Enjoy these pictures from a huge autism event, Autism Walks, held at the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa, on Saturday, March 28, 2009. The 501st Legion was well represented, with Darth Vader, R2-D2, Imperial Stormtroopers and officers. We were able to contribute to raising awareness and over $600 for a great cause, while having fun doing it. (Click on the pictures for larger views)
The huge crowd gets ready to begin the walk, with the 501st in front, greeting the crowd as they walked by. I was given the opportunity to talk to the mayor of Tampa, and we spoke out the events that the 501st does for veterans at the VA hospitals in Pinellas County.
The happiness we bring to kids makes these events so much fun, and so rewarding, you ought to need a license! Kids are huge Star Wars fans, and the way their eyes light up when they see us makes all the effort worth it!
Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio, posing with members of the 501st Legion
The second event that I participated in was another autism event, Relay For Life, in Lithia. We collected a dollar per picture for this cause, and as it usually the case, R2-D2 was the star of the show. Marc, the Jedi who looks almost exactly like Ewan McGregor, built R2-D2 himself, and it looks, sounds and acts exactly like the movie version. It makes the R2-D2 sounds, plays music and has all the blinking lights.
It's a privilege to be able to have so much fun while supporting great causes. If you have never participated in charity or fund-raising events, I encourage you to do so. They are very rewarding and fun, and you may even make some new, lifelong friends!