When art and fandom meet, it's often a beautiful thing to behold; when they meet under the same roof to raise money for sick children, it's a thousand times sweeter.
While artists have been paying tribute to their favorite films, books, and television shows for years, perhaps no one thing has gotten more love than the "Star Wars" series. Whether it's to show love for the original trilogy, the newer films, or a combination of both, fans are loyal to a fault and will often go to extreme lengths to create detailed artwork and costumes to celebrate them. That makes them perfect candidates to raise money for a good cause, and one group is hoping to make their project for 2013 a success.
Members of the MidSouth Garrison of the 501st Legion have had so much interest in their past fundraising projects--such as the TK Helmet Project and the As You Wish Helmet Project, which raised money for the Make A Wish Foundation--that they decided to try it again this year, but with a twist. Instead of helmets, they've attracted artists from all over the country to create one-of-a-kind Vans shoes to be auctioned off. Every bit of the money raised will go to the University of Kentucky Children's Hospital.
Tyler Phillips of the 501st spoke to WebProNews about the idea, noting that once news of an artist call for the fundraiser got around, the group got responses to The Shoe Project from all over the world. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, they weren't able to accommodate everyone.
"My wife and I researched custom shoes online, and it appeared as though Vans were the most popular because of the large open area they featured on the shoe. Once we pitched the idea to Lucasfilm and got their approval they helped us pitch the idea to Vans and get them involved," he said.
Vans graciously donated ten pairs of their shoes for the fundraiser, which will be displayed at the Lexington Comic and Toy Convention in Kentucky on March 16th and 17th. After that, they'll be posted on eBay for auction, with 100% of the proceeds going to the UK Children's Hospital. Phillips says that, depending on the interest this year, they'd love to do the project again in 2014.
For now, the group is waiting on approval from Lucasfilm before they can officially announce the artists, but we'll keep you updated on the project with a sneak peek at the shoes as soon as they're ready. For more information, check out the project's Facebook page. Also not to be missed: The Western Kentucky Ghostbusters. These guys (and lovely ladies) are full of heart and devote countless hours to fundraising for the UK Children's Hospital, as well.
TK Helmet Project: "Lost"
Artist: Amy Vatanakul
TK Helmet Project: "Pharaoh"
Artist: William O'Neill
Lead image: Jilliann Silva