Trooping in the Panhandle — Paraji Squad Highlights!


Pensicola Comic Con 2015 \ Image: Danni Hauss Photography
Pensicola Comic Con 2015 Image: Danni Hauss Photography
Pensicola Comic Con 2015 \ Image: Danni Hauss Photography
Pensicola Comic Con 2015 \ Image: Danni Hauss Photography

This week we get the latest news from the Paraji Squad, which encompasses the Florida panhandle area!

Pensacon 2015
The 2nd year of Pensacon was another great success! Economic impact reports indicate $3.8 million dollars was spent during the 3-day weekend event, which was near double of last year’s figures. Estimates of attendance were in the range of 20,000+ attendees. Not too shabby for a second year convention! (An FYI: The host hotel is now 75% sold for next year’s convention.) Also, Downtown Pensacola businesses were on board for the event, with themed parties held on both Friday and Saturday nights in many of the venues.

Parjai/501st/Rebel Legion had a great space at one end of the Pensacola Bay Center (the entire end!), with displays including the Death Star Blast Door, Hoth Set with E-Web, Jawa Workshop, and numerous costumes and helmets. We also presented four panels during the weekend: The Wookiee Workshop, Costuming a Galaxy: Wardrobe Fit for a Queen (and a Princess!), Costuming an Empire: The 501st Legion, and a Droid Builders panel.

The Blast A Trooper event raised nearly $700.00 for our local Ronald McDonald House.

In addition to Parjai Squad, members from Squad 7 and Tampa Bay attended, as well as Dantooine Base (RL) CO, Rich Heffernan. A highlight of the weekend: Jeremy and Maureen Bulloch joined us at our squad/garrison dinner on Friday night. A good time was had by all!

Parjai had several armor/build parties leading up to this event, and had a visit by the local television station, WEAR-TV, who interviewed member, Mike Lee, and shot a great deal of footage of us working on various projects. Also, LaVonne French, Parjai Squad Leader was interviewed as part of a feature on costuming and also served as a costume judge for both Pensacon costume contests.

St Baldricks Fundraiser \ Image: Courtesy of Paraji Squad Command
St Baldricks Fundraiser \ Image: Courtesy of Paraji Squad Command

St. Baldrick’s Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research

Members of Parjai Squad, Alabama Garrison, Ra Kura and Tranquillity Bases participated in this year’s St. Baldrick’s fundraiser for Childhood Cancer Research on March 29th. (Brian Bonner, Alabama Garrison member, recently lost his young son, Jedi Aiden, to the disease.) In addition to Brian and his wife, Erica, Parjai Squad members James Durham and Rodney Rani had their heads shaved in support of this worthy cause.

Over $8,800 was raised at this year’s event.

Other Events of Note:

Cub Scout Blue & Gold Banquet, February 21, 2015
McGuire’s 5K Run for Charity, March 14, 2015 ($18,000 indirect donations)
Children’s Festival, Ft. Rucker, AL, March 28, 2015
St. Baldrick’s for Caroline Fundraiser for Childhood Cancer Research, March 29, 2015 ($8,800 indirect donations toward cancer research)

We have several events coming up the next few months and will report later!

– LaVonne French, Paraji Squad Commanding Officer

Did you attend any of these events with us? Share us your stories in the comments!