2016 has been a memorable year with many ups and downs for our members. With the all too recent loss of our Princess/General, Carrie Fisher, we are reminded of Yoda’s words “[i]n a dark place we find ourselves”. Now, more than ever, we know we must emulate the mission of Saber Guild as an organization – to follow the Jedi path of spreading hope and good will. After all, Rebellions are built on hope.
To kick off 2016, our mission was to raise awareness, drive membership and strengthen our connection with our fellow Star Wars fan groups/local community. In order to be successful, we needed strength in numbers. We have been fortunate to have very dedicated and talented members, including our newest recruits – many of whom feel like they’ve been in our Empire Temple family forever. Welcome to:
- Allan Al
- Joseph Cluckies
- Kevin Cobb
- Mike DeLucca
- Kim Filardo
- Chris Filardo
- Christine Kennedy
- Sue Kisenwether
- Kevin Nystrom
- Anne Richmond
- Eduardo Rodriguez
- Brian Weitz
In the past year, we have strengthened our ties to the local Star Wars fan groups such as Echo Base – Rebel Legion, Mandalorian Mercs (Falco and Raquor’daan Clans), and 501st Empire City Garrison (see our #MannequinChallenge video here). We’d like to thank the members of these groups for being our brothers and sisters in arms for troops and performances. Congrats to our many members who received membership into these groups this year as well.
On top of our 2016 goals, we continued to raise money for noble causes such as our local charity, St.Mary’s Healthcare System for Children. Through our members’ hard work at all 47 of our troops/events this year, we were able to raise $13,500 – 50+% more than what we raised last year. We cannot thank our supporters enough for their continued generosity and kindness. Please know that your donations went towards worthy causes, such as equipment for St.Mary’s Hospital to begin a video/animation group.
Speaking of events, we were very fortunate to participate in some unique experiences, such as: conducting Padawan Training Institute for Play Fair, New York Historical Society, Geek Girl Brunch and the Ronald McDonald House; trooping at the first ever Star Wars Night at Yankee Stadium; performing a show and conducting Padawan Training Institute at New York Comic Con; attending both Heroes and Villains conventions in NJ (and raising money for the One Orlando Fund); and lastly, making Peter Mayhew an honorary Saber Guild member during Winter Con.
We’re already scheduling events for the entirety of 2017. We look forward to performing at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in NJ on February 4th and strengthening relationships with community groups such as Fort Hamilton Base, Geek Girl Brunch, Ronald McDonald House and our new home, the Chelsea Recreation Center. 2017 is going to be an exciting year with Star Wars Celebration in Orlando!
Last but not least, we’d like to welcome our new Council members. We thank our Council members past and present for their tireless work:
- Local Director: Rubin Polizzi
- Assistant Local Director: Amy Chrzanowski
- Local Stage Director: Rodney Clarke
- Battle Masters: Tyler Welsek (Choreography) and Diánna Martin (Acting)
- Membership Director: Paul Sposato
- Temple Librarian: Michele Montanez
- Costume Counselor: Anne Richmond
Thank you for your continued support of Saber Guild: Empire Temple. We hope you will join us in 2017 as we look towards our new mission statement: Light the world one lightsaber at a time. To do so, we will look towards our 5 Pillars of Service to focus our work in assisting the community around us in innovative and creative ways with the hope of making the galaxy a better place:
5 Pillars of Service:
If you have any additional questions, we encourage you to reach out to us. If you’re interested in joining us on a Friday for one of our open rehearsals at the Chelsea Rec Center, please check our schedule on Facebook.
Have a happy and healthy new year. May the Force Be With You!