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Questions about an unofficial troop

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I am newly approved, and I have a question about doing a troop on my own.  I contacted my local Salvation Army to volunteer to be a bell ringer at a local grocery store in my armor (a bell ringer simply rings a Christmas bell near a public place, under the authority of our local Salvation Army, a charitable organization, to try getting people to donate cash for the needy).

 

Anyway, they love the idea, so much so, that I was contacted by their public relations department, and they are asking the media to cover this.  I had no intention of starting this kind of thing - I simply wanted to ring a bell for a couple hours, and turn in any donations I helped to collect.  I want to honorably represent the 501st, of course.  Are there any specific guidelines for me to follow in this situation?  Also, I recall a recent e-mail with the totals of how much money the 501st helped to raise for charity this past year, but I can not find that information.  Does someone have a link to that information?

 

Thanks!

 

Ron, TK-82611

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Hey Ron your best bet would be to contact command of your garrison to make sure. It was explained to me that you can do whatever you want with your armor but you can’t mention 501st since it’s not a 501st event. I’ve done Halloween things with kids but won’t make it seem like it’s a 501st event.


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I’m one of the Event Coordinators for my garrison.  I would highly recommend not doing this on your own outside of your local garrison’s approval.  

 

We (501st Legion) can appear at Salvation Army bell ringing events, but LucasFilm does not want costumed characters ringing the bell.   There are also rules for media interviews.  If asked to interview it should be done without a helmet and not “in character”.

 

Your GECs (garrison event coordinators) play a very important role in scheduling events that follow all of the guidelines/rules that Lucasfilm has for the costume clubs.

 

All that being said, my garrison has done a couple of bell ringing events this year, they were both a huge success!

 

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Ok, thanks.  I was worried about this.  I didn't want to make a lot of noise about it, honestly.  I'm trying to contact some local garrison people about it.

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Question- when you contacted the Salvation Army, did you tell them you were with the 501st and present the idea to them that you would be doing the bell ringing as a 501st member? If not, it should be ok. It is your costume to do what you want with. But, you have to be careful doing “501st” troops/events without them being sanctioned by your commanding officers as others stated above.

For example, I did a Halloween Parade in my town as a stormtrooper, but I didn’t once say I was there on behalf of the 501st.

You can tell people you belong to the 501st and educate them on the organization, just can’t be on “official 501st business” while trooping if it’s not a 501st event.


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I’d be curious to see how this turns out. Given the opportunity I’d probably do it with a spotter. Someone would be sure to steal from me in a TK suit. I’d hate to see you not do a good deed due to fear of punishment. I also agree if the news wants to video it they can. I’d probably shy away from an interview but if they ask it would be “I’m just a guy using my assets to help someone else”.
Please keep us updated.


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Firstly if you are newly approved you can request an access upgrade here.

 

I would suggest having a read through the Trooper Survival Guide.

 

I do advise caution when trooping out on your own, especially without a handler/wrangler/support there are many obstacles which you may not be aware and the last thing you want to do is turn and knock over a small child, having someone with you can be great assistance.  I would also be cautious if you have no experience attending troops official or unofficial, there are guidelines with LFL have given us to follow which you may not be privy too but your command staff would be, I would definitely discuss this with them as already suggested. Some have had issues working with some charity groups in some parts of the world in the past for various reasons so make sure you have local command's blessing first.

 

A former CO had always told us "yes it's your costume and you can do with it what you want when not representing the 501st but remember even though you attend unofficially and don't say you are 501st people will/can just assume you are"

 

Just a FYI, bear in mind the following are some guidelines to follow when giving interviews as a 501st member:

Interviews

If you don't feel up to it or feel unprepared, don't hesitate to direct the interviewer towards a member of your unit command staff.

When being interviewed by members of the press, or independent media producers it is important to maintain the distinction between Lucas Film and the 501st Legion. While we are typically happy to grant interviews requests for interviews need to be evaluated to make sure that we will not be put into a situation where we may be requested to speak on topics not related to the 501st. Legion.

 

Lucas Film has requested that when conducting an interview we do so with "buckets off" to make a clear delineation between our membership and the characters we portray. For example it's appropriate for us to discuss specific charity involvement as a member but not appropriate for Darth Vader to say that "XYZ Foundation" is his favorite charity.

 

Interview Tips

  • Buckets off: Identify your self as a member of the 501st either by name or TK-ID.
  • Avoid controversial topics: No discussions of Religious or Political issues.
  • Promote the Legion in a favorable light.
  • Be Positive: Don't comment negatively on other Costuming Groups and Star Wars organizations.
  • We Build our own costumes: stress that our costumes are all fan made.

Talking Points

  • The Legion officially began in 1997.
  • We currently have over 13,000 Active Members.
  • The Legion currently occupies approximately 61 countries world wide.
  • The 501st Legion is a totally volunteer organization
  • How do I join: Visit www.501st.com and/or your garrison website.
  • Discuss your Garrison troops and accomplishments.
  • Discuss your Detachment
  • Mention Kids and Fun.
  • We don't "get paid to troop" : Mention our charitable contributions and activities
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Thank you!  I have since exchanged some messages with our local garrison people, and this is ok to do.  I was advised the same way about an interview, and even though I know what to say and what not to say, I will inform the PR director who was going to set it up that maybe it is best not to invite the media.  I'm actually embarrassed about the attention, as I only wanted to help out, and maybe spur more donations being in my armor.  It was never my intention to have such a fuss made about it, so I will ask them not to invite media, just to be on the safe side.

 

On the other hand, I will tell the PR person that in the future, I'd be happy to do what I can to coordinate an official event.  The idea of having a spotter is a good one, since it is difficult to see if someone is trying to steal the donation bucket.  

 

Thanks for all of the support  :)

 

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3 hours ago, Frank75139 said:

I’d be curious to see how this turns out. Given the opportunity I’d probably do it with a spotter. Someone would be sure to steal from me in a TK suit. I’d hate to see you not do a good deed due to fear of punishment. I also agree if the news wants to video it they can. I’d probably shy away from an interview but if they ask it would be “I’m just a guy using my assets to help someone else”.
Please keep us updated.


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I like that suggestion, and I am going to try to get a spotter.  As for the media, I am going to ask the Salvation Army PR person not to invite them, but I will see what I can do about being an event coordinator for future official troops in this area.

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Thank you!  I have since exchanged some messages with our local garrison people, and this is ok to do.  I was advised the same way about an interview, and even though I know what to say and what not to say, I will inform the PR director who was going to set it up that maybe it is best not to invite the media.  I'm actually embarrassed about the attention, as I only wanted to help out, and maybe spur more donations being in my armor.  It was never my intention to have such a fuss made about it, so I will ask them not to invite media, just to be on the safe side.
 
On the other hand, I will tell the PR person that in the future, I'd be happy to do what I can to coordinate an official event.  The idea of having a spotter is a good one, since it is difficult to see if someone is trying to steal the donation bucket.  
 
Thanks for all of the support 
 



Can’t wait to see how it turns out. Let’s us know how well it goes.


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Fortunately, the media never showed up.  I was informed by some of the admins of my local garrison that media interviews are ok, with buckets off, and I was sent the list of do's and don't's about what to talk about.  I'm glad they didn't show up, just to not have to deal with that, but I had an absolute blast!  The responses by kids, adults, everyone was so awesome, and I know that being there in that fashion helped to spur more donations (it was for the Salvation Army).  One guy even said, "Best bell ringer ever," and proceeded to put a $20 bill in the bucket right at the end.

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Fortunately, the media never showed up.  I was informed by some of the admins of my local garrison that media interviews are ok, with buckets off, and I was sent the list of do's and don't's about what to talk about.  I'm glad they didn't show up, just to not have to deal with that, but I had an absolute blast!  The responses by kids, adults, everyone was so awesome, and I know that being there in that fashion helped to spur more donations (it was for the Salvation Army).  One guy even said, "Best bell ringer ever," and proceeded to put a $20 bill in the bucket right at the end.


That’s just awesome. Any pics?


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17 minutes ago, Frank75139 said:

 


That’s just awesome. Any pics?


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There was a public relations person there taking a lot of pics.  She said she would e-mail some to me, but nothing yet - Christmas Eve, and all.  I'll share some for sure when I get them  :)

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