guard shack. After receiving parking placards/wristbands, followed Mr. Sena to hangar 2 to drop off bins. After getting changed, the troopers took pictures and spoke with some vendors setting up.   At 0900, Tom suited up into his TI and we trooped around the flight deck. We took pictures with the public and made one loop back to the hangar in time for lunch, at the same time that the air demonstrations were going on. It was great to see the Golden Knights jump in and the fly bys of the B2 Stealth Bomber, Japanese Zeroes, and P51 Mustang were awesome. But the best demo was by the F-22 Raptor! Seeing that thing show its air superiority capabilities was incredible.

After lunch, Tom suited back up and Phil got into his Jawa. There were more people by this time, and we were mobbed just outside of the hangar. It took several minutes just to move 10 yards. Nishaad was an excellent squire and managed to get us out to the tarmac where there was more room for pictures. We were nicely received by the public in general.  We again made one big loop of the flight deck and got back to the hangar. By this time,
1600, the Thunderbirds began their demo and we suited down, packed up, and walked back to the car.

Troopers:
Thomas Pomerico – TI
Phil Gastilo – DZ

Squire:
Nishaad Knights


9/16 – National Drive Electric Week – Poolesville, MD

We arrived between 8:30 and 9:00, suited up, and headed down to the load-in area for the parade. By 10:00, the parade was underway. As with last year, the event was well-attended, and we interacted with many loyal Imperial citizens who were just thrilled to see us. Following the parade, we took a quick water break and posed for photos with some of the electric vehicles, then headed back out to patrol the festival. We enjoyed meeting the locals, both human and animals, and posed for many photos. At 13:30, the heat had become oppressive, so we trekked back to the electric vehicles area to change and headed out around 14:00.

OLG Troopers:
Bill Thomas – TI
Cheryl Thomas – ID
Josh Graham- TI
Melissa Ralph – TI
William Ralph – TK

Squires:
Henry Bradford
Rebecca Cook


9/17 – Heroes Run, Annapolis

We arrived at the event around 10:30 am and set up. Huge thanks to Charlie for going on a side mission to pick up the PR bin last minute for the tables. After getting breakfast at Mission BBQ, we got suited up and hung around the tables. A couple troopers would wander around a little, while others stayed at the tables to take photos with people. At 2pm, we watched the opening ceremonies and cheered the runners as they started the race. Way to go Charlie and Matt for completing the race in kit! We got unsuited after the beginning of the race, mingled until the runners were coming back, and then broke everything down to head home.

Troopers:
Charlie – TI
Devin – TB
Emily – Rex
Eric – TB
Matt – TK
Shep – IN

Jason – R2
Donna Ratledge – TI (GC)
Mary Ratledge – IC (GC – GA)

Squires:
Bill Thomas
Cheryl Thomas


9/23 – Barracks Row Fall Festival, DC

After some challenges in finding parking, we arrived at our changing and staging area. The metro station was very close by, so metro might be a good alternative to driving if we attend the festival next ear. The festival had set us up with a tent, table, and chairs right in front of the local business that was letting us use its facilities for changing and escaping the heat. We began our patrol shortly after 10:30 and explored all of the sights the festival had to offer. There was a petting zoo, trapeze/areal silks performers, CPR demonstrations, several vendors, and more. At 12:00 and 15:00 we gave a brief, buckets-off interviews at the stage about OLG and our activities. The festival generously provided us with lunch and plenty of water, and Nishaad and TJ were the most helpful squires we could ask for. We all had a great time, even with the unseasonable warmth. A little after 16:00, we headed back to cool down and change, leaving just as the festival was breaking down at 17:00.

OLG Troopers:
Charlie Mann – TI
Melissa Ralph – TI
Robert Boyce – TI
William Ralph- ID

Squires:
Nishaad Knights
TJ Rosetti

 


9/23 – Main Street Music Fest, Ellicott City

 

Jesse and Charles arrived around 10:40 and suited up, and met up with Patrick. A quarter to 12 we made our way to Lot D and patrolled the festivities, and brought smiles from all. Around 1 Rob, Mike and Kyle with Abby and Keria in tow made their entrance. As we all patrolled taking numerous pics along the way, we encountered some unfamiliar troopers dressed in blue cloth uniforms (Union Soldiers), come to find out they are fighting “rebels” too. As usual we were well received by the patrons of the festival. The volunteer staff was great with providing water….IT WAS HOT! Also a great shout out to the awesome staff of All Time Toys for letting us get some shelter from the heat.

A great day for all.

OLG Troopers:
Patrick Talbott – TS
Mike Perkins-TD
Jesse Pollock- TS
Rob Heck – TK
Kyle Harkins – TD
Charles Singer- FO/TI

Squires:
Miss Abby Heck

Galactic Academy:
Miss Keira Perkins – ID