Saturday, 23 April 2011

Collection for the Wirral Branch of the MS Society - 23rd April 2011

This was a return visit for the 99th Garrison to the Cherry Tree Shopping Centre, Liscard on the Wirral.  We have collected for the MS Society here before.

We were provided with an empty shop unit in which to set up base with the MS Society and it was nice to meet up with some of them again.  We were also directly opposite Heart FM radio.

We were busy all day with people wanting their photos taken with us and at times were very busy but the collection pots were correspondingly heavy..... The monies collected have been counted and the total raised in £1373.70!!!!  

Lots of children wanted their photos with us today and some came along in their own Star Wars costumes for the photo opportunity including one little boy who came along dressed as Commander Rex but became all shy and was only able to join us for a photo after lots and lots of encouragement and coaxing from us and his Dad.

During the morning, a mystery carrier bag of shopping appeared in the empty shop unit that we were using for photos and we all assumed that it had been left there by mistake by a shopper who would realise their shopping was missing and return to collect it.  We also commented on how it was unusual for the Cherry Tree Centre Management not to provide cold drinks and snacks for us.  It was only at the end of the day that I looked at the contents of the bag and saw that items had been labelled "99th"  Doh!  They had been meant for us all day!

It was one of those rare events where we had the opportunity to sell key rings and other little trinkets etc and we did really well with that as well, managing to raise just over £60 towards Garrison running costs.

It was great to meet one of our troopers for the first time and to see some that we don't get to see very often.

A Huge thanks to Craig and Jacqui for being excellent Crew for us and to Colin, Chris, Jim, Simo and Paul.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

National Veterans Collection in Heywood

Today was our second event this weekend and another quiet and low key one. We were asked to attend a Fun Day at The Heywood in funnily enough...... Heywood and help raise funds for the National Veterans Association.  We did not need to be in armour until 2:00pm and had chance to take advantage of the nice weather for a change whilst we chatted outside the pub.  No alcoholic beverages passed our lips the entire time!

The event seemed very quiet to us but we were spoken to by several people who wanted us to attend events for them as well so we may well get more events out of it and I spent most of the afternoon trying to persuade a little toddler that I really wasn't that scary but even though he got a little braver every time he came towards me with his Dad, he just would not come any closer than about 2 meters... are we/I really that scary??!!

A professional photographer was booked for part of the day and things did pick up a little at this point as we were asked to pose for some cool piccies!

The monies hadn't been counted when we left so don't know the amount collected.

A plus point was that it only took just over an hour to get there!   Most events that we attend are at least an hour and a half away!..... and we got fed...again!!!  Chilli or Hot pot  ...Woohoo!!!

Thanks to Jim, Simon and the Craigster!

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Hazel's Tea Party for Cancer Research UK - 9th April 2011

My sister, Hazel is doing the Shine walk through Manchester - just over 26 miles a the end of this month.  She held a tea party at her house to help raise funds and made lots of lovely home-made cakes and scones, with jam and cream and provided a selection teas.

The weather was glorious, especially for the time of year but no too hot to be in armour.  Friends and neighbours arrived and bought raffle tickets and made donations to have their photo taken with us helping to raise a grand total of £148! :-)

A lovely small troop of just a couple of hours for the four of us who went along - me, Jim, Craig and Simon with the added advantage of seeing family as well!

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Collection for Dreamflight at Crystal Peaks Shopping Centre, Sheffield. 2nd April 2011

In addition to the many and varied charities, which the 99th Garrison supports, it has two main charities that it is collecting for.  These are the Christies Cancer Trust and Dreamflight. Dreamflight's website is at and is well worth a visit to see what it is all about.  There is also a short video about 3 mins long which really helps you to see what a wonderful charity this is!  I have been fortunate enough to have been chosen to go on the Dreamflight trip to Florida as a non medical escort in 2009 and 2010 but have to allow someone else the opportunity this year.... Fingers are crossed for next year though!!!

On the 2nd April, we had permission from the management of the Crystal Peaks Shopping Centre to collect for Dreamflight.  We got there at about 09:00am and they kindly let us use their conference room in their management suite to get changed and leave our belongings in. We trooped from about 10:15 until 3:30 and were well received by the good people of Sheffield who once they got over their initial shock of seeing Stormtroopers and Lord Vader outside of their local shops were quite generous and contributed £320.78!!!

We were also extremely well looked after by Dan, the manager of the O2 branch in the centre, who having seen the 99th in action previously at the Meadowhall Centre, provided a lovely buffet style lunch and drinks for us all in his store.... Thanks very much Dan!  It isn't often that we get so well looked after and when we do, it is very much appreciated!! Dan also made a large donation to the collection!  What a Star!!!

We were helped out on the day by Dr Nigel and Carolyn from the local Dolphin Group of Dreamflight and two of last year's Dreamflight children; Amy and Connor, who it was lovely to see again!

A huge thanks to Steve, Heidi, Jim, Craig, Rob, Daz, Amy and Maisy for coming along and helping it to make the really nice day that it was.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Filming of Part Two of the 99th Garrison's Fan Film. 27th March 2011

The 99th Garrison has made a Star Wars Fan Film which is called "The Secret in the Sand" Part one was made some time ago and is already on Youtube for all to see. Part 1 ended with a bit of a cliff hanger and was "to be continued" although we all thought that the chances of Part 2 actually being made were quite slim as our esteemed director, Gaz, went off to live in Australia.

Fortunately though, he is now back in country, albiet briefly, for his sister's wedding and whilst back over here in the UK, he offered to film Part 2.

So on Sunday 27th March 2011, having lost an hour's kip with the clocks going forward, we were up at 5:30am for our drive to "location" in Formby.

The day was interesting, long and hard with the filming on the dunes taking longer than planned and not being completed until 6:00pm and me, Jim and the Craigster doing the green screen shots with Gaz at his friend's house [Thanks Nigel!] and not finishing those until 11:30pm and then driving home and not getting to bed until 01:00am with work the following morning!

The day had its ups and downs, with some equipment damage for nearly all of us who were there but was still an enjoyable day. Can't wait to see the finished product.... so no pressure Gaz!!  And the Craigster died..... again!!!! - see below. And so did I this time, but in a very ladylike and graceful style!