Hero Behind the Mask: Erika Earl

I am please to share with you the first of the Heroes Behind the Mask series for 2016! Since I am also writing for Cosplayer Among Us Magazine this will only be a monthly release.

I am very excited to introduce you to Erika! She teamed up with the amazing and kind hearted owner of the Penalty Box in Salt Lake City to raise money for a cause near and dear to her own heart! They were very successful! Keep reading to find out just how successful her event was! Not only has she found time to raise money for a great cause but this cosplayer also works with Salt Lake Comic Con in additional to her other life obligations! She was kind enough to talk about all these busy things in her life!-Mala

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Name: Erika Earl

What got you into CAUSEplaying?
The people that I get to Causeplay with

What keeps you CAUSEplaying?
The events get better each time and it’s fun to see the progress.

What was your first CAUSEplay event?
It was a Make A Wish Dreamnight at the Hogle Zoo

What is your favorite costume to wear while CAUSEplaying, and Why? It depends, if it’s for children definitely my fairy.

Most memorable CAUSEplay moment(s) : All of the Causeplayers on the Carousel at the zoo together.

What is your favorite cause to support and what have you done for them? I personally fund raise for the National MS Society because I have MS and it is a cause that means a lot to me.

The silliest/strangest thing you have done for a cause?
I can’t really think of anything I consider silly. Everything is fun if you look at it the right way.

Who inspires you in life or cosplay?
All of the cosplayers I know inspire me in cosplay. In life I’m inspired by anyone who has the courage to be their true self.

Advice for CAUSEplaying: Don’t be afraid to beg.

What CAUSEplay events do you have coming up?
Nothing until next year that I know of but you never know what will happen.

You recently had a CAUSEplay event what is your event called? We change the name every year but it relates to MS and Cosplay

Why did you choose MS for this event?
I was diagnosed with MS over 12 years but because I don’t look sick it’s really hard to spread awareness. All of the money raised went to the national MS society 

Why did you choose to host this at the Penalty Box and how do you think this choice influenced your events success?
Bill Rowe is a good friend and Neff Michael’s fund raising enthusiasm is inspirational. There are no two people I would rather work with more for this event. (Note from Mala, Neff was previously interviewed for his own CAUSEPlay efforts so please check out that interview as well!)

 photo Capture_zpsx4wtqg60.jpg Please tell us the process to making this event happen.
This year was a little easier because it wasn’t the first time around. After getting in touch with Bill and Neff and getting the okay to have the event at the penalty box I rounded up raffle donations, I had help from friends and Geek Hangout Utah on that. Salt Lake Comic Con created the flyer that I both posted and passed out and from there it was pretty easy.

What would you say was unique about your event ?
We try to incorporate as much orange for MS as possible. This year we had orange mardi gras beads and orange glow sticks. Most of the pictures had some form of orange.

How much did you raise for MS in total?
We raised $1701.00 in two nights.

Do you see yourself doing something like this again?
I do, next year we will be back.

If someone is interested in creating an event like yours what advice do you have?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help and don’t be afraid to get told no and keep going.

You mentioned that you also volunteer for Salt Lake Comic Con, tell us what you do for them? What is it like?
I am the Director of volunteers for Salt Lake Comic Con, It is the most amazing job I have ever had. I thrive on chaos and love the event so much.

How important are volunteers for conventions from your perspective? The volunteers are incredibly important for the event. With such a large group of volunteers you would probably be surprised at haw hard each one of them works.

Salt Lake Comic Con seems to have a heavy focus on cosplay, how do you think that has shaped the Utah cosplay community?
It has made everyone feel welcome and as if they have a place in the event.

Do you prefer to be called a cosplayer or costumer? Cosplayer

What was your first costume/cosplay? A Zombie

What is your dream cosplay?
There are a lot of them but a Mandalorian is pretty high on the list

How do you feel you have influenced the cosplay community?
I hope I’ve convinced new people to join the community.

What is your day job (a.k.a. how I pay for my expensive hobby)?
I’m an executive secretary at a cancer hospital and I am the director of volunteers for Salt Lake Comic Con

If you could have any job what would it be and why?
I like the jobs I have [Symbol]

Tell us something random about yourself: I have more pets than any one person should probably have and I love them all.

Star Wars or Star Trek: Star Wars

Marvel or DC: DC

Favorite Comic Series: Batman

Favorite Comic Character: The Joker

Least favorite comic character and why? Superman, he just annoys me

Favorite Book: Coraline or the Graveyard Book

Favorite Video Game: Plants versus Zombies (any of them)

Favorite Convention: Salt Lake Comic Con

Facebook: Erika’s adventures in Cosplay

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Heroes Behind the Masks: Costumers With A Cause

OMG! Costumers With A Cause has some amazing costumes!  Between that and the fun they have at their events I struggles with selecting photos for this interview!!  These guys sure know how to have fun!  I know you will pic that up as you read through this great interview! In addition to that a few of the members were kind enough to answer a few questions so you can get to know them a little!  I hope you enjoy their interviews linked at the bottom!  –Mala
 photo group_zpszmcqkeyc.jpgGroup Name: Costumers With A Cause

Location(s): We started in the Orlando Florida area, I brought the group to the Chicago area 7 years ago. I have had costumers contacting me wanting to start up branches in New York, Ohio, Utah, South Carolina, and Los Angeles California

Mission Statement: Our mission is to work together with children’s charity organizations and charity events that promote community growth, unity, and hope for every child’s future. Together we believe that a world of difference can be made with a smile, photo or a single hello. It is our goal to utilize our talents to the best of our abilities in order to make a child’s day brighter.
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When was the group started? And by who?
I started the branch in the Midwest 7 years ago. Megan Barker started the organization originally in Florida

If you are the creator of this group what inspired you to create Costumers With A Cause or CAUSEplay in general?
I have always supported and participated in charity events. I attended a Breast Cancer event that the 501st Midwest Garrison was at. I thought “hey, I am a costumer, I can do that too” My very next event I came dressed as Wolverine. I was friends with Megan in Florida where The CWC was created, and I asked her if I could use the group name in Chicago for Charity events and she happily agreed. I attended charity events in costume for the first 2 years by myself, but as my costuming family grew, I met several good hearted, like minded individuals. Now, we average 20 people in costume at every event we are able to attend,
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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 do not currently have a 501(c)3, but we are actively looking into acquiring one. I do consider us a charity, as every single member is a volunteer and donates time, money and travel expenses to help raise money for any charity event we attend.

How can someone join Costumers With A Cause?
Contact us through the E-mail on our webpage, or contact us through Facebook.
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What type of costumes do you accept?
We accept any costumer who has a giving heart, and someone who works well and is non judgemental of others.

Do you have people willing to help with the costume making process or a resource guide to help with the process?
Many of our members make their own costumes, myself included. Everyone in our group is helpful and friendly, and willing to help anyone getting into costuming with advice and many will even give their time to help others with making costumes.

How many people are currently in your group?
Our private facebook page has over 600 members, but perhaps only about 200 of them are active costumers in our Midwest area organization.
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How is the leadership determined?
Although, right now, I am the Midwest Regional President. I organize most of our events, but I rely heavily on other members of the group who are very active in the charity work. I could never continue to do this all by myself. Truly, we are a giant team and we are all responsible for making our midwest group successful

What have you done for charities (types of events)?
I believe we have participated in almost every type of charity Fundraiser, We have done Hospital visit, and parades.

Do you create your own event or make appearance when requested?
We have always attended events that were close to our members hearts, other events have been by request. However, this year we are hosting our first ever event. We are hosting a 1.5 mile walk fundraiser for St Jude childrens hospital. The event is April 3rd at the Volo Auto Museum in Mchenry Illinois
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How did you build you “clientele”?
Social Media and we have gotten several requests to appear after attending Parades in several towns.

Do you have particular organization or cause you work with regularity?
Not really, we have worked with all of the Childrens Hospitals in the Chicago Area, we have attended events for MS, MD, Breast Cancer, Children’s Leukemia, ALS, Autism, and many more.
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How much money has the Costumers With A Cause raised for the organization it works with?
I honestly have never kept track. Anytime we do an event we set up a donation page with that specific charity. Since we are not a 501(c)3 we do not accept donations ourselves, so we always ask that donations be made directly to the charity we are volunteering for at the time.

What is the most amazing thing Costumers With A Cause has accomplished so far?
The Happiness I see when we are at events is beyond anything I could describe. Both in Adults and Children.
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Where do you see Costumers With A Cause going in the future?
I am hoping we can continue to grow nationwide. Definitely hope to become a 501(c)3, and continue to move forward with hosting our own events, as well as continue to attend the events we already do.

Do you have advice for someone interested in creating a CAUSEplay group or getting into CAUSEplay?
It is tough, it is a lot of work, but if your heart is in the right place, you can do it and you will be surprised to find all of the people in your areas wanting to join you.

What future events do you have?
May 3rd : MS Walk in Naperville Illinois. For more info click here.
May 9th : Tough Mudder Chicago.
May 16th : Muscular Dystrophy Walk at Catigny Park. For more info click here.
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Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CostumersWithACause

Website: http://www.costumerswithacause.org/

Twitter: @MidwestCWC

Email: costumerswithacause@gmail.com

Getting to know members of Costumers With A Cause: Scott Whipple

Getting to know members of Costumers With A Cause: Matthew Rzepka

​​Getting to know members of Costumers With A Cause: Anthony Vernon AKA Pally Kashra
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Heroes Behind the Masks: Heroes n More

With a tag line like “Helping Children one smile at a time!” how can you not smile yourself!  This amazing groups goal is one reason I CAUSEplay and what I hope to do myself!  Show people that anyone can be involved in their community and make a difference. You only have to go out and do it! As I learn more about various CAUSEplayers and groups I am amazed to find that one person can inspire so many!  This group from Texas was also inspired by the amazing Aquaman-San Antonio’s Amazing Adventures.  I am sure he is pleased to see that he has made a difference in the lives of his friends and people who have no idea how he inspired others by being a good and amazing man.  Remember anyone can be a hero! This group also recently debuted their amazing Hulk Buster!  Check it out on their Facebook page here!  This is an amazing feat to make charity events fun and memorable!!  –Mala

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Group Name: Heroes n More

Mission Statement: Our organization is a group of special superheroes giving struggling kids a reason to smile, hope and dream. We also raise awareness about rare diseases, disabilities and help the world learn about a whole army of resilient, inspiring fighters and survivors. Our goal is for everyone to realize that it does not take a cape or costume to go out and help someone, just the desire to become an active force in the world around you and make our world a better place.  If you know of a child who needs our help, please contact us!

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Location(s): We work with children in San Antonio, TX and the surrounding area.  Plus we send out our Hero/Princess Boxes to 3-5 children with in the 50 states.

Can you elaborate on the Hero/Princess Boxes?
Our Hero/Princess Box program is a box full of toys, homemade gifts, books, crayons, dolls, cars, comics, etc. and a note from us.

How do you determine who qualifies for one of these boxes?
All Qualify  for the boxes, the way they are picked is by some one contacting me and telling me the child’s story or by recommendation of one of my Heroes or someone in our community.  The sole reason we started this program is to bring joy to a child and let them know they have a whole team of Heroes thinking about them.

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If someone were interested in donating for these Hero/Princess Boxes what is needed?
If someone would like to donate to our Box program, they may do so via paypal, in person or thru the mail. We take all gifts for the boxes. We have the most need for books and comics.  Our Paypal info is: heroesandmore@paypal.com

Since you ship these boxes throughout the US can people also assist with donating funding for shipping?  If so, where would they send their donations to?
Yes we would love to have someone help with the shipping cost, they vary based on the size of the box and range from 5-20 dollars.  Our Paypal info is: heroesandmore@paypal.com

Is it 3-5 a month or a year? 
We ship 3-5 a month.

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When was the group started?
We have been working in San Antonio, TX for 1 and half years.

What inspired you to create Heroes n More or CAUSEplay in general?
We started this Team because we have a special needs son and wanted to give back the way folks gave back to us. Our other inspirations Were one of my very first team members and dear sweet friend Aquaman Sa and Princess Savannah Gomez. Both of these sweet Angels are now in heaven together. We see them as our guardian Angels and  the driving force to this team of loving hearts and helping hands!

Brief history/overview: We work with special needs, terminally ill children  and special groups. We actively speak out about Childhood and Adult cancer. Our team members are a family and we not only support those who need us most but we support each other.  We are more than folks who put on a cosplay, we are FAMILY.

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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?
Yes we are a 501(c) Nonprofit Charity Organization.

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How can someone join Heroes n More?
We have a application process due to the privacy of the Special children and groups we work with. All you do is contact us on our Page and we will have a convo with you and send the needed paper work. Once we receive them back we will go thru them and contact you back.

What type of costumes do you accept?  Do you have a costume approval process, if so what is it?  What do you look for in a costume?
We accept all cosplays. As long as they are child friendly, it doesn’t matter to us if you made it or got it in a store. We look at the heart of the Hero wearing the cosplay.

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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?
Yes we do have a Team Seamstress , as well as multi very skilled ladies who can sew. Along with many who can build props and Armor.

How many people are currently in your group?
We currently have 42 members.

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How is the leadership determined?
We look at the leadership skills of all of our members and then if we see someone  really sticks out, we approach them if a position on the Broad is open. Our broad members make all of the decision for the team but all members have a vote.

What have you done for charities (types of events)?  
Every year we attend and support The local cancer walks, Autism walks and events these groups hold. As well as all events the Elks Lodge #216 hold. For our special case children we hold events that are just for them. For our Little Princesses we do Tea Parties and Princess for the Day events. For our little Heroes we do Hero days and Pizza parties! Plus if the child is to sick to come out we do home visits. We also support our local Autism groups by attending the events, at these events we provide Hero support”, were we play games, take pictures and bring buckets of joy! Other things we do every few months are Fundraiser events, because our team is a Non Profit all of the monies donated to us will go 100% back to the cause. If a local business would like to give to the a donations to help us fund one of the children or events you can email us.

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Do you create your own event or make appearance when requested?
We create our own events and also attend when asked to.

How did you build you “clientele”?
We receive info on our Special case children from the local community.

Do you have particular organization or cause you work with regularity?
The organizations we work with on a regular basses are: Childhood Cancers, Autism Support Groups and The Ekls Lodge #216.

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What is the most amazing thing Heroes n More has accomplished so far?
We think everything we are able to do is amazing! Because we are allowed time with these special children, we are part of bringing them Joy when they need it the most!

Where do you see Heroes n More going in the future?
Our Team is growing by leaps and bounds, we have HUGE plans this year, so keep your eyes out.

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Do you use any fun terminology specifically Heroes n More?
Yes we do. Our Boxes we send out are called: Hero Boxes fro boys and Princess Boxes for girls. We also call our self, Hero Support. Also our tag is: Helping Children one smile at a time!

Do you have advice for someone interested in creating a CAUSEplay group or getting into CAUSEplay? 
Our group has spread so much love and taught many this way of life, a few of our original  members have gone on the start there own groups. To us this is the best testimony because it means this whole area will soon be covered with loving hearts and helping hands!

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Anything else you want to add about your group or CAUSEplay: Just be a driving force of Good will and joy in your local community, if all just spread love we can make this world a better place!

What future events do you have?
Our books are already so full for 2015. Some events we will be at in 2015 are: Any Baby Can Autism walk, The Oral Cancer walk in SA, Local Breast cancer walk(one of our team members is fighting it) and Head for the Cure.

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

Website:www.heroesnmore.com

Email: heroesandmore@gmail.com

Paypal: heroesandmore@paypal.com

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A member of Heroes n’ More with the one and only Aquaman of San Antonio, who inspired many to use their love of costumes and comics to give back.

Hero Behind the Mask: Angry Mushroom Pixi Cosplay of The Free Cosplay Project

I am proud to announce my affiliation with this weeks feature!  The Free Cosplay Project is a fundraising effort that shows us we don’t have to be in costume to do something great!  If you like to make props or costumes and have been interested in getting involved in charity work than the Free Cosplay Project is something you should consider! Check out the interview below for details and how you can get involved!

If you are interested in more about the creator of this project make sure to check out her Facebook page, Deviant Art, and YouTube channel!  She loves to share how to make cosplay and props so check out the variety of videos she offers.  It also goes to show she knows how to make things, which means if you enter to win a prop you will be getting something amazing and worth the donation to see if you win the raffle!

Angry Mushroom Cosplay, thank you for letting me be involved in the launch of this great idea!   The only catch is this project will need YOUR involvement to reach its full potential!! So either donate to win a prize or join the group to have a fundraiser for an organization of your choosing  Either way we can show the world the amazing talent and heart of the cosplay community! –Mala 
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Name: Marie Turner AKA Angry Mushroom Pixi Cosplay of The Free Cosplay Project

Location: Seattle, WA

What is the Free Cosplay Project?
The Free Cosplay Project, or FCP, is a non-profit group that organizes and hosts charity raffles for cosplayers by cosplayers. It was created as a vehicle for cosplayers, prop makers, seamstresses, and crafting artists within the cosplay community to help promote their art and pool money for charitable causes at the same time. Each FCP Featured Artist will pick a charity they care about and have a raffle prize as an incentive for the community to donate to that charity.

If someone is interested in adding their own work to this project how can they do this?
There is a submission form for artists (of all kinds!) to enter on the Volunteer page of the website. Having new Featured Artists essential for us to keep the ball rolling. We are always thinking of new ways to involve artists as well, so definitely contact us with suggestions!

How did you determine the organization (cause) you are raising funds for?
We are picking all of our causes through Crowdrise.com. Crowdrise is amazing because the money donated goes directly to the charity and not through us. All the charities on their website have been IRS approved so you can feel confident donating. With their system it takes less than a minute to donate!

What are the benefits of using the fundraising platform you choose?
The Free Cosplay Project is great because its a flexible program that fills a niche in the CAUSEplay community. Each Featured Artist gets to find a charity that they feel passionate about, so there is always a new charity benefiting from the program with every raffle. Allowing artists to gain exposure and promote themselves to the public is a huge incentive for the artists as well. And the art is what creates the incentive for the public. Raffle giveaways have been really successful for aspiring independent prop makers and hey, who doesn’t like winning free stuff? Currently we are working on introducing the idea of gifts for every donor and not just a grand prize, but we are taking it one step at a time.

If someone wanted to donated to win a prop from you how much do they need to donate?
Crowdrise requires a minimum donation of $10. That is a 1 in 100 chance to win! That may seem high but really, what is $10 to you? 1 (and a half) expensive brand name latte? Or the costume of your dreams? Make it a priority to live a generous life and HELP ME SHOW THE WORLD WHO THE REAL HEROS OF COSPLAY ARE!!!

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What got you into CAUSEplaying?
Honestly it was a desperation. I was feeling disconnected from the community. It had been over 6 months since I was able to cosplay because I was going through career changes and things were really hectic. I was either not attending cons or working them, and cosplay meetups were either not being organized or being canceled. Almost like a personal cosplay dark-age! When I finally was able to come back to cosplay I had gained weight and was having a hard time feeling like I could be confident in my skin. I kept that depression to myself for a long time because I felt ashamed of even feeling that way. I know that the cosplay community is really body positive so I felt silly for even being so insecure. Ultimately my favorite thing about cosplay is the technical aspect so even if I didn’t dress up, I wanted to keep making things. But if it was going to be a costume I made, then I had to let SOMEONE wear it! That’s when I thought of The Free Cosplay Project. The idea was rather serendipitous because it was good for me to take the focus off myself and spend time in supportive role.

What keeps you CAUSEplaying?
Giving feels great. It allows a person to do something transcendent with their lives.

What was your first CAUSEplay event?
The first event for The Free Cosplay Project is live now. We are looking to have a different Featured Artist each month.

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What is your favorite costume to wear while CAUSEplaying, and Why?
Because the FCP is an online charity I haven’t gotten the chance to actually cosplay for charity! Pretty ironic.

What is your favorite cause to support?
Anything to do with solar energy, building self sustaining infrastructure in developing countries, or disease research. Hope for Vision is my first charity because they are a research focused charity aimed at curing degenerative retinal diseases. And I think we need greater funding in the sciences. BUT! I really think the way our society views blind people is wrong and limits their potential so I’m really eager to do a fundraiser in the future for World Access for the Blind, because they are an organization focuses on enabling blind people by teaching echolocation. http://www.worldaccessfortheblind.org/

Who inspires you?
I was incredibly inspired by Amanda Palmers “The Art of Asking” because it has a really beautiful view of life.

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Advice for CAUSEplaying:
I think I’d love everybody’s advice instead! I’m not sure if I’m qualified to give it quite yet. I’m still learning and I really wouldn’t be anywhere without the help of family and friends.

Do you prefer to be called a cosplayer or costumer?
Its interchangeable for me. I’m definitely a cosplayer, but I graduated with a degree in costume design.

What was your first costume/cosplay?
This GOD AWFUL Lina Inverse cosplay for 8th grade Halloween party. Its was a thrown together red t-shirt of red tights with scrap fabric, just awful! My first “actual cosplay” was a minor villain from One Piece called Miss Goldenweek.

What is your day job (a.k.a. how I pay for my expensive hobby)?
I work part time for my dad as a licensed Real Estate Agent. You could say I’m his assistant. When it’s slow in the winter I work odd jobs. Currently I work at a plastics manufacturing factory, so I go to work and cast plastic parts, and then come home and do it all over again. One is for an airplane, the other is for cosplay!

If you could have any job what would it be and why?
I honestly wouldn’t want to be an independent commissioner for prop fabrication. That seems so stressful! It’s hard to make run business that way, that’s why the FCP is great, because it supports those independent artists. I’d rather work for a studio making props, but that’s Hollywood, which is its own monster.

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Tell us something random about yourself: I love the show Good Eats!

Star Wars or Star Trek: Trek for sure!

Marvel or DC: *stuffs name brand candy bar in mouth to avoid question*

Favorite Comic Series: Tomb Raider

Favorite Comic Character:The Prince from Saga

Favorite Book: I read mostly non-fiction these days. I can’t really call myself a book nerd. Pass!

Favorite Video Game: Anything Naughty Dog or 2K or Valve.

Favorite Convention: PAX or ECCC!

Affiliations (clubs or groups): The Free Cosplay Project! 😉

Website: freecosplayproject.org

Affiliated websites: https://www.crowdrise.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!

Heroes Behind the Masks: Portland Superheroes Coalition

I believe that the world needs more Muppets and this weeks feature has them! Major KUDOS to anyone who adds these amazing characters to the world. BTW I saw them at a distance at Emerald City Comic Con 2014 and they are amazing! If I wasn’t on the escalator going the opposite way I would  have grabbed a picture of them! Okay, enough fan girling!  Though I have never personally meet this amazing group, several friends of mine have nothing but amazing things to say about the participants and creator of the Portland Superheroes Coalition. The do a little bit of everything and have a high level of professionalism.  Maybe one day I can join them and the awesome that they do!  A girl can wish right!  –Mala

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Group Name: Portland Superheroes Coalition

Location(s):  Greater Portland, Salem and Eugene areas.

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Mission Statement: Helping others through fundraisers and community events.

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When was the group started?
The group was initially created by myself and another cosplayer July 2012 after the Batman movie theater shooting, but then sat dormant until January 2013. In Jan 2013 was Wizard World Portland, and so much fun was had meeting other cosplayers that things were ramped into full gear and our first event was in April of 2013 for a college graduation.

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What inspired the creation of Portland Superheroes Coalition or CAUSEplay in general?  
I was always that kid that made things and took apart toys and who loved Halloween. Over the years Halloween became a favorite holiday and I started making more and more elaborate costumes, and eventually wanted to do more with my costumes than just Halloween; and wanted an outlet with a positive aspect. Basically all parts fell into place that way, and other people were recruited and invited.

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Do you have a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization status or other designation? 
We are not 501c3, just a group of volunteers who all want to do good things in the community and make people happy. We have no bank accounts or money to spend on huge things such as filling for 501c3, and personal monies we do have is used to either buy hospital toys or for group purchases like business  cards to give out when people ask of us. We are fortunate to have Sponsors who contact us and ask what we need, and who provide us with extra money and toys for our special visits. We all work on the honor system basically.

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How can someone join Portland Superheroes Coalition?
People who have top-notch non mass-produced outfits can send us an email with a few photos of their character, where they will be voted on by the most active members of the group. There are a few rules listed on our website people must follow too, such as being 18+ years old and expectations of keeping up to date on group outings.

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Is there a website people can go to search for a local chapter?
We have only 1 chapter but will travel and have Heroes from Seattle down to Eugene. www.facebook.com/PortlandSuperheroesCoalition

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What type of costumes do you accept?  Do you have a costume approval process, if so what is it?  What do you look for in a costume?
Currently we are pushing for more superheroes and superhero-type characters than pop-culture. We do have a selection of video game, Muppets, Star Wars and a few other genres in order to appeal to wider audiences though. Needs can always change due to group activities and what is asked of us when invited to an event.  High quality top-notch family-friendly suits only as mass-produced and store-bought are not allowed. We try to raise the bar a step higher than regular cosplay in both class and interaction to give a unique experience while in the public.

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Do you accept crossplay costumes?  Gender bent costumes?   Customized characters?
We do have crossplay and welcome it if it’s done very well. The expectations from dressing at a Con versus going into the public for events are totally different, as the public is far more picky and less forgiving if a character isn’t as accurate as possible. Also if a character doesn’t meet the public’s expectations, it will cause a distraction and reduce the illusion we are going for. We do not accept custom made-up characters for the same reason as they can be a distraction due to people asking too many questions.

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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?
Yes, and we love it! Between the almost 50 Current Members we have a great knowledge base and abilities on everything from sewing to fiberglassing.

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How many people are currently in your group?
As of today Jan 5th, 48.

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How is the leadership determined?
I am the founder and one who handles all emails, Facebook and events. When a person submits a Hero for consideration, a non-typical event has been asked of us, or just something slightly unusual is happening, we have a private forum where all Current Members are addressed and a Core Group of the most active Heroes to get ideas and suggestions from. Very few things are done without asking another person something, as I believe a group should have group input.

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What have you done for charities (types of events)?
We attend fundraisers and charity events, community festivals, school functions and assemblies, walk in parades, help with canned food drives, spend the day at children’s museums, greet at movie premieres, attend games with many local sports teams, setup photo booths for donations, and visit children’s hospitals.

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Do you create your own event or make appearance when requested?
We never make our own events, we only go somewhere after invited.

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How did you build you “clientele”?
Just from word of mouth, or from giving out cards while attending an event.

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Do you have particular organization(s) or cause(s) you work with regularity?
Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and Make A Wish Oregon are 2 that we are very proud to support. We have worked with many others and have had very awesome experiences. We attended an event at Christmas time for the Oregon Air National Guard and they are very excited for future fun.

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What is the most amazing thing Portland Superheroes Coalition has accomplished so far?
Helping current and past Doernbecher patients and Make A Wish kids hits us pretty hard and makes everything all worth it. Just making people happy is a main goal and we are accomplishing that at every event by giving people a few minutes to meet a childhood Hero, especially adults who will “let their guard down” to be a kid again.

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Where do you see Portland Superheroes Coalitiongoing in the future?
No way to tell. It’s all done with volunteers and you never know who is coming or going, so you just plan for the moment basically.

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Do you use any fun terminology specifically for Portland Superheroes Coalition?
No.

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Do you have advice for someone interested in creating a CAUSEplay group or getting into CAUSEplay?
It can be exhausting but totally worth it. Surround yourself with good people and good things will happen.

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If people want to donate toys, or money to help with toys, how can they do this?
It’s best for them to message before donating to work things out.

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What future events do you have?
We go to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital every 3 months. Events with the Portland Winterhawks and Portland Trail Blazers are also set, and an event for a large group of foster children.

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Facebook: www.facebook.com/PortlandSuperheroesCoalition

Twitter: www.twitter.com/supers_pdx

Email: portlandsuperheroes@yahoo.com

YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/PortlandSuperheroes

Instagram: www.instagram.com/pdx_supers

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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!