Montrose Park, Chicago, IL
May 20, 2006
Story by Chris Spice (Darth Spice)

 

SANDTROOPERS INVADE CHICAGO'S BEACHES
It’s much like the ritual that is sacred, honored and never broken. As I prepared my gear on the morning of June 24, 2006, I checked and double-checked everything as I prepared for what would seem to be a very long mission. For many years the Greater Chicago Food Depository has held their annual walk to help assist the hungry and homeless in the greater Chicagoland area. How could you not want to be a part of something that could so desperately help someone in great need?

I had to pack my Dewback extra heavy, as the field pack I had constructed for dustrho wasn’t quite battle ready, but ready enough for him to wear. What seemed like no time at all I headed for the now famous bunker of Sandtrooper dustrho. It was pretty amazing to see it all again in person. The collection has grown by leaps and bounds, perhaps the only thing that has gotten larger, faster would be his son Lucas! After quickly applying some grit to the pack, we were ready for the one-hour cruise downtown.

The two-mile walk on the lovely Lake Shore Drive was packed with cyclists, runners and or course people walking. As our hosts were kind enough providing tents for us to change, we opted to go old-school and change in the parking lot vs. leaving our wallets behind in a tent in the middle of a park in Chicago! It was such a beautiful day, as I was already sweating just shortly after gearing up. The breeze off the lake provided ample comfort and all honest the conditions were simply perfect.

As we made way out into the starting point for the walk, the Midwest Garrison took part in opening ceremonies. After paying tribute to a kind old lady who was lucky enough to reach 100 years old we joined Captain Crunch, Superman, Ronald McDonald and a host of other to provide ambiance and entertainment to the thousands of children. Darth Vader and Dark Anakin led a group of Sandtroopers, TIE Pilots, Biker Scouts, and Boba Fett. Princess Leia was captured and brought before a very special guest in Durge! What an amazing costume. I only got a glimpse of this suit last year at Wizard World, and it’s really taken on some major improvements since then.

We had a great time and it was really nice to get out and hit the beach for the first time in my gear. We were able to snag some really great photos of the group and I’d like to thank each and every one of them who came out. I can’t really say what my personal highlight was. It was a toss up from watching a child really lose it in fear when I walked up on him or taking a couple photos with one of my childhood heroes in Hamburglar! Any way you cut it, giving a few hours of your time to something that could so greatly help someone in need is a no-brainer. Having a great time with some really great people is just a really nice fringe benefit. United We Find Troopers!

PHOTO GALLERIES
To see the different photo galleries click on the links below. More photos might come in to us, so check back again soon for any updates!