Heroes Behind the Masks: C4AC (Cos 4 A Cause)

The creator of this group was inspired by someone who positively influenced the cosplay community during his life, someone who inspired me and many others to be better. I love hearing that other people were influenced by the same person or thing.  Though this group is young they are making a difference in their community and I have enjoyed watching them grow.  I hope you are inspires by them as I have been!  –Mala
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Group Name: C4AC (Cos 4 A Cause)

Location: San Antonio, TX (USA)

When was the group started? And by who? It started back in June 29, 2014 and was created by myself (Jennlee Cosplay).

What inspired you to create C4AC or CAUSEplay in general?
I created this organization to bring good people together to help those in need (young, old, human, animal). As a part of this inspiration, a fellow member and good friend of mine, Jonathan Vela aka www.facebook.com/AquamanSA, taught me without realizing how much good a person can do. Rather it may be a simple hug, smile or someone dressed up in cosplay. Jonathan passed away this past August and we continue to keep doing the good he taught us. It’s rare where I’m from to see small organizations such as this do what they do for the right reasons. Some do it for ego, attention or even money. This organization, C4AC, we do good and don’t ask for any thank yous, money, or even boosting our ego. We love what we do, because it’s an ideal of what we should do onto others. Always put others first. Help one another. That’s what we’re all about. We come from all backgrounds, race, gender, etc and we love each other as family and we bring this love upon others we encounter.

Do you have a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization status or other designation? If not, do you consider yourself a charity group or just a group of friend who do good? And are you looking into getting a 501(c)3 status?
We’re in the middle of getting all of this situated, and hopefully one day become worldwide for other branches to help.

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How can someone join C4AC?
As of right now it is only local to San Antonio, TX(USA). Some day we hope to branch out to include all those interested. If those who are interested in joining are from the San Antonio or surrounding areas, then they can either contact Jennlee at cos4acause@gmail.com or private message our fb page at www.facebook.com/Cos4ACause

What type of costumes do you accept and what do you look for in a costume? Do you have a costume approval process?
We accept any types as long as they’re family friendly. We have all sorts and all ranges of craftsmanship. There isn’t really an approval process. We just ask the costume choice is family friendly.

Do you accept crossplay costumes? Gender bent costumes? Customized characters?
We accept all costumes as long as it’s family friendly. We are strong believers with cosplay being for everyone. Spread love not hate. Majority of us have been bullied and some of us are still being bullied on till this day, but not a single one of us lets it bother us. We have fun with what we do. We take pride in our organization. And we’re drama free. We look forward to events, because of our member’s passion, drive and heart.

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Do you have people willing to help with the costume making process or a resource guide to help with the process?
Within our group we help one another. Everyone within our group have talents of many kinds. Some are video making to sewing to photography to educating. We all work together and it shows.

How many people are currently in your group?
Currently we have 30 members. Most are cosplayers, a few educators/handlers, and several photographers. We all cross train when needed for certain events.

Are you interested in staying small or taking over the world?
We’re still new and would like to grow eventually to help out our world one day at a time.

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How is the leadership determined?
We have our officers based on availability and skills in field.

What have you done for charities (types of events)?
We have done events such as encouraging kids to read (Comicfest), Be Their Hero (encourage adoptions with San Antonio Humane Society), Comics for a Cause event for the San Antonio Boys and Girls Club (working with the San Antonio Food Bank and Alien Worlds to bring donations of food and funds for families in need) to even little events such as judging a Halloween costume contest.

Do you create your own event or make appearance when requested?
We do both. Mostly when requested, but soon we’re going to have our own events as well.

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Do you appear at cons too?
We haven’t as a vendor, but most of us go to some of the local cons to have fun and help get the word out there about our team.

How did you build you “clientele”?
Our first event was at Barnes and Noble for “Super Art Blast.” We were invited at the last minute by an artist I ran into at a previous event. Once we helped out at this event (B&N) there were many who became interested in what we do. This took off from there. Mostly word of mouth and hopefully soon there will be testimonials on our page.

Do you have particular organization(s) or cause(s) you work with regularity?
We work with San Antonio Humane Society, San Antonio Food Bank, Alien Worlds and Heroes and Fantasies when they have events for us. We also started to take off with birthday parties and soon events at schools and hospitals.

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What is the most amazing thing C4AC has accomplished so far?
The most amazing thing accomplished is how much passion everyone continues to bring within themselves naturally each day. It only gets stronger and others notice it, feed off of it and become passionate in their lives as well. This is one of the many things we enjoy what we do.

Where do you see C4AC going in the future?
By the end of the year I see C4AC going to more school functions and starting hospital visits. Next year, I see our team going to speak at universities, social networking, hospitals and much more. In 5 years, I see us with at least 5 other branches. In 10 years, I see our team reaching out worldwide.

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Do you use any fun terminology specifically for C4AC?
We call ourselves Team Awesome. Without this amazing group of volunteers (cosplayers, photographers, handlers) none of this would be possible.

Do you have advice for someone interested in creating a CAUSEplay group or getting into CAUSEplay?
Never let anyone tell you that it can’t be done. If you’re creating one for the right reasons (to help out the community and not your ego) then go for it. Don’t ever give up. There are many people out there wanting to participate in an organization, but have no idea where to find one. If you’re one of those people and can’t find one, then create one.

What future events do you have?
Our next event this month is in Hondo, Texas at the holiday parade 11/15/14 (we’ll be joining San Antonio Star Wars Society. Then we have a few school events scheduled as well as another big event at Helotes, TX for Winterfest 12/06/14.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Cos4ACause
Email: cos4acause@gmail.com

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Let me know how you are getting involved! I want to hear your stories!! And adventures!! Or tell me about a CAUSEplayer or a group you think are making a difference! Email AdventuresWithMala@gmail.com with your stories! If sending info on an individual person please let them know you have done so, to reduce the creep factor of a stranger contacting them for a potential interview.

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Hero Behind The Mask: Adam AKA Splat

This week I want to introduce to member of the 501st Legion who is in this hobby for the right reasons!  As he states, he joined for the costumes but stayed for the charity.  A situation that happens to many who begin their CAUSEplay adventure.  It has been a pleasure to CAUSEplay alongside him!  I know he will always represent this portion of the costume community well!  –Mala

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Name: My name is Adam Cannon, but most, if not all of my costuming friends call me Splat (long story).

Location: Bountiful, UT

What got you into CAUSEplaying?
That’s kind of a long story but I’ll see if I can’t shorten it a bit. My wife took the family on a family outing to the Clearfield Boo-nanza back in 2007. While there I saw the 501st Legion (Star Wars costuming group). I got really interested because I’d wanted a Stormtrooper costume for as long as I could remember but had never heard there was a possible way to actually own one. When I dug a little deeper I found that the biggest aspect of the use of their costumes was charity work. In short, I came for the costumes but I stayed for the charity.

What keeps you CAUSEplaying?
It’s a great way to do good while having fun at the same time. The rewards for this hobby come in the form of hugs and high fives from the young and young-at-heart. If the compensation were monetary I don’t think it would be nearly as special or mean nearly as much. This is volunteerism in the truest sense of the word.

What was your first CAUSEplay event?
My first involvement with costumes was just as helping out on the photography end for a fundraiser being done at a toy store but I was still involved and we raised a great deal of money and toys for Toys 4 Tots. My first event in a costume came from someone I’d never met before. They had an extra Stormtrooper costume and they let me wear it for a Provo First Night New Year’s Eve event. That portion of the event began and ended early as it was geared towards children.

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Toys for Tots 2013

What is your favorite costume to wear while CAUSEplaying, and Why?
I only have one costume at the moment so by default it’s my favorite 😉 . It gets lots of attention though, I think because it’s bright red and stands out a lot. It gives me the chance to interact with lots of people.

Most memorable CAUSEplay moment :
I’d have to say my most memorable moment came fairy recently. I went to Idaho to visit some friends and help out at the Tree City Comic Con in Boise, Idaho. It was a very special interaction with an autistic boy and his mother. She was beside herself because I don’t think she expected to find a character who knew anything about autism. My son is high-functioning autistic so I had a few ideas about how to interact with her son. Luckily they worked.

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Idaho Statesman article featuring Adam

What is your favorite cause to support?
For me that’s a difficult question. The experiences you have at each event vary, and they’re special for various reasons. I think any costumer will go to any worthy charity that requests them.

The silliest/strangest thing you have done for a cause?
I don’t think I’ve ever been requested to do anything strange for a specific cause. I did the ALS ice-bucket challenge in full costume (minus the helmet) because there was a group getting together to do it. If you’re with good people you’ll pretty much do anything to make it more fun. I will say though, that there was an MDA walk where a girl in a wheelchair wanted to watch me dance. She was so sweet and endearing I was only too happy to oblige. I’ll dance anyway if the music moves me. Just because I play a bad guy doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep it light 😉 .

Who inspires you?
This might sound cliche’ but I’m gonna say my dad. He volunteered for everything he could if it was to help someone else. This is a great way to emulate him while having fun at the same time.

Advice for CAUSEplaying:
Learn to have fun! If you’re in it simply for the glory of showing off your costume then I think you’re in it for the wrong reasons. Don’t get me wrong, many costumes are hand-made and deserve to be appreciated but if you’re worried that someone might breathe on your costume then you need to re-think your hobby because most of these events involve children. If it’s not CAUSE”playing” it’s probably more like CAUSE”working”.

What CAUSEplay events do you have coming up?
The next local event will involve multiple costume groups coming together at Hastur’s Comics on November 22 to support Toys-4-Tots. I’ve been to that event several times and it seems to get bigger every year. I look forward to meeting new people and re-acquainting myself with others.

Do you prefer to be called a cosplayer or costumer?
I’d have to say costumer. I think the term “cosplay” has developed a stigma that we’re just nerds who dress up for no apparent reason other than to win contests and attend conventions. There was a show on tv called “Heroes of Cosplay” that didn’t really do anything to correct any of those misconceptions. I only made it through one episode, and I have no idea if it’s still on but I couldn’t watch it.

What was your first costume/cosplay?
The first time I did an event in my own costume was on May 15, 2010 for a family who was trying to raise money to adopt a little girl from the Ukraine. They held a block party and all the activities were put on by the neighborhood. People paid to participate in the activities and they raised a significant amount. I don’t know what the total ended up being or if the adoption ever took place but it felt good to know I contributed to the attempt.

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Toys for Tots 2012

What is your day job (a.k.a. how I pay for my expensive hobby)?
I help in the shipping / receiving department of a warehouse that sells scrapbooking stuff. Eventually I plan on going back to school so I’ll add “non-traditional student” to my resume’.

If you could have any job what would it be and why?
I wish I had the talent to be a comic book artist. Maybe I could create a costume that would make it into this hobby. 😀

Tell us something random about yourself:
I think I’m in the top 5 oldest people to be involved in costuming here in Utah.

Star Wars or Star Trek:
I gotta go with Star Wars. I have nothing against Star Trek, I just think it might come down to something as simple as which one you were exposed to first. I’m also not sure that one would have necessarily existed without the other but I have latent memories of watching the Death Star trench run in the theater with my dad when it first came out (Yes, I am that old 😉 )

Marvel or DC:
I grew up on Spider-Man comic books, so if you’re holding a gun to my head I’d say Marvel, but both universes offer up some awesome characters.

Favorite Comic Character:
Spider-Man. He’s a person with real-world problems. I know every superhero has issues, but this is a High School / College kid who’s trying to juggle school, work, personal life, home life, etc. with the demands of helping others as Spider-Man, with the additions of the villains trying to take him down too. If there were a superhero that was a family man with a wife and a few kids I’d probably make them a favorite as well.

Favorite Book:
Can’t do it. That’s like picking a favorite child (although one of my children is definitely running 2nd right now 😉 ). I will say my least favorite was Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky. I never finished it because by about half way through it was too much of a chore to read. I still have no idea how it ends.

Favorite Video Game:
It was Call of Duty for a while before my account was hacked and I couldn’t level up so I stopped playing video games altogether for a while. When I came back briefly I played Skyrim. If I could get a good group of friends to play a closed group online it wouldn’t matter what the game was.

Favorite Convention:
If I’d had to answer this a month ago I’d have said Salt Lake Comic Con or FanX, but I went to Boise for Tree City Comic Con and had a great time there. It was much, much, much, much lower key, and for me that was part of the appeal, and the Idaho 501st people treated my friend and me extremely well. To be fair, I’ve never been to anything else. I don’t get out as much so I really only have a small sampling of conventions to compare.

Affiliations (clubs or groups):
Alpine Garrison (The Utah Chapter of the 501st Legion – Star Wars Costuming Group), but I have friends in all the groups. 😀

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Splattum

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Idaho’s Comic Con 2014

Added 3/25/15.  Adam recently made a nice YouTube video of cosplayers making children happy.  You can check out this great video here.

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Let me know how you are getting involved! I want to hear your stories!! And adventures!! Or tell me about a CAUSEplayer or a group you think are making a difference! Email AdventuresWithMala@gmail.com with your stories!

The Hero Behind the Mask: Neff AKA Ori Cabur

This week’s Hero Behind the Mask features someone I have known for a long time and I owe much to, Ori Cabur.  Because of this individual the Utah CAUSEplay community has blossomed with many different types of clubs all aiming to make a difference, some of which I have participated with and found my passion through.  He has made the Mandalorian Mercs of Utah grow and succeed to raise money for various charities and put smiles on faces.

Thank you for getting people together to make something great!  Thank you for inspiring so many people to give back to the community and make a differences in others lives.  You have and will continue to bring out the best in people.   Ori, I can’t wait to see what you accomplish and inspire others to do next.  Thank you for everything.  –Mala

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Name: Neff AKA Ori

Location:  SL, UT

What got you into CAUSEplaying?
Truthfully, I really wanted to have a Boba Fett helmet on the wall. And I thought that I could make one myself. I signed up with a costume club online and as I spent time on the site, discussing costuming with the other members of the forum, I began to really get interested in the prospect of costuming for a cause. So down the rabbit hole I went 😉 I began to hand design and craft a Star Wars Bounty Hunter costume. Once that was completed (it’s been a work in progress ever since) I started looking into my local community for events that either financially helped or directly helped charitable organizations or people in need. I’ve been hooked ever since.

What keeps you CAUSEplaying?
The different people from the various walks of life, that get into this little hobby of ours, are what keeps me coming back. I have the good fortune to be a part of a community that just keeps giving 😉

And I’ve had the pleasure to be able to help, and keep helping, those around me that could use a little support.

What was your first CAUSEplay event?
It was a Walk for MS. I had never really been in costume at an event of any kind prior to this.
I was beside myself with a smile from ear to ear. I really enjoyed interacting with the kids and families that attended the event.

A mother of a child with MS approached me during the event and thanked me for coming to the event and helping to make the event fun for the younger generation.

What is your favorite costume to wear while CAUSEplaying, and Why?
Well, I really only have one costume. But that doesn’t stop it from being my favorite.
I am a proud member of Krayt Clan, which is the Utah Chapter of the Mandalorian Mercs Costume Club.
I costume as Ori Cabur, a custom Star Wars character based on the famous Bounty Hunter, Boba Fett

Most memorable CAUSEplay moment :
I will remember it as long as I live. I was at a fundraiser for Community Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. And there was a little child that was deaf, she attempted to communicate with me through sign language, and I don’t know the language. And it is rather hard for a deaf person to lip read when you are in a helmet that they can’t see through. But she approached me and pointed to the floor, so I knelt down so that we were almost eye to eye. She then started to feel my helmet with her hands, and as she did, she began to grin, and then to smile. She was so excited by the bounty hunter helmet. She then pointed at my blaster, and motioned for her to hold it. I then offered it to her, and she got so excited that she was bouncing with a really big smile. She then took the blaster and turned her back to me, and was standing between me and Darth Vader (who had walked up behind her) and pointed the blaster right at Vader.

Then much to her surprise, the fearsome Dark Lord of the Sith put his hands up and then started to slowly back away.
The little girl then turned back to me with a smirk on her face that said “ I just scared Darth Vader away”.

I later was able to communicate with the little girl’s mother, who informed me that she came running to her and told her about how she protected a brave bounty hunter from the evil Darth Vader.

It is moments like this, that make me very glad that I wear a helmet that hides my face, I’d hate for people to confuse my allergies with tears 😉

What is your favorite cause to support?
My absolute favorite Cause is the Make~A~Wish foundation. Too many amazing moments to count.

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The silliest/strangest thing you have done for a cause?
Well, for the most part, Dancing in armor tends to get the crowd excited.

Who inspires you?
This question brings a lot of people to mind…. But I will simply say that each and every time that I get out to these great events, I am constantly impressed and inspired by all the amazing people that I get to CAUSEplay with. I work with several different Costume Clubs, and several different individuals in the Cosplay Community, and they are truly some of the most amazing people I have ever met, and I am proud to call these people my friends.

Advice for CAUSEplaying:
The bottom line, is that it has to have meaning.

The character that you decide to portray, and the causes that you decide to support, they both have to mean something to YOU. It can really cheapen the experience if you are just simply wearing a costume, or just going out to all the events. But if you really invest yourself in the character, really bring that character to life…. And if you really do support the cause… then it can be some of the most amazing experiences of your life. And if you really put yourself out there, then the people that the event is for, will see, that you are there for them, that you really do care for the cause that they are fighting for.

What CAUSEplay events do you have coming up? .
The Annual Toys for Tots drive with Hastur Games and Comics
November 22nd 2014 from 11am – 6pm

Do you prefer to be called a cosplayer or costumer?
Either works for me. No preference

What was your first costume/cosplay?
Technically it was a Pirate. Just a run of the mill pirate.

What is your day job (a.k.a. how I pay for my expensive hobby)?
I am a Grease Monkey 😉 I am a service Tech for Commercial and Industrial Equipment.

If you could have any job what would it be and why?
I would love to be able to pay my bills by doing Cosplay and CAUSEplay…. But I’m pretty sure that is a pipe dream. But what I would really love to do is to do special effects and set design.

What is Cosplay Night at the Penalty box all about?
So, Cosplay Night at the Penalty Box started due to a friend of mine (Bill Rowe) that had just purchased and renovated a Bar in Murray Utah. He approached me and mentioned that he had been following my Cosplay adventures with my friends, and he really wanted to get involved. He asked me what it would take to get Cosplayers to come down and hang out at his great new bar. I told him that I would see what I could come up with.

I then started asking around to see if the local costuming community would be interested in having a designated night down at the bar to have fun and showcase their latest and greatest costumes. The response that I received from everyone was very positive. So we had a great first gathering of costumes.

But during that first event, it donned on us that we could really take it a step further. Since we all really enjoy CAUSEplay events, we decided to turn Cosplay Night into a charity driven event.

So each event we raise funds for a different charity. We have helped the Angel’s Hands foundation, the B.A.C.A. organization, and the Make~A~Wish foundation.

Cosplay Night is held on the second Friday of every month, and there is a $5 cover charge that goes 100% to the charity, and then the Bar donates 10% of their income that night to the charity as well.

The other added bonus is that Cosplay Night is designed and meant for EVERY COSTUMER of all experience levels. It is a “Sanctuary” from Costume Clubs. We ask that all attendees leave there Costume Club at the door, along with any hard feelings about costume clubs.

And so far, it has really been a fun success.

The Penalty Box is a wonderful place, located at 3 West 4800 South, Murray Utah

What is the ultimate goal for Coplsay Night?
Fun, Cool Costumes, and Fundraising for a great cause.

When is Cosplay Night?
Second Friday night of EVERY month

What inspired you to create this?
SOOOOOO many awesome people in the costuming community, We really needed a friendly event where everyone can let their hair down. And as we joke “ Accidentally” raise money for a great cause.

How hard was it to arrange this?
It has been a work in progress, we really have been relying on word of mouth to let all the people in the costuming community know that it is a fun way to hang out and showcase your favorite costumes.

If someone wanted to create something like this in their area what would you recommend?
First off, I would recommend that you find an establishment that would be willing to host it. But that establishment would also have to go into it, knowing that it isn’t about having a million people show up and make them rich. So, a smaller “dive” kind of place would be best.

But then you need to have the support of fun non-judgmental people to really get it off the ground.
It really depends on costumers setting aside differences, and egos to make it successful.
It’s about fun, and charity.

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Tell us something random about yourself:
I can’t stand Sponge Bob 😉

Star Wars or Star Trek:
….. STAR WARS!!!!!!
Actually I really rather love them both

Marvel or DC:
Marvel for life

Favorite Comic Series:
Too many, but I really loved the Old Man Logan Story

Favorite Comic Character:
Kurt Wagner

Favorite Book:
… as in the ones without pictures…. ?

Favorite Video Game:
Force Unleased and Bubble Bobble

Favorite Convention:
Phoenix Comic Con, but Salt Lake Comic Con is definitely a close second

Affiliations (clubs or groups):
Mandalorian Mercs Costume Club, ORB

Facebook: www.facebook.com/kraytclan
Twitter: @OneNeff

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Let me know how you are getting involved! I want to hear your stories!! And adventures!! Or tell me about a CAUSEplayer or a group you think are making a difference! Email AdventuresWithMala@gmail.com with your stories! If sending info on an individual person please let them know you have done so, to reduce the creep factor of a stranger contacting them for a potential interview.

The Hero Behind the Mask: ERT Ghostbusters

We all remember Ghostbusters growing up.  Either the cartoon, toys, or movies!  But did you know there are amazing people who dress up as Ghostbusters to support local charities?  Today I want to introduce you to the ERT (experimental research team) Ghostbusters.  I have the pleasure of meeting and doing several charity events with them throughout the years.  This group has some amazing philosophies discussed in todays interview with creator Robert “Buma” Aswin!  Plus they just know how to have fun.    So, who are you going to call? GHOSTBUSTERS!
Mala

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Group Name: ERT Ghostbusters

Mission Statement:
When I started this fan club/group in 2009, I was exploring a niche in modernizing Ghostbuster equipment for the time ahead and the future. In my travels meeting with other clubs, new people, and those that joined my club, I discovered fandom reaches all ages and levels of the human experience. This in turn made me realize that fandom is family. No matter how much we like, hate, or fight with others in our fandom, we all join together when outsiders rail against us and that is what family is all about. Only family should be allowed to fight with each other.

But my greatest joy is when I see people connect in this fandom and broaden their experiences with each other. That would include: friendship, romance, and other relationships.
I hope by seeing it will inspire others to continue to pursuing their fandoms no matter what genre it is. Those that are in this fandom, become better allies instead of the dark forces that work against you.

Robert “Buma” Aswin
Corporate Director of Operations
Founder of ERT-Ghostbusters

Location(s):
ERT Ghostbusters (Corp) located at Salt Lake City, UT
ERT Ghostbusters – OOPS Branch located at Ogden, UT
ERT Ghostbusters – SETI Branch located at Denver, CO
ERT Ghostbusters – CTA Branch located at Colorado Springs, CO

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When was the group started?
Est. in 2009 the Experimental Research Team (ERT) for Ghostbusters was born, bringing new projects & Proton Packs to life and helping out at Community events too.
And by who? Robert “Buma” Aswin

What inspired you to create Ghostbusters or CAUSEplay in general?
First of all, Ghostbusters is very iconic, after 30 years the No Ghost logo is third in the world to being in recognition to Pepsi and Coke. I also had a love of Ghostbusters since I was I n my teens, I remember building my first cosplay as a Ghostbuster with a Nike track suit, a backpack with a tube and a flashlight connected to it, plus a ghost trap made out of a show box. I also loved the car, everyone loves the car.

I had tried to start a Ghostbusters group in West Texas around 2006, but due to the lack of responses and being forced to move back to Utah because of hardships, I decided to start another group and the idea for the Experimental Research Team Ghostbusters was born. After so many years, I wanted to envision what “modern” Ghostbuster gear would look like.

With that philosophy, the gear we have has the essence of the original gear from the movies, but with our twist on it.

If you are a member of the Ghostbusters what made you want to join this particular group or CAUSEplay?
Brief history/overview: Since 2009, we have promoted the Utah CoOp, Utah Fallen Officers fund, Make a Wish foundation, Hope Kids and other charity groups. For every event, we pick a different charity to promote and generate funds for.

We have been at all three Salt Lake Comic Con events, Fantasy-Con and several local events.

I believe that the local charities need a voice when compared to National charities.

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Do you have a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization status or other designation? No.

And are you looking into getting a 501(c)3 status? Not at this time.

If not, do you consider yourself a charity group or just a group of friend who do good?
The funds we collect does go directly to the charity and we get a receipt.

How can someone join ERT Ghostbusters?
Anyone wishing to join can send an email to ERTGBSLC@gmail.com Once we receive the email, we will send out a membership application (It’s digital) and the group handbook. The person just needs to fill it out and email back to the group. If they are in an area that does not have an ERT Branch, we have guidelines on how to start their own branch in that area.

Toys for Tots toy drive 2013 photo ToysforTotstoydrive2013_zpsa2ef649a.jpg

What type of costumes do you accept?
The handbook outlines the various outfits that we accept, from the standard flightsuit and gear to business suit or a lab rat outfit.

Do you have a costume approval process, if so what is it?
The initial process is to provide an outfit that looks like it belongs in the Ghostbusters universe.

What do you look for in a costume?
The essence of the look that the outfit could exist in the Ghostbusters Universe and documentation on how it can function in that universe.

Do you have people willing to help with the costume making process or a resource guide to help with the process? (I.E. where to fund jumpsuits, patches, where can you buy a proton pack or find steps to make one, etc. )
As I have said to my group, do not try to re-invent the wheel, someone has already done it somewhere. I keep a personal list of links of where to find things for the group, plus a list of items needed to build their proton pack for the group. The group just needs to ask.

Do you guys create personas? Or just be yourselves? Background character stories or things like that?
We are just ourselves, but I do know that we are the only Ghostbusters group that goes by Callsigns. Like, I’m Buma, my wife is Kendle and so forth. That is what we put on our flightsuit.

Leadership structure: I do have a council of Directors that I answer to, that way the decisions for the group is not made by one person.

The positions that I have are as listed –
Corporate Director of Human Relations – Dan “Oni” Kauffman (Team Leader of CTA Branch)
Corporate Director of Research and Development – Joshua “Omi” Dees (Team Leader of SETI Branch)
Corporate Director of Franchise Operations – Stephanae “Maiden” Turner
Corporate Director of Finances – Andrew “Tully” Marsh

How is the leadership determined?
Most positions are appointed with an approval of the Council. The local branches have a Team Leader and a local Events coordinator. The Team Leader position fills out an application and submits it to the Council for approval. The events coordinator is appointed by the Local Team Leader. The Team Leader reports to the Corporate Director of Franchise Operations.

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What have you done for charities (types of events)?
Since 2009, we have promoted the Utah CoOp, Utah Fallen Officers fund, Make a Wish foundation, Hope Kids, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and other charity groups. For every event, we pick a different charity to promote and generate funds for.

We have been at all three Salt Lake Comic Con events, Fantasy-Con, Ogden Zombie Crawl for the past 5 years and several local events.

I believe that the local charities need a voice when compared to National charities.

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Do you create your own event or make appearance when requested?
Both, we have group events like a holiday party for members and also being contacted to represent our groups at conventions.

How did you build you “clientele”?
Word of mouth, in the beginning we contacted groups and asked if they wanted a group to promote their events, some said yes and some said no. Eventually we made ourselves known and go to events when we can. Our busiest time frame is from April-November.

My group has made a decision to not hold events at retirement homes, we felt saying “We’ll see you soon.” Would just be bad sounding.

Do you have particular organization or cause you work with regularity?
As I stated before, we choose different charities for every events, but we do enjoy helping with the Utah Fallen Officer’s fund, since our sister group the Umbrella Corp – Utah Hive supports that as their primary charity.

How much money has the ERT Ghostbusters raised for the organization it works with?
The amount varies with each charity.

What is the most amazing thing ERT Ghostbusters has accomplished so far?
Meeting Ernie Hudson (Winston Zeddemore from Ghostbusters) and making him and Honorary ERT member.

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Where do you see ERT Ghostbusters going in the future? Expansion and further promoting our personal motto that Fandom is Family.

Do you use any fun terminology specifically ERT Ghostbusters?
No, not really, but when we do create background documentation for anything, we try to create plausible explanations for things, which does include pseudo-science terminology.

Do you have advice for someone interested in creating a CAUSEplay group or getting into CAUSEplay?
First of all, have a love for what you are doing. No matter how bad things get within a club, always remember that it all started out with love for what you wanted to do and everyone in the group has that same love.

One memorable thing about the Ghostbuster movies is the car. Do you guys have one?
I have had three cars built since I started my group, but in the Ectomobile community, they have the nickname of Wrectomobiles. Everyone person that has ever built one has had some kind of damage done to them, the cars don’t last long.

Here are the three cars I have built –

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Anything else you want to add about your group or CAUSEplay:
The best thing about being a Ghostbuster, you don’t need to be a specific body type to be a Ghostbuster.

What future events do you have?
After October, everything comes to a slow crawl. We just have events for members and go to rebuilding things for the club and getting ready for the next season of events.

If someone wanted to reach you for more information who should they talk to and how can they reach you?
FacebookMain Fan Page  Salt Lake City, UT
OOPS Branch  Ogden, UT
CTA Branch Colorado Springs, CO
SETI Branch  Denver, CO
Website: http://www.ertgbhq.com/
Twitter: ERTGBHQ
Email: ERTGBSLC@gmail.com

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Let me know how you are getting involved! I want to hear your stories!! And adventures!! Or tell me about a CAUSEplayer or a group you think are making a difference! Email AdventuresWithMala@gmail.com with your stories! If sending info on an individual person please let them know you have done so, to reduce the creep factor of a stranger contacting them for a potential interview.