August 26, 2006
Story by David Syczylo (Boba Binks)
Photos by Chris Hiett (BH 5379)


Upon arriving to the location for this event there were other stormtroopers from the 501st already getting suited up as I brought in my TK armor and suited up as well. Besides for us TKs there was a Jango Fett, Boushh, and The Dark Lord himself, Darth Vader. After suiting up the Imperial March started and we marched out into the event and the children’ eyes and adults eyes grew large. Nobody at the event was expecting any real Star Wars characters to stop in and make an appearance. There were many cutout standees of those pesky rebels and of course a Darth Vader.

The children ran up all excited. We posed for many pictures, answered several questions from the kids, and trooped around the event saying hello and waving to the little kids who were afraid. It was a surprise how many of the younger kids now a days are not afraid to run up to a stormtrooper or Darth Vader to ask questions, get their picture taken, etc. I guess the amount of times the 501st have been making appearances the children are getting accustomed to the white armor and know that we are not a bunch of big scary people but nice and friendly. What is that doing for the Empire’s image? No wonder Rebels across the galaxy laugh at us. What happened on Endor was false. The Ewoks did not take any of us down. Though the kids think otherwise.

Each child attending this event received a t-shirt with a picture of Yoda on it with the title of the event “STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A BENEFIT FOR RILEY HOSPITAL” these shirts were really cool. At the end of the event there were some left over and our hosts allowed us to take them for children that we thought would want them. Overall it was a hot and humid day with occasional rain showers throughout the day. Lucky for us the rain held off until after the trooping was over with. It was not only an honor and pleasure of participating in this event it was a whole lot of fun as it always is in armor.

After the trooping some of us hung out, ate, drank, caught up on old times, and more. The host told us for our participation of this event that he was going to be making a donation to the Riley Children’s Hospital in the name of the 501st Bloodfin Garrison. That is such an honor, Thank You very much. You were a wonderful host, very generous, and kind. Hope everyone had a wonderful time because I know from the ones who participated, we had a blast. I know that the children at Riley Hospital will be most gracious with your wonderful donation. Thank you very much and a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Colby and Cate. Until the next time, May The Force Be With You.

To see the photo gallery containing 58 photos click here.