GGB Youngstown Fandom Free-For-All
The Youngstown Chapter decided to round out the year with a Fandom Free-For-All on December 8th! We met at Firebirds Wood Fired Grill in Niles at 12:30, and settled in for some end of year fun.
One thing we decided to do this December is support a local charity organization. Our way of giving to those who might not find the holiday season as easy as some. We reached out to Beatitude House, a local organization which is dedicated to helping disadvantaged women and their children in our area. They were very excited and helped us arrange for a speaker come to tell us more about what they do.
Jessica, their representative, gave us a small talk about their work. Beatitude House was founded with the intention to help women and their children break out of the painful cycle of poverty and homelessness. When it began, in 1991, they only had the ability to accommodate four families, but since then they have vastly expanded. Now they have multiple projects which include transitional housing, permanent supportive housing, outreach programs for immigrants which include English classes as well as enrichment programs, and they also provide of scholarship for low-income families so they can reach their educational goals.
She went on to tell us about some of the things they do at this time of year. One project involves meeting with the families in their care and seeing what their needs and wants are, what they can provide to make their lives a little easier. The other is a project they call Santa’s Workshop, where they collect gifts suitable for mom’s and allow the children to pick out an item to gift to the mothers come the holidays. To aid in this we chose to collect donations, some of which included bedroom soft furnishings such as blankets and pillows; coffee makers and kitchen accessories; and, bath sets of shower gels and lotions. It was also possible to purchase items they select off of gift registries and several of our members decided to go that route.
We were thrilled to be able to present Jessica with the items we had collected, and she was very grateful for our enthusiasm in supporting the organization. We have also gone on to discuss other options for providing support later in the year when the public focus tends to move away from helping those in need.
After Jessica’s talk we relaxed into our usual GGB fun, which we began with a game of Pass the Parcel, our way of making sure everyone got a small something. We started the music (Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas carol…) and the Brunchettes began to pass the football sized ball of tissue paper around. The second the music was stopped, whoever was left holding the parcel got to rip off a layer of paper and find a gift inside. This continued round until everyone had gotten a prize. We had included little mementos of all this years brunches, key-chains, bookmarks, earings, all sorts of small gifties with geeky themes.
Our other game for the day was a trivia which featured all sorts of fandom related questions, and was won by Brittany! She’s our trivia buff~
We put together one big prize for the end of year, items from all of 2018s brunch themes, and we drew a name for the winner of this one, so everyone had a chance of winning. Kristy was the lucky Brunchette and she took home a haul of geeky items.
We also got to award our two, year long, contest winners. We decided to run a competition for our members to encourage participation, one involved racking up points for how many brunches you attended, how many non-official GGB events you went to or hosted. The other was for the most activity on our social media accounts, posting images, relevant messages, or information about upcoming events which might be of interest. Stephanie was our most active member at brunches! And Aubrey was our most social media savvy! Congratulations guys, and thank you for your support! They each walked away with gift cards to Fandango, and our local comic book store All American Cards and Comics!
Besides all the fun at this months brunch it also came with a somber note. We said goodbye to our two founding officers, who have both decided it’s time for them to step down and focus on their personal lives.
Mandy and Danamarie founded the Youngstown chapter after having been members of the Cleveland Chapter for about a year, and from recognizing a need for something closer to home. They brought Samantha onboard quickly, wanting an extra pair of hands before the very first brunch, and quickly after chose Heather to be their fourth officer, but they were the ones who pushed to get Youngstown on the GGB map. They have been an integral part of developing the chapter and making its membership flourish.
Dana and Mandy, you will be missed as officers, but we’re excited that you’ve chosen to stay on as members! Thank you for all your hard work, we hope that those of us continuing on your legacy will be able to do you proud!
Thank you to everyone who made it to Brunch, and thank you to all our members who continue to support us! We hope that whatever you might be celebrating in the coming weeks you have a wonderful holiday season! We’ll see you in the New Year!