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2014 Walk to Cure Arthritis

 

Today was another successful troop for the “Walk to a Cure Arthritis” event. Even though the weather hung over us threatening  to rain down on our fun and activities, luckily it stayed at bay until the event ended. Thank goodness.

Troopers suited up and took to the stage around 9:00 am. The event included introductions, Zumba (which I took part in) the Walk of course and a gaggle of Kids trying to take down us troopers.

So one more troop down and many more to come. Here are some pictures of the event today.

 

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Photo by: Victoria Nelson / Handler

 


501st-Charity-Blog-Header-MASTER

I wanted to share with everybody the totals that the 501st , Florida Garrison and Squad 7 rose during 2013 for all the charities we have trooped for.

I try to document each troop I take part in but there are so many more troops that happen which raises money for so many charitable organizations That I am not a part of.

We are lucky enough as a group to do troops that are both fun like parades and then some that really raise money for people that are in desperate need of help.

This year the 501st  , Florida Garrison and Squad 7 did a bang up job helping out where we could and here are the numbers.

501st Legion Charity Total for 2013
Direct donations: $262,328.00
Indirect donations: $32,823,907.00

Florida Garrison Charity Totals for 2013
Direct Donations: $12,270.62
Indirect Donations: $4,409,498.50

Squad 7 Charity Totals for 2013
Direct Donations: $2,780.62
Indirect Donations: $470,858.92

dancing-trooper

Wow, thats all one can say about this troop. what a day we had as a Squad. The weather cleared up and turned out to be an awesome day for the Parade and the Festival.

Our day started in the parking lot at around 7:00am. Troopers gathered up and we visited with each other telling our stories from past events. Bonding time as we all get ready for the parade. its always nice to mingle about and chat it up before an event.

The parade started around 10:00 am and we had a blast giving high fives and posing for some photos for the crowds that lined the streets. Its always nice to here the crowd wind up into a loud cheer as we round a corner. it just brings joy to my hart each time I here it. Means we are doing a good job and that the goal.

After the parade some troopers departed, some dressed down as did it so I could help handle for the troopers that toughed it out and stayed in armor for the better part of the day. We walked around and posed for photos and chatted it up, had some food and drinks.  The people were great and loved seeing the troopers in armor and kilts. this throws some people though and they just have to ask “Why Star Wars and Kilts, Whats the connection?” we really do have a good story other then we were invited and we love to come. maybe we should work on a good back story to tell lol. We trooped from 10:00 to 5:00 when the last trooper was ready to take a rest. He did however head back to the festival for more fun and entertainment.

The Festival is packed with great Celtic music, it fills the are and helps set the mood. you can’t help but feel like you have gone back in time a bit as you hear the music and see everybody in period clothing. Each band takes the stage and plays with all there hart for the fan. But none play with as much hart and soul then Albannach. This band starts with a punch and does not stop until their set is done. you can not stay seated as the drums and bag pipes get the blood moving. They are quit good if i say so myself. you can check them out here on facebook.

What makes a great show even better. The band inviting Storm Troopers to the stage for their last song. There is nothing better then being on stage dancing and having a great time with such a high energy band. Albannach you guys rock!!!

Here are some photos of the days events.

22-St Augustine Celtic Festival and Parade 2014 082 23-St Augustine Celtic Festival and Parade 2014 087 21-St Augustine Celtic Festival and Parade 2014 074 20-St Augustine Celtic Festival and Parade 2014 070 16-St Augustine Celtic Festival and Parade 2014 060 17-St Augustine Celtic Festival and Parade 2014 062 18-St Augustine Celtic Festival and Parade 2014 066 19-St Augustine Celtic Festival and Parade 2014 068 15-St Augustine Celtic Festival and Parade 2014 059 14-St Augustine Celtic Festival and Parade 2014 054 13-St Augustine Celtic Festival and Parade 2014 050 12-St Augustine Celtic Festival and Parade 2014 049 08-St Augustine Celtic Festival and Parade 2014 040 09-St Augustine Celtic Festival and Parade 2014 041 10-St Augustine Celtic Festival and Parade 2014 043 11-St Augustine Celtic Festival and Parade 2014 046 07-St Augustine Celtic Festival and Parade 2014 039 06-St Augustine Celtic Festival and Parade 2014 033 05-St Augustine Celtic Festival and Parade 2014 030 04-St Augustine Celtic Festival and Parade 2014 028 27-St Augustine Celtic Festival and Parade 2014 103 02-St Augustine Celtic Festival and Parade 2014 017 01-St Augustine Celtic Festival and Parade 2014 005 03-St Augustine Celtic Festival and Parade 2014 021 25-St Augustine Celtic Festival and Parade 2014 098 26-St Augustine Celtic Festival and Parade 2014 101 24-St Augustine Celtic Festival and Parade 2014 096

http://www.celticstaugustine.com/

https://www.facebook.com/AlbannachMusic

501st Squad7 members meet up once again to a show of force at the Art Walk in Downtown Jacksonville. The rain had stopped and the cool weather made for a nice night trooping with all the great people out to enjoy the evening. We walked about and did what we do so well and had a great time. Here are the photo of the evening. Hope to see you at the next Art Walk next month.

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Odyssey of the Mind

Odyssey of the Mind

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This was another fun troop and for Squad7 a nice turn out of troopers. The Bishop Snyder High School put on this annual competition for it students and this year they invited the 501st to join the fun. The day is filled with problem solving activities for the students set in a caravel like atmosphere. There were hundreds of kids moving about the school grounds, taking part in all the activities.

Squad7 Troopers invaded the activities and were met with an awesome response from students and parents. Students started lining up and taking pictures, reaching out and touching the armor to see if it was real. Trading cards were a big hit as students collected them from each trooper and asked for autographs. The excitement was clear to us and everybody around us knew that this was to be an even better event then they could have imagined.

Students were spread all around the school grounds taking part in all the activities. Dressed in their team colors ready to competed, students could not help be smile as they walked past a Jawa  or a Tuskin Raider, Watching closely as the Storm troopers and Biker Scouts stood post. Star Wars has landed right in there schools court yard and they were not sure what to make of it. But they soon relaxed once they understood they were not being invaded and were being celebrated.

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For two hours the students enjoyed the company of the 501st Squad7 members. The School donated $200.00 to a charity in the name of the 501st and we greatly appreciated their generosity. We were assured by the staff at the school that we would be asked to come back for this great and educational event.

Thanks for all the Troopers who were able to make it out.

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Mythbusters and the 501st Legion

Join the 501st on the Mythbusters as they show up on the show this season.

January 4th on Discovery

The 501st Legion will gain more national attention from the up coming season of the Mythbusters as some of the 501st members will appear on the hit TV show.

Mythbusters will be putting to the test some of the things we see in the star wars movies and to help them Star Wars up the place some very lucky 501st members will join in the fun.

Honorary member to the 501st Legion, Adam Savage and his co-host Jamie Hyneman looks into a galaxy far, far away to see if some of what we see in the movies can be busted as Myth’s. This episode is shaping up to be fun and educational for us all.

As for the 501st Legion, what great exposure to the global TV watching community. As a member it gives me great pride to see our brothers and sisters in armor on the TV representing the 501st legion with style and class.

The work that the 501st Legion does to help raise money for a long list of charities is sometime over shadowed by people who want to point only to the costuming part of who and what we are.

It’s true that our members has a love for Star Wars and costuming, but they also have the same passion to bring a little joy and entertainment to children and parents alike, by showing up in costume and allowing the families to excape from their daily troubles and smile for a change, if only for a short time its still means a lot to them.

It great when TV shows like the Mythbusters will allow groups like the 501st Legion to join in on the fun and help spread the message of the work that the 501st legion does each year. I truly believe the exposure that is gained when represented correctly will only help these charities in the long run. It also helps with recruitment to the 501st Legion as there are fans out there that are not aware that there is a club that embraces the movies as the 501st does and allows them to build a costume and become more then a fan, it allows them to live in that world and at the same time help raise money for people in need.

So buckets off to the Mythbusters and Adam Savage for this episode that’s coming. I know I thank you, I am sure the Legion thanks you and I hope the fans of your show will thank you for bringing something so awesome to your show.

Watch some video clips of the upcoming episode by following the links below.

Watch a small promo from Mythbuster website here: 501st and the Mythbusters

The 501st Legion website: here

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Image Credits DCI
Copyright © 2014 Discovery Communications, LLC.

Gator Bowl Parade 2013

It’s 9:30am on December 31, 2013 and Squad 7 members are gathering in the parking lot to get prepared for the 1 mile troop in the Gator Bowl Parade at downtown Jacksonville, Fl.

The sky was overcast and there was a cool breeze coming off the St Johns river that put a chill in the air. As the first few members showed up, we setup tables and started laying out the food and drinks for everybody as the got here. This was a great idea to kind of tail gate before the troop. it was a hit and everybody pitched in with everything needed to make for a successful tailgate party.

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There was excitement in the air as more and more members showed up. We had plenty of time to visit and get to know each other better, tell stories of past troops or talk about future troops and why we all love to part of the 501st and Squad 7. The food was great and the company was better, now we start getting ready for the troop.

We had a new addition to Squad 7, It was a M35 Deuce, It drove up to our little party and boy was it bad to the bone. its big, mean sounding and sporting the Imperial Cog on both sides. It was some kind of cool.

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Standing on the street waiting for the line to move, the troopers were ready to head down the one mile journey to wave and bring smiles to the crowed as we passed them by.  It was great to see all the families out there even with the cool weather and being in the middle of the week. We trooped on and did what we do and did it so good.

As we came to the parade end we all loaded up int the Deuce and trust me as a Stormtrooper that was a trick as the Deuce stands so high of the ground that we needed ladders to climb up. Troopers don’t climb latters so well but we managed and took the mile ride back to the staging area where we dismounted and attacked the food tables again.

Rounding out the day squad members wiped out the rest of the food and chatted it up and then we called it a day and for some headed to our evening places to celebrate the incoming new year.

Here are some photos of the event.

Photographers: Walter Woodruff and Kaelin Clevinger

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image5Keystone Heights, destination next. After doing the Pecan park Troop. I loaded up and headed to Keystone Heights for the Parade. This would be the first time I have been to Keystone for anything so this was truly a new troop for me. I brought with me my step daughter and her friend. they would handle and take pictures for us.

We got there pretty early so we walked about and visited with other troopers that lived out that way.  As the sun started to fall from the sky we headed back and started dressing out. once all the troopers were geared up and ready to go we headed out to our position in line. we stood around and took some photos and chit chatted about past troops and other sorted tales of trooping.

The parade master walked by yelling “7 min to go” and everybody started getting in position and ready for the walk. the Sun was down and the night had fallen on the streets. The darkness was lit with the festive lights on the float in front of us and the houses we will soon be passing as we troop on.

Time to go, everybody lined up and we started our slow walk down the street. the crowed looked like shadow people as I tried to see them as we passed each block. The colorfully lit house help make the people stand out as they cheered and waved as we marched by. Its was funny as we marched I kept hearing people say “Look it’s the Star Wars” that just sounded strange and funny to me. The march was not a long one and I really enjoyed the limited sight I could see through my bucket. before I knew it we are done and I could relax.

Thanks to the kindness of the float in front of use they offered to give us a ride back to the starting point so we would not have to make that walk back. That being said as a stormtrooper is can be difficult to sit, Another troop and I kind of balanced on the edge and held on for life as we rolled on down the road. After a few moment of hanging on for dear life we were back to the staging area and we all piled into the lodge where we stored our gear and dressed back into street cloths.

To round the night out some of us troopers hit the local BBQ house and had a great meal as we chatted it up and had a good time. In all this was a great trooping day. I was able to knock out two troop and had a good time doing so.

Here are some of the images below.

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06-Troop Dec 7 2013 020What another wonderful day for a Troop and on this day I would do two troops. First up was the Pecan Park Flea Market Troop. The second will be in my next post, where you can read all about it.

The troopers gathered up and we started walking about the grounds. One of the benefits here is being able to stay out of direct sun light. Walking undercover of the main buildings make this troop more bearable. On this day the weather was son nice even been in the direct sun was not to bad, although you would not want to stay out in it to long.

This venue provides us with a lot of photo ops and bring smile to all the kids and parents out shopping for good deals. We also were able to show up to a young mans birthday by the paint ball field that Pecan Park has. “I didn’t know they had one now” but it was full of people shooting paint at each other.

We trooped around and continued to do what we do best “show off in our costumes lol” and then we were provide some food and drinks as a thank you for trooping the event.

We closed out the troop with a few more photos and hand shakes and then were for off to troop number two for the day. Here are some photos from this troop.

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image8The December Art Walk was a success. The crowed was great and the weather, well it was ok. maybe a little warm once all suited up but we managed just fine tonight.

The crowed turned out  and the mood was upbeat and exciting.

The Art Walk is held on the first Wednesday of every month. So come on out and enjoy the sights and sounds, take a picture with a Stormtrooper or two and just enjoy an evening at downtown Jacksonville.

here are some photos from the night. Enjoy and remember you to can enjoy some Art Walk fun.

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Photos by: Victoria Nelson – handler

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