Monday, February 9, 2015

Highlights of 2014

Relax. Nobody was pregnant.

So, based on that, I DO NOT have a decent excuse for ignoring this blog other than life, work, and the 501st. I just realized it has been nearly EIGHT MONTHS since my last post here, and I figured it was time to stick something up here. figure out what.

Let’s see. What have I missed covering here from the excellent year that was 2014.

I had the honor of throwing out the first pitch on three of the four levels of Major League Baseball. The Cincinnati Reds, which I talked about earlier. Their Triple A affiliate, the Louisville Bats, also asked me to come out for their Star Wars night. And the Lexington Legends (my hometown team) also had a Star Wars night that Blue Sun Squad participated in….and another first pitch.

OH! Sonny, the brother portion of the brother/sister kids we had the pleasure of hosting at LexCon 2014, has been declared cancer free. And this past weekend, we had a couple of 50 degree weather days, and his mom posted pic on Facebook of him shooting hoops in the driveway. AWESOME! We also had the honor of escorting Sonny from the hospital after his last chemo treatment, but I think I covered that already.

Blue Sun was part of TEAM TOBY at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital’s annual walk, Cincy Walks for Kids. TEAM TOBY was the largest group that walked, and raise the second most of all the teams. Overall, the walk raised just under $1,000,000. Not a bad haul for a Saturday afternoon in September.

We also participated in the JDRF walks in Knoxville and Louisville. Churchill Downs proved to be a tough one; that day was the hottest on record for the year, with heat indices topping 100 degrees. Not a great day to be head to toe in black leather and fiberglass…but well worth it. Many smiles that day.

There was also a Kids Safety Fair at a local Home Depot. An annual tradition of Halloween at my mothers house. Star Wars Reads day at a local public library was a fun one. Shooting hoops at a community center event was a great time…but I don’t think Coach Cal will be offering any of us a full ride to UK. And we helped some Cub Scouts cross over into Boy Scouts, too.

And then there was Joseph Beth Booksellers, who I think, fell in love with the 501st all over again.

To their credit, Joe Beth did NOT ask us to come to their store for Star Wars Reads day; instead, they let us off the hook to go to a public library, which we did. What they did, was create their own stand alone event. Star Wars Family Fun Day was a huge success, held on November 8. As a happy coincidence, the author of the new book “A New Dawn” was coming in for a signing three days later. (“A New Dawn” ties in directly to the first canon Star Wars stories since “Revenge of the Sith”. Star Wars Rebels is airing as I type this on Disney, actually.) John Jackson Miller was on the books for November 11, and I asked the fine folks at Joe Beth if we could troop it. JJ is an honorary 501st member, and welcomed us with open arms. The two events in three days were huge hits, and Joe Beth has made it known that they’d love to have us in at anytime. So...cue Darth Santa.

I suggested a Star Wars/Christmas type event, and we rocked that, too. Darth Santa made his debut, with a candy cane colored Stormtrooper and Christmas themed Imperial Officer in tow. The kids loved that, and we raised a couple hundred bucks for UK Children’s Hospital in a couple of hours.

We have another event coming up in May at Joe Beth, for a couple more Star Wars authors. I think its safe to say that we’ll be in there quite a bit more in 2015.

Which leads me to today. We are just over ten months away from the Star Wars movie that I thought we’d never get. My stepson has a full set of TK armor that is a couple hours (max) from completion, and my wife is in process of building her own TK armor (female version) as well. This is going to be an exciting year.

And I promise to be better at writing. Somehow.