Twilight Fans Give Back To ALSF
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As the second movie in the Twilight Saga was slated to be released last week, fans of the movie were busy raising funds for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer (ALSF). A group put together by three moms from three different states across the US, appropriately entitled The Fandom Gives Back (FGB), held a nationwide auction to raise funds for what has become their adopted charity, ALSF. The online auction, which took place from Sunday, November 15 – Friday, November 20, 2009, raised over $80,000 for the foundation dedicated to finding better treatments and ultimately cures for all childhood cancer.
Emerging from the online friendship of Nina Politani from Pennsylvania, Christina Daniel from Utah, and Lauren Harp from California, the Fandom Gives Back brought together nearly 3,000 people through their mutual love for Twilight. The FGB garnered the majority of support from the twitter community, as well as popular fan sites, celebrity music and news affiliates spreading the word when the FGB plea went viral.
Initially only knowing each other on the internet, the three founders of FGB met in person last year at Comic Con. It was there that they came up with the idea that their fandom could give something back. Nina’s church runs an Alex’s Lemonade Stand every year as part of the Youth Group’s charitable work. Being moms, the ladies decided ALSF would be the natural choice for their fundraising initiative, and when Twilight star Peter Facinelli started supporting the charity, and Volvo provided Edward’s car, they knew it was meant to be.
“We're predominately a group of women - all ages, all backgrounds, all walks of life - and yet we found something that we're so passionate about that we used it to help a charity,” said Nina Politani. “There are a tremendous amount of talented people out there. We just managed to commandeer them together for a fundraiser.”
Fandom Gives Back started as a small auction of Twilight memorabilia that the ladies had collected, their fundraising goal was $10,000. Nina, Christina and Lauren traveled to different Twilight conventions, including Comic Con, to garner autographed merchandise. When they heard that Peter Facinelli would be doing an event in Arizona, they immediately contacted the radio station to garner additional signed items to auction. Through word of mouth various people started generously offering their own merchandise to the auction – young girls gave up signed posters, a woman donated a companion book signed by the stars of the movie and writer Stephenie Meyer; and 206 fan fiction authors offered their services to fans. Artisans, crafters, podcasters and bloggers offered their time and space to give something back. Everyone wanted to be a part even if it was only in a small way.
Through the generosity of donors, and the enthusiasm of those taking part in the auction, the initiative became a huge success. The goal of $10,000 was easily surpassed within the first few days of the auction, and when all was said and done, the goal had been crushed eight times over. Nina stresses that the auction would not have been such a success without the generosity of the fandom.
“The one thing we were adamant about was that we wanted to unite the fandom as much as possible,” said Nina. “Age was irrelevant, Team Edward or Jacob wasn't an issue. At the core of the Twilight community are amazingly generous wives, mothers, sisters, grandparents and survivors that donated, crafted, wrote, blogged, podcasted and commandeered a tremendous amount of support for this venture. From college students to nurses, the friends in the fandom pulled together in a common goal.”