‘Star Wars’-themed fundraiser Saturday benefits Children’s Crisis Center of Stanislaus | The Modesto Bee

A stormtrooper of the 501st Legion Central California Garrison visits the Rancho Cordova Police Activities League holiday run Saturday. Group members will be at ‘The Force Awakens’ screenings in downtown Modesto from Thursday through Saturday. Andrew Seng The Sacramento Bee

“Star Wars” fans can strike a blow for the rebellion – and for another good cause – during a fundraiser Saturday, Dec. 19, outside Brenden Theatres in downtown Modesto. The event, including costumed “Star Wars” characters, laser tag and other games and activities, will be from 1 to 5 p.m. and will benefit the Children’s Crisis Center of Stanislaus County.

“The Children’s Crisis Center of Stanislaus County was selected (to benefit) because of the kind of work they do,” Scott Simpson, a member of the Central California Garrison of the costuming group the 501st Legion, told The Bee in an email. “We prefer to do work with children’s charities, especially for groups where we might be able to provide something that wouldn’t be otherwise available.”

Up to 50 characters are expected to participate Saturday, Simpson said. They’ll include Darth Vader, stormtroopers, Jedi, Boba Fett and other bounty hunters, and more, he said, and will represent the 501st Central California Garrison, the Mandalorian Mercs Teren Clan, the Dark Empire and Central Valley Costumers.

The 501st will have a Blast-a-Trooper game set up, where fans can fire foam darts at Imperial characters for a fee ($1 for three shots).

ModestoCon will have a spot where people can have their picture taken in front of a green screen with a choice of backgrounds, and then return after seeing a movie – presumably, “The Force Awakens” – to pick up a print. A portion of the photo sales also will go to the Children’s Crisis Center, Simpson said.

A video game station will allow event visitors “to play some of the newest ‘Star Wars’ video games … in a fun, relaxed environment,” he said. “Maybe they’ll even have a chance to take on a stormtrooper.

“(Oakdale-based) SpecOps Live Play will be running a laser-tag arena outside of the theater, giving the visitors the chance to pretend to be participating in one of the many battles from the ‘Star Wars’ saga. There is a pretty good chance of playing either alongside or against ‘Star Wars’ characters.”

Other attractions at the fundraiser will be a ModestoCon table and a Bonanza Books & Comics table featuring comic-book artist Ethen Beavers, whose work has included “Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures” for Dark Horse Comics. The Central California Garrison also will have costumed members at Brenden on Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. and Friday from 6 to 8 p.m.

Source: ‘Star Wars’-themed fundraiser Saturday benefits Children’s Crisis Center of Stanislaus | The Modesto Bee