I started working the food fight entirely as a joke in 2012. At the joint Rising Winds and Tal Dagore event Little Keep, I began by running around with a sign saying I would not do horrible things to you for $10.00 that would go to the food fight. Inside a hour, I made $100.00 and stopped the threats. I simply ran around and asked for donations and by the end of the night had $270.00 in a collection jar. It went on throughout the event in the best ways. I even asked the merchants if they had small stuff to donate for an auction to benefit the food fight which helped bring in another $200.00 for the charity. When the event ended, I had over $1200.00 to donate which was entrusted to Sir Wisp to donate.
I walked around for the next month with my head in the clouds! I felt like a million bucks because I had done something so good and powerful because of what started as a joke. It was some time in that month, I realized that I had to kick it up a notch because if I could do that as a joke, what could I do with planning? Step one would take place at Origins Game fair in Columbus Ohio.
In TD it is a well-known fact that I am well connected in the gaming industry. So I contacted my favorite person with a publication, Jolly Blackburn, Author and artist of Knights of the Dinner Table comic book as well as the Hackmaster RPG. I asked him if he would give a discount to amtgard putting an ad in his comic for our charity the Food Fight. He perked up at charity and just blurted out that he would do it for free if it was a charity and that he would even do a strip on it! I didn’t imagine that it would get this good! Over the next couple of months, I contacted several artists who helped me out. Particularily Mynoc of Jupiters Stones. He made me an ad and I sent it to Jolly to be added to the comic. Jolly however one upped me AGAIN! He said that to make sure we got coverage all month, he was putting us in another issue free of charge. So I contacted my page Tawney to make another ad for the food fight, and I must say that she did a fabulous job.
Sir Wisp and I had a few lengthy conversations on what had transpired and I asked if we could give Jolly a Lord title to say thanks. Wisp agreed it was earned and that it would be a nice thing to do. He also contacted Brennon to get Jolly legal paperwork to allow KoDT to use Amtgard as it’s official boffer of the comic, just in case. Things got set into motion for bigger crazier things.
Skip a few months and I am preparing to go to Gencon. I thought another opportunity to help with the foodfight might present itself with its vendors so I hastily prepared some fliers and donation forms so that I could promote the food fight to the exhibitors and they might donate items to our charity. On the first day of the exhibitors hall opening, I got over $200.00 in goods, way more than I had planned on. The next day I unfortunately could not peruse the hall as I was too busy. On Saturday I was allowed to give Jolly Blackburn his Lord title. He very much enjoyed it and thanked us for the opportunity to do charity work. After the ceremony, I asked him if I could get a couple boxes of the comics we will be featured in to sell for the food fight and to give to our major helpers at a reduced rate, once again he blind sides me. He will be sending me a couple boxes for free to do as we need! Lets skip ahead to the end of the convention, I was given $1630.00 in products (never ask for cash, and refuse if offered!) to auction off at IK.
My biggest lesson was this- It never hurts to ask. In my opinion, people want to help but they lack the opportunity to do so. If you but give them the opportunity they will usually jump on it and very happily so. Many gamer celebrities helped me out a lot! Monte Cook, Lauren and Tracy Hickman, Sohmer and Lar, Margaret Weis… the list just goes on and on. You can’t be intimidated by fame because these people care just as much as you do, and they might even have more ability to do so. My best and most expensive donated items came from such celebrities. Many of these people I did not know, but they didn’t care- they just wanted to help.
Reach for the stars. I did and it will help out a LOT of people who really need it desperately.
Baron Squire Poobah Nemoralis