On Monday, June 21st, members of the 501st New England Garrison and Alderaan Base of the Rebel Legion trooped two events to support sick children.
The first troop was a small but special birthday appearance at the Why Me? House in Worcester, MA. Members attended the party of Sean, a five year old being treated for leukemia. With a stormtrooper, ISO member, X-Wing pilot, Chewbacca and an Ewok in attendance, Sean was overwhelmed at first, but warmed up to the troops when presented with a one-of-a-kind Bi-Legional T-shirt, making him an honorary member of both the N.E.G. and Alderaan Base.
The WHYME organization is dedicated to helping New England families cope with childhood cancer, and was founded in 1985. The houses provide no-cost housing for children with cancer and their families and caretakers.
The other troop of the day saw a visit to Franciscan Children’s Hospital in Brighton, MA. While the Imperials showed up with a TIE Pilot, Biker Scout and Imperial Gunner the Rebels arrived with Princess Leia, a Jedi Knight and the mighty Chewbacca. All of the troopers, both Imperials and Rebels alike, made the rounds visiting sick children in their rooms as well as meeting with small groups of children in a conference room. The kids were all very excited to see us there to visit and it was very rewarding to bring a smile to their faces.
The hospital, which has been in operation since 1949, “has pioneered clinical, therapeutic and educational programs for children with a variety of disabilities”, and is one of the nations largest such facilities.
Service to the community remains one of the New England Garrison’s largest priorities, and the members of the group are proud to to able to help ease the discomfort and help provide a distraction from the very serious issues that some children face.