I had the pleasure of attending the Costumer’s With a Cause (CWC) cosplay panel at the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2) on Friday, February 28. The CWC is a 501(c) organization that helps raise money for children’s charity organizations through cosplay. Their entire staff is made up of volunteers, from the administration all the way down to the cosplayers at events.
The CWC panel was to let people know what it was like as a cosplayer to raise money and interact with children and adults. The panel started with introductions of the admins and then the panelists, most of whom were still in their convention cosplay onstage behind the admins. For this panel, the admins read from a sheet of pre-written questions which were turned in by their members. In turn, each of the panelists/members would stand up and answer the question.
There were such things as:
- As an organization that is very much in the public and one that does a lot of kid-related events, how do you know that the people who volunteer to costume and help aren’t of questionable character?
- Have you ever been challenged by a child not believing that you are the actual character? What kind of challenges do you get and what do you say to those kids?
- Why do you pick the costumes that you cosplay? Is there a special connection between you and that character? If so, what are they?
The questions continued in that fashion, followed by answers from the panelist members.
If you are curious, the answer to the first question is that all members are now required to submit to a background check, so we can ensure that all members are upstanding individuals with an interest in helping the charities.
What really spoke volumes about the quality of its members was one particular incident.
During the questions and answers, a child around 4 or 5 years old dressed in a Hulk costume was walking by. He looked over his shoulder at the group of members on the stage as he passed. He stopped, pulling at his mother’s arm, and pointed to a panelist dressed as Thor from the MCU. The child kept pointing and going “Thor, mommy, Thor!” The Thor cosplayer noticed this and immediately stood up, dismounted the stage, and went to the child. He knelt down in front of him to be more on his level and spoke with him for several minutes, as well and took a few pictures with him and his family. The child and the crowd were delighted.
So, if I walked away with anything from this panel, it was with a feeling for the dedication, passion, and devotion the CWC members have for what they do.
At this point, I normally give a rating for what I have reviewed, but in this case I’m skipping the rating for the panel and just giving the CWC Costumers with a Cause a 5 out of 5 stars for what they do and what they stand for.
This has been another Reptile’s Random Review.