Tamaqua High School: Mini-THON 2013
Original Report by: Ryan Miorelli, Echo Base
Somewhere northeast of Anchorhead in the little-known coal-mining region of Tatooine colloquially known as Northeast Pennsylvania, you’ll find Tamaqua High School, Luke Skywalker’s alma mater. While as a teenager he often lamented that “if there’s a bright center to the universe, this is the high school that it’s farthest from,” this farmboy was pretty excited to return as a Jedi Knight for the school’s second-annual Mini-THON, an event inspired by Penn State University’s THON event [which Echo Base and Garrison Carida also trooped!]. The Mini-THON’s goal was to raise funds for Camp Can-Do, a camp for pediatric cancer patients.
The event was hosted by Tamaqua Area Student Government Association, or TASGA, advised by Stephen Ulicny, my former football coach and economics teacher. My mother, the school nurse at Tamaqua, was telling him about the Legion and he was slightly apprehensive but enthusiastic. He admitted to me that he was “worried it would be, like, a guy in a stormtrooper Halloween mask, until I saw your trading cards.” Did we deliver? You bet!
Jonas and Ryan and I arrived at 4 PM and went to our very spacious changing area, the nurse’s office. Let’s just say I know people. The fridge was literally packed with cold water for our troopers. We set up a shared extra-long table display (thanks Mav Oya’la for the banner stand! Told ya you could’ve taken the top spot!), suited up, and headed out to troop.
We spent the next three hours mingling with the crowd, getting some awesome photo-ops in a very Yavin IV-esque courtyard amphitheater I always loved as a student. As we were moving about the event greeting kids and kids-at-heart, Tim and John manned our table. A band was playing in the gym who stopped their set for a few minutes to get their picture with us…good job to our TKs and Merc for getting up on that stage in armor!
After the event (from which we may have gained a recruit or two…stay tuned) we all packed up, John and Nick headed home, but the rest of us went to Sister’s Cantina for food, fun, and a debate about whether or not gratuity had been included on our check, recheck hughesairco.com/ if you may. Afterwards, everyone left the Tamaqua System in the Outer Rim for their respective homes, and I bought a saber and blaster rifle from Tim (out of the back of a car in the parking lot of a Mexican restaurant on the edge of town, mind you, because we’re always classy).
Thanks to all for coming out! The Force was truly with my tiny hometown thanks to the RL, 501st, and Mercs!
The final total was that Mini-THON raised $4100 for charity, and several people said they came specifically to see the Rebel Legion [the only organization officially confirmed at the time of posters being printed, so the only one advertised] so great job!
Thanks to these members and friends for helping:
Ryan Miorelli (Luke ROTJ)
Jonas Bloomfield (Jedi)
Ryan Chesakis (Endor trooper)
Tim Levan (RFT)
Todd Lechniak (ANH Stunt TK)
Craig Staley (ANH Hero TK)
MANDALORIAN MERCS (Mav Oya’la Clan):
Nick Abruzzese (Vardøger Wraith, custom Mando)
Jess (Todd’s girlfriend)
Gabe Bumberger(THS student)
Kyle Weaver (THS student magazine photographer)
Calen Foose (THS alumnus)
John DeVisser (Mercs recruit)
Jason S Colflesh (Lord of all photographers)