Upcoming Events
Sat., 8/1: Library Appearance (Elmhurst, IL)
The Elmhurst Library is having their Summer Reading celebration. They are going with the "Every Hero Has A Story" theme.

Sat., 8/1: St Jude Race for the Cure (Washington, IL)
More information to follow

Sun., 8/2: Slackers Star Wars Night (Sauget, IL)
It's the Slackers sponsored Star Wars Night with the Gateway Grizzlies Baseball team time again!

Tue., 8/4: Bartlett Night Out (Bartlett, IL)
The Village of Bartlett has asked the Garrison to come out again for its 22st Annual National Night Out Picnic in the Park on Tuesday, August 5, 2014.

Tue., 8/4: Alsip Police Dept Star Wars Day (Alsip, IL)
This is a national event that has roughly 38 million people in 16,124 communities across the nation celebrating America's National Night Out Against Crime. This year the Alsip Police Department has chosen to have a "Star Wars" themed National Night Out

8/7: Relay For Life (Itasca, IL)

8/7: Red Carpet Event Film Fest (Decatur, IL)

8/7: Boomers SW Night (Schaumburg, IL)

8/8: Midwest Makerfest (Peoria, IL)

8/9: Montgomery Fest Parade (Montgomery, IL)

 
Legion News
501st Legion Crafts Armor for Disabled Boy
http://501stlegion.org/images/homepage/tillyer.jpg Matthew Tillyer is an alert and positive 13 year old Carlsbad, California boy who, in December 2013, went from a typically active kid to unable to walk after unexpected complications from...

Welcome to the Legion, Corey Dee Williams!
http://i1099.photobucket.com/albums/g395/MidwestGarrison/Legion%20Command/Corey-Dee-Wiiliams-554_zps2vzj0t3j.jpg "I?ve just made a deal that'll keep the Empire here forever." At Star Wars Celebration Anaheim, members of...

In Memoriam: Janice Decker ID-5259
http://i1099.photobucket.com/albums/g395/MidwestGarrison/Legion%20Command/Janice%20Decker%20ID%205259_zpssmkbbzfx.jpg On the 9th of April, 2015 Janice Decker (ID 5259) of the MidSouth Garrison? passed away after a brief but fierce...

The 501st Legion Trooper of the Month for February 2015
In February, Tyrene Teo, BH-80666 of the Singapore Garrison , organized troopers from four 501st units, the Rebel Legion, and the Galactic Academy for the Chingay Parade in Singapore, one of the largest street performance and float parades in Asia....

In Memoriam: Lance Moore TK-31088
http://i1099.photobucket.com/albums/g395/MidwestGarrison/Legion%20Command/Lance_Moore%20554_zps7czx8uxt.jpg On the 10th of March, 2015, Lance Moore (TK-31088) of the 501st Legion's Georgia Garrison passed from this World. Lance is...

In Memoriam: Scott Boynton TD-78947
http://i1099.photobucket.com/albums/g395/MidwestGarrison/Legion%20Command/Scott%20Boynton%20TD78947%20554_zpsq8f3e2u1.jpg On the 26th of March, 2015, Scott Boynton (TD-78947) of the 501st Legion?s Star Garrison entered into the next...

The 501st Legion Trooper of the Month for January 2015
http://i887.photobucket.com/albums/ac78/tk3809/save_zpsgfcoeg0k.jpg The Legion is very proud to announce that Scott Loxley, TK-4857 of Terror Australis Garrison has been selected as Trooper of the Month for January 2015. As many of you...

Forward March! TB-101 Leads the Way!
http://i1099.photobucket.com/albums/g395/MidwestGarrison/Legion%20Command/TB101%20on%20the%20March%20554_zps0baj6g0a.jpg The 501st Legion congratulates Aimee Jorgensen, TB-101 , on her re-election as Legion Commanding Officer ! Aimee...

The 501st Legion Trooper of the Month for December 2014
Congratulations to Valter Santos, BH-3738 of the Portuguese Outpost , our December Legion Trooper of the Month! In December, Valter was instrumental in making Comic Con Oporto one of the largest and successful events on the Iberian Peninsula in Legion...

Vader's Fist Presents Liam's Arm
http://i1099.photobucket.com/albums/g395/MidwestGarrison/Legion%20Command/Liam%201_zpsrjoqkyw4.jpg Members of the 501st Legion's Georgia Garrison had the great honor of presenting young Liam Porter with a custom-built prosthetic arm,...

 
Neighboring Units
Wisconsin Garrison
Wisconsin

Bloodfin Garrison
Indiana

Midsouth Garrison
Kentucky & Tennessee

Central Garrison
N. Dakota, S. Dakota, Minnesota, & Iowa

70th Explorers Garrison
Kansas & Missouri

Northern Darkness Garrison
Northern 22 counties of Indiana

Nar Shadaa Base
Rebel Legion - Wisconsin & Illinois

 
Garrison News
The Midwest Garrison Walks For Relay For Life
By Sakic Jade on Jul 19, 2015 at 7:25 AM.


While the 501st Legion was initially founded to unite costumers with a penchant for Star Wars villainy, one of our real-world missions is to bring good to our communities through volunteer charity work. The Midwest Garrison is always looking for opportunities to brighten the lives of the less fortunate and to bring awareness to positive causes on both a local and global scale.

While we do not charge a fee for appearances (public or private), we enthusiastically welcome donations made to a charitable organization in the name of the Midwest Garrison.

This summer, the Midwest Garrison is supporting the American Cancer Society and has two teams walking in the Relay For Life at different events.

A few weeks ago, a team in central Illinois, the Imperial Walkers had their relay event for the year. This team has been walking for several years. In 2015, the troopers of this team raised over $5000 for the fight against Cancer.

In a couple weeks, another team of members, TIE Fighting Cancer will have their walk. Fundraising is still underway for this walk, and the troopers are looking to raise $5000 of their own.

If you'd like to help, you can make a donation to the team HERE. You can also go to RelayForLife.org to learn more about these amazing events.






MWG Trooper of the Month April and May 2015
By Sakic Jade on Jul 8, 2015 at 8:30 AM.
Congratulations to Eric Werner and Mike Mathews for being voted Trooper of the Month for April and May 2015 respectively.



Eric co-coordinated C2E2 for the first time this year. A lot of effort was put into planning, including ways to make the droid hunt more successful, and a revamped Blaster Academy. As the event drew near, the co-coordinator's real life got in the way, and Eric took on the job of running almost the whole con by himself. Because of Eric, the Droid Hunt was AWESOME and we got a ton of kids through not one, but two days of the Blaster Academy. Eric arrived first on Friday morning to set up, and was the last to leave on Sunday after break down. He made that convention what it was this year: AWESOME!

Mike has been a true Road Warrior in the Garrison. When an event pops up you can almost be sure to see him signed up for it. He has coordinated and trooped many events, sometimes having done multiple troops in ONE day. The one troop that stands out the most to me is the New Lenox package delivery for a sick little boy. Mike was gracious enough to step aside so other people could troop and make this little boy happy.

Thank you Eric and Mike, and keep up the great work!





4th Of July Weekend
By Sakic Jade on Jun 29, 2015 at 1:01 PM.


It's summer again, and that means you can see the Midwest Garrison out and about in celebration of The 4th of July. This year, we will be marching in two parades over the holiday weekend.

On Saturday, July 4th, we will be marching in the 46th annual West Peoria 4th of July Parade. The parade steps off at 10:00 am. For more information, please Click Here.

On Sunday, July 5th, we will be marching in the Bartlett 4th of July Parade. We step off at 1:00 pm. To find out more, please Click Here.

We hope that you can come out and see us this weekend. Have a safe and happy fourth!




Trooper Spotlight: CC-128 Phil Cline
By Sakic Jade on Jun 25, 2015 at 8:22 AM.


Today's Trooper Spotlight is Phil "Journeymanprotector " Cline.

How long have you been a part of the garrison, and what is it that sparked your interest in joining?
I've been in the 501st Legion for 14 years and joined the Midwest Garrison in 2013. I'd always wanted to be a stormtrooper as a child and once I realized armor was out there I couldn't wait to suit up! I was vaguely aware of the 501st Legion and was reached out to by my local squad.

Of all of the troops that you have done, which one stands out in your mind as meaning the most to you and why?
The specific memories I tend to latch on to are the kids who really just can't get enough of us. On one of my first troops in 2001 we were at a video game store and this one little kid, maybe 4 years old, lived in the neighborhood. He spent the whole day coming back to the store to see us, play hide-and-seek, and we had a lot of fun. At the end of the day his mother said he wanted me to have something; it was a Valentine's Day Card made out to the couple of us. It was September. I still have that card.

How has being a part of the MWG impacted your life?
In the first place, it made moving to a new city infinitely easier. I knew I'd have dozens of instant friends just waiting to be met at various events. It also pulls me out of my shell. I know that each week there are likely a few events I can head out to, meet some new friends, and spread some smiles.

Outside of trooping and 501st related stuff, what do you do for a living, and what are some of your other interests or hobbies?
I'm the campus operations director for University of Phoenix Chicago Campus. It's a pretty broad job scope so every day is different and it keeps me on my toes! When I'm not working or trooping, I like to oil paint or do various crafting projects.

What support you get from friends and family regarding the 501st and all the great things that you have done for the garrison?
By now, most of my friends are members it seems like. Those who aren't are either very jealous and live vicariously through me or don't really get it but are happy for me. My family thinks it's cool as well, particularly that I get to help charities, spread joy, and rack up a list of really surreal experiences like singing Happy Birthday to Criss Angel while dressed as Darth Vader. Who does that?

And lastly, is there anything, Star Wars related or not, that people might not know about you that they might be surprised to find out?
I speak decent Spanish. It's a lot of fun when out in armor and I meet a family that's speaking Spanish. Most of the time I'm Commander Wolffe and speaking with that New Zealand/Australian accent and it just sticks when I switch into Spanish. That must be really strange for a native Spanish speaker to hear!



Hawks Win, And So Does Charity!
By Sakic Jade on Jun 16, 2015 at 6:13 PM.


Congratulations to the 2015 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks!

Prior to the Stanley Cup Final, the Commanding Officer of the Midwest Garrison threw down the challenge to the Florida Garrison. Whichever garrison loses the Cup will have to pose with the winning team's flag - complete with garrison banners and all - and post it up on their social media channels. And to make it a little more interesting, the losing garrison will have to make a donation to a charity that's local to and chosen by the winning garrison! We chose the Children's Advocacy Center of North and Northwest Cook County. The Florida Garrison accepted, and chose St. Joseph's Children's Hospital in Tampa.

It was a fun rivalry, played out on Facebook and Twitter. Too see some of the back and forth, search the hashtag #501stCharityCupChallenge on both.

Since the Blackhawks won the Cup, The Florida Garrison will honor the bet and make their donation. However, due to the hard fought series, and for the sake of the children, the Midwest Garrison will also make our donation as well.

The Blackhawks may have won the Cup, but two great charities are the real winners here.





MWG Trooper of the Month March 2015
By Sakic Jade on Jun 11, 2015 at 1:39 PM.
Congratulations to Kristen Avara for being voted Trooper of the Month for March 2015.



Kristen had a very busy month of March for the Midwest Garrison. She trooped seven events, with two on the same day. She traveled to two states outside of Illinois, trooping with two other Garrisons, and spent over 30 HOURS in her car!

Kristen has gone above and beyond by representing the garrison at a wide variety of events in numerous locations and should be commended for making and taking the time to troop all over the place.

Keep up the good work, Kristen.




Joliet Public Library Star Wars Days
By Sakic Jade on Jun 2, 2015 at 9:23 AM.


The Joliet Public Library Star Wars Day is now the worlds largest of event of its kind. Bringing together members of the 501st Legion, Rebel Legion, Mandalorian Mercs, and other Star Wars fan groups from many different states.

In 2010, it started as a simple Star Wars library event, with only a few members of the Midwest Garrison and Rebel Legion in attendance. 650 people with families and children came out and had a great time. It began as a way to get children interested in books again. With so many children reliant on tablets, cell phones, and computers, many have not been in a library in a long time or if ever. In 2014, we saw an estimated 115 members in costume, and approximately 7,000 people.

There is so much more going on as well. Meet Star Wars artists, collectors, and more. It is an event that is not to be missed.

June 6th 2015. Downtown Joliet IL.




Memorial Day Weekend
By Sakic Jade on May 22, 2015 at 12:05 PM.


Happy Memorial Day weekend. Kick off this holiday weekend with America's pastime, a baseball game! Friday, we will be out at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark to celebrate Star Wars Night with the Kane County Cougars. The gates open at 5:30, and the first pitch is at 6:30.

Down in central Illinois on Saturday, we will be supporting our furry friends. Family Furenzy is at the Pekin First Church of the Nazarene in Pekin, IL. The event begins at 1:00, and raises money for TLC Foster Pet Rescue.

Have a fun and safe holiday weekend!




Trooper Spotlight: SL-2875 Aaron Brigman
By Sakic Jade on May 19, 2015 at 9:29 AM.


This month's Trooper Spotlight features Aaron "ChicagoVader1975" Brigman.

How long have you been a part of the garrison, and what is it that sparked your interest in joining?

I officially joined in 2000. I was asked to join the Garrison by Mike Washko, who was the Garrison Commander at the time. He saw my screen name on the Replica Prop Forum, which is ChicagoVader, and contacted me since there wasn't a Vader in the Garrison yet. He explained the group and it sounded like a lot of fun and another way to meet fellow Star Wars and Costuming fans.

Of all of the troops that you have done, which one stands out in your mind as meaning the most to you and why?

That's a tough one, but I would have to say the Bug's Pals Troops at Advocates Hope Children's hospital. To be able to put a smile of the faces of kids and their families that are going through such a difficult time, it doesn't get any better than that!

How has being a part of the MWG impacted your life?

It's been a positive force for sure. I have meet a ton of wonderful people that I'm proud to call friends and team mates.

Outside of trooping and 501st related stuff, what do you do for a living, and what are some of your other interests or hobbies?

I'm in the Security industry. Some of my other hobbies are building models, sculpting and painting. I have been a comic book collector for over 30 years.

What support do you get from friends and family regarding the 501st and all the great things that you have done for the garrison?

My Wife always try to tag along when she can to help me get dressed and take pics and such, I have her wanting to join actually. My friends are all fellow geeks so they think it's great and I have a friend and coworker that will be joining our ranks hopefully once he has his Anovos Stormtrooper armor kit.

And lastly, is there anything, Star Wars related or not, that people might not know about you that they might be surprised to find out?

Hmmmm, I am a huge Prince fan and have been since 1982! Showing my age I guess. LOL.



Come Out And Play This Saturday
By Sakic Jade on May 14, 2015 at 1:17 PM.


This Saturday, May 16th, you shouldn't be stuck at home with nothing to do. There are plenty of opportunities to not only see our troopers, but to be a part of doing some good.

In Schaumburg we will have troopers at Busse Woods for the Great Strides for Cystic Fibrosis Walk. Great Strides provides a great opportunity for people within the community to get involved in a great cause. Participants can form walk teams at their workplace, through their clubs and organizations, or with friends and family. Walk day is a fun, family-oriented event with a healthy 5k walk, children's activities, food, and festivities that participants look forward to year after year. The walk begins at 12:00 PM, with activities before, during, and after. To find out how you can help, click here.

In Chicago we will be at Soldier Field for Walk Now For Autism Speaks. Walk Now for Autism Speaks is an inspirational and impactful opportunity to raise money and awareness to help change the future for all those who struggle with autism. Participating in Walk Now for Autism Speaks empowers you to make a difference and provides you with an opportunity to honor someone with autism. Opening Ceremonies begin at 9:30 AM. For more information, click here.

In Bartlett we will have troopers for Kid's Fest at Banbury Fair. They'll have inflatable jump houses, costumed characters for the kids to take pics with, face painting, a giant chess board, games, food, and more! 10% of event proceeds will go toward the Pauly D Foundation, a local foundation created in the name of a 7 year old boy, Pauly Delle Grazie, who drowned in a pool in July of 2014. The Pauly D Foundation exists to educate children and families about the importance of water safety and drowning prevention. For a full schedule of events, click here.

A little further south in Edwardsville troopers will be out supporting Make-A-Wish at Ralph Korte Stadium at Southern Illinois University. Walk & Run for Wishes is a costumed family fun run and walk to benefit Make-A-Wish® Illinois. Enjoy a leisurely family walk or a 5K run on the beautiful campus of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. COSTUMES ENCOURAGED! Participants are invited to celebrate the spirit of a wish by dressing up as their favorite hero or character. If you ever dreamed of being a wizard, leaping buildings in a single bound, or wearing glass slippers and dancing the night away at a ball, this is the day to live out your dreams. We'll be there bright and early at 8:00 AM. To find out more about this event, click here.

Finally, in Joliet we will have troops at the Joliet Area Historical Museum for a Star Wars Scavenger Hunt. From 10am to 5pm as children and families are invited to find 20 of the original STAR WARS action figures, plus a special bonus figure hidden throughout the Museum's galleries! All participants get a STAR WARS Game Card and children will receive prizes for completing the game. FREE ADMISSION to the museum all day. For details, click here.

As you can see, we will be busy on Saturday. Hopefully, you can make it out to support one of these great causes and hang out with us.