Trooping at Temple Street

If you’ve been following on Twitter or Flickr you will have seen an influx of photos around Halloween. Back in August, I attended Dublin Comic Con and met the 501st Ireland Garrison. With fabulous costumes, and a love of Star Wars, how could I resist? So I signed up, and yes I have made moves towards my own Star Wars-based costume. 

One of the things that drew me to the club is that the 501st is not just a costuming club. I joined the Irish Garrison, but the 501st is worldwide. Not only that, but they wear their costumes not just for fun, but for charity. 

There is something that has drawn me to charity work lately. In the last year I’ve become a proofreader for Project Gutenberg (which everyone should consider doing), and found the work to really be fulfilling. No pay, no credit, but there’s a personal satisfaction that comes with working for charity. The 501st, then, seemed a fantastic fit for me.

While I didn’t have a costume ready yet, I finally found an event that didn’t conflict with the rest of my hectic schedule, and volunteered to crew (which is essentially being a dresser if you’ve ever done theatre work plus occasionally talking to people and helping out) as the Garrison trooped its way around Temple Street Children's University Hospital. It happened to be for a cause that I knew would mean something, not only to me but to everyone else involved. 

Perhaps you’ve seen the stories before about superheroes visiting children’s hospitals. Perhaps you’ve participated in some of the superhero fundraising events that take place. Until you are standing in the doorway, watching their little faces light up with delight as Batman, Spiderman, and a host of Star Wars characters walk over to shake their hand, you just can’t understand what these visits mean to the sick kids in a hospital. 

My Halloween this year didn’t consist of getting in costume, there was no candy devoured, but it was one of the most fulfilling I’ve had in a long time. I look forward to when I am one of those characters bringing the smiles to their faces.


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