The 5th Annual Wonder Woman Day auction held during NJ’s Superhero Weekend raised over $16,000 for SAFE in Hunterdon. There is such a long list of people to thank for making this the best fundraiser ever. I certainly would hate to leave anyone out but I do have to throw spotlight on a specific bunch of folks that truly made a difference to our event this year.
First off, no one deserves credit for the NJ WWD like Stacy Korn. Stacy was operating in WWD mode all year hitting any convention she could afford to get to in order to network, promote and collect art from the comics community. I had moved and then our main contact at the shelter had left leaving Stacy to pick up the slack. She’s the real Wonder Woman, not me. I’m glad to be back and I hope that my limited amount of networking with artists and the constant journalism or blogging helped her out so she didn’t have to bear the weight of P.R. quite as badly. We operated on about 3 hours of sleep each night for the week prior to WWD. The thing is, now that the event is over, she’s still at the shop calculating the intake with Bill, writing thank you emails, answering a gazillion questions and shipping out the art to people who won; not to mention that the raffle drawings will be drawn on November 4th due to a paperwork issue with the Borough. And as I mentioned, Bill Meccia, Stacy’s business partner, has been our quiet rock through all these years; he might not leave the counter ever but he mans the phones and emails helping with the entire bidding process.
Our artists – there wouldn’t be an auction unless you great folks gave us your work! We’re always afraid that we’re pestering and we honestly understand how many solicitations artists get each year (there are so many fundraisers and only so much you can be expected to do). Allison Sohn has been sick for over a year and she managed to shock us with a beautiful pin-up of Wonder Girl in full color AND she even got her beloved Adam Hughes to donate a sketch of the Fantastic Four’s Sue Storm. Due to the rarity of Adam’s original art, his piece was our savior fetching $7,500! That was one piece equalled three years of fundraisers for us. Allison and Adam, we owe you.
Many of our artists were really instrumental in reaching out to their own fanbase telling all those people who already love their work about the auction. Hot talents like J.K. Woodward, Steve Gordon, Dave Wachter, Neil Vokes, Jamal Igle and Thom Zahler not only took time to draw pieces and make appearances but they also blogged, retweeted and helped with interviews to spread the word. Then there were the guys who took time away from their families to spend the weekend with us and the fans: Jamal Igle, Ken Haeser, Josh Lyman, Nick Mockoviak and Charles P. Wilson III. Their families have to deal with being without them plus having fangirls in their laps sometimes; and poor Josh drove up from Virginia and had to put up with me all weekend. A lot of sacrifices behind the scenes are made just to get Superhero Weekend off the ground.
Rachel from SAFE in Hunterdon got to take on the mantle of “cat herder” at the last minute. Melissa, David, Jen and all the other volunteers for SiH were incredibly supportive of what might seem like a strange subculture-based enterprise to the non-nerd community.
Several podcasts and news sites gave us lots of free press which was something I’ve been struggling to get for years to help promote the show. A lot of it was due to Jill “the Nerdy Bird” Pantozzi and her very popular blog, “Has Boobs, Reads Comics” and her columns at Newsarama. Jill is the nucleus of my personal nerd news networking cell. All it takes is one tweet from @thenerdybird to drive traffic to my links.
Many thanks to my fellow costumers! We were grateful for the best weather we’ve ever seen in a NJ October and to have that enhanced by a full spectrum of colorful costumes in front of Comic Fusion made Main Street look way more interesting than it normally is. The 501st and Rebel Legion members, Robert, Lauren, Han Pan, Victoria, Stefanie and Andrew along with myself sported our spandex, robes and gear to keep the passers-by entertained. Jill even joined us in person on Sunday and brought her beautiful niece Mira as they donned their Red Lantern and Wonder Woman costumes.
As I said, I’m sure there’s someone I’m leaving out which isn’t intentional, I swear. I’m just really tired and there’s only so many personal thanks I can muster. However, my final one goes out to someone who has become a very important friend all because of these fundraisers, Mr. Pete Marston. Pete is the son of William Moulton Marston, the creator of our very figurehead from Themyscira, Wonder Woman. Pete has maintained his family’s impressive collection of Wonder Woman memorabilia and he’s come to my own rescue like a real superhero when I was rather desperate. I start tearing up thinking about it. I constantly joke that Pete will be husband #3 and honestly, whoever nabs that sweet man would be incredibly lucky.
Thanks to all of you for making this a record breaking year for SAFE in Hunterdon during domestic violence awareness month! Keep checking Facebook for more photos.