Posts Tagged ‘Charity Auction’

THANK YOU to everyone who attended Farpoint 2014! We appreciate everyone’s support — those who attended, those who volunteered, and those who provided programming — and an extra THANK YOU to you if you did more than one of those things! We look forward to seeing everyone next year!

Even with Winter Storm Pax being thrown at us, we were making lemonade out of lemons as fast as we can. Phil LaMarr’s flight got cancelled? We Skyped him into the ballroom for his talk. The Thursday delivery date for equipment showed extremely bad weather? Let’s get the stuff in on Wednesday. The same bad Thursday weather was going to wreck havoc with Alan Dean Foster’s flight that day? Alan himself fixed that by coming in on a Friday red-eye. These examples and more show fandom’s can-do spirit!

Another part of fandom’s can-do spirit is the extreme generosity shown at our charity auction this year. Melissa McBride and Alan Dean Foster both provided auction items and our members’ generosity garnered $2700 for the Julien Fleming Memorial Fund and the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter. Upon hearing the number, Melissa McBride pulled out another $300 to make the donation an even $3000. When I commented that our Karen Donnelly, committee member and member of the Julien board of directors, would cry upon hearing this, Melissa replied “let’s make her bawl”, and whipped out another $100! Melissa – mission accomplished. Thanks to everyone for their generosity.

And not to say that Farpoint 2014 didn’t have its share of challenges. We very much appreciated getting input from members at our Open Committee Meeting at the end of the convention. A big issue was the speed of food service at the restaurant. We discussed the feedback we received with the hotel’s General Manager and are already generating ideas to make the convention food service better next year. On the plus side, adding the extra cash bar at 10 Forward on Saturday helped take some of the pressure off the main bar during the party so this is something we will definitely continue.

We are always interested in hearing from our members with ideas for programs and improvements. Please go to the Contact us link at the top of the http://www.farpointcon.com web page to send us your thoughts. You can also find us on our Farpoint Convention Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Farpoint-Convention/171777342838129), our Farpoint Convention Google+ page (https://plus.google.com/+Farpointcon/posts), and our @FarpointCon feed on Twitter (https://twitter.com/FarpointCon). We are always interested in hearing from you!

And mark your calendars now! Farpoint 22 will be held on February 13-15, 2015. See you then.


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Hello fellow FARP Fanatics! Here’s an update on what’s going to happen at Farpoint Convention, February 14-16, 2014.

1. Don’t forget to pre-register! Your early registration gets you a lower number in the autograph line for Melissa McBride and saves you money since at the door prices will be higher. Register online through our website, www.farpointcon.com or you can print the flier from our website and mail in your registration. Pre-registration deadline is January 31, 2014.

2. Book your hotel room! You should call the hotel directly at 410-252-7373 for reservations. Our beloved Crowne Plaza is in the middle of negotiations to align with another hotel group, which means that going through the IHG website or other online booking tools may not work properly. Calling the hotel directly is your best bet. Hotel deadline is January 15, 2014.

3. Make your plans for Friday! Activities will be starting at 1:00 PM and go all the way through to late night. There will be panels in our Media (Movies/TV), Authors and Science tracks, gaming at Hal’s Place, and our evening Pajama Party as part of our Children/Youth track. Friday’s main attraction is our Opening Ceremonies, which start at 7:00 pm with a Cocktail Party and continue with the presentation of the Volker/McChesney award for service to fandom, the first of our Live Charity Auctions and a live performance by Prometheus Radio Theatre with special guest stars Melissa McBride and Phil LaMarr. There will be a cash bar in the ballroom; the hotel’s famous pasta bar service will also be available for an additional $25. You can add on the Cocktail Party food now, or decide at the door (numbers at the door may be limited). Late night Friday will feature the Farpoint Book Fair where you can meet your favorite authors and Vic’s Place karaoke featuring the Pack Ratz.

4. Be there on Saturday for all the fun! Saturday programming will start at 10:00 am and go all the way through to the wee hours of Sunday morning. We’re very excited about this year’s slate of panels and events in our Authors, Media (Movies/TV), Science, New Media (Filmmaking, Podcasting, Webcomics, etc.), Children/Youth, Costuming and Live Performances tracks.  Don’t forget the Masquerade Saturday night, with our second Live Charity Auction taking place at halftime! There will workshops and demonstrations in the atrium, club meetings, game shows, talks, gaming, Art Show, panels and more. The final schedule will be published around February 1, 2014 to give you time to make your plans for the convention.

5. Don’t forget Sunday! Sunday programming will start at 10:00 am and wrap up with the 5:00 pm Open Committee Meeting. This is where you get to sit down will the Farpoint committee and talk with us about the things you like at the convention and things you’d like to see for the future. Some of our best ideas come from this meeting, and we’d love to see you there. Panels and events in all of our program tracks will be going on all day until the start of the Open Committee Meeting. The Art Auction will take place on Sunday morning. A new activity this year will be a Swing Dance Workshop in the atrium conducted by author guest Iver Cooper. It was a big hit at Balticon this year, so if you missed it there you can catch it at Farpoint.

6. Volunteer for a panel! We have a preliminary list of panels and we are now looking for panelists. If you would like to receive a copy of the list, email us at Programs@farpointcon.com.

7. Get your costume ready! Our Masquerade will be held on Saturday evening with celebrity guests Melissa McBride, Phil LaMarr and Alan Dean Foster among the judges. We will be staging Costuming/Masquerade panels this weekend to help you focus your Masquerade presentation and learn new costuming skills.

8. Get your autographs! Melissa McBride from The Walking Dead will be signing at a formal session on Saturday and Sunday. The line for these sessions will be organized by your badge number. Each convention member will receive one signature on an item they present for signing at no additional charge – this is part of your registration! Weekend members will get one signature on both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday and Sunday members will be one signature on the day they attend. Melissa will also be available at other times throughout the weekend to sign/sell additional items and take at the table photos. Cost for additional signatures and items will be announced closer to the convention. Phil LaMarr from Futurama/Samurai Jack/TMNT will be signing throughout the weekend. He will be charging for his signature and will accept either items you bring or an item you purchase at his table for signing. Phil will also be available for at the table photos. The price list for Phil’s signatures will be announced closer to the convention.

9. Budget for the Charity Auction! We are going to have some amazing goodies available at our Charity Auction to benefit The Julien Fleming Memorial Fund (our official charity) and the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter. I’m going to let our Charity Auction department give the details soon, but here’s a hint: we have something special from NASA and not one- not two- but THREE private celebrity experiences to auction off! There will be two Live Charity Auctions, one Friday night during the Opening Ceremonies and one Saturday night during Masquerade, plus a silent auction staged in Chesapeake 3-5 along with our Art Show. Your generosity is always appreciated.

10. Donate An Hour! Would you like to be a part of the convention happenings? Do you have an hour to spare? Well your one hour can be a big help to keep things running smoothly at the convention. Volunteers get a FARP t-shirt and raffle tickets for a daily prize drawing limited just to our volunteer corps. Email us at Volunteers@farpointcon.com for information, and thank you!

11. Show Off Your Miniatures and Clear Out Your Closet! Hal’s Place Gaming Oasis is hosting a Miniatures Contest this year! Hand painted miniatures and models of all types, from members of all skill levels, will be accepted for display in the Game Room throughout the weekend. Final judging will be held Sunday, February 16, 2014 at noon. There will be 3 skill level categories – beginner, intermediate and advanced – with an award for each category. AND the Gamer’s Flea Market will again be held in the Game Room during the convention weekend. Used games and supplies will be accepted for sale/swap throughout the weekend at $1.00 per item. Sales proceeds go to the individual seller. The selling fees will be donated to our charities, The Julien Fleming Memorial Fund and the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter.

12. Follow Us For The Latest News! We’re on Facebook (Farpoint Convention), Twitter (@FarpointCon), and on our web blog (https://farpoint.wordpress.com). Our convention website is http://www.FarpointCon.com.

13. Have Fun At The Convention! We are grateful for each one of you who joins us for the convention weekend. There will be 200+ hours of events from Friday to Sunday and we want you to be satisfied that we have put on the best show possible. Thank you as always for your continued support of Farpoint Convention and we’ll see you soon!

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MartyAs many of you have already heard, fandom lost a giant on July 18 with the passing of Marty Gear. Marty was a member of the Farpoint committee, managing our charity auction up through this past February. He and his late wife Bobby were the second recipients of the Volker/McChesney Award for service to fandom. Marty was also a long time member of Costume Guild and the Baltimore Science Fiction Society and ran the Masquerade for their annual Balticon. He was seen onstage hosting each Balticon masquerade in his trademark vampire attire with his non-stop patter of bad vampire jokes.

A visit to Marty’s home was always a delight. Marty and Bobby had collected amazing treasures during their travel, which were lovingly displayed throughout the house. Any object you could point to had a story attached to it. Marty’s travels started when he was young and began attending science fiction conventions. I remember sitting in his living room being absolutely jealous as Marty told the story of how he met one of my personal favorite writers, Isaac Asimov, at one of his first worldcons.

Marty’s generosity was as large as his store of bad vampire jokes. He could always be counted on to share his home, possessions, time or money when there was a need. A few years ago, we needed a last minute location for a Farpoint meeting and Marty volunteered his house. I arrived to Casa Gear to be treated to a huge pile of boxed and bagged snacks on the kitchen counter. “Marty, the committee doesn’t eat THAT much!” I said. Marty replied, “Oh, it’s okay. I just got back from the store. Most of this is for tonight’s meeting at the BSFS clubhouse.” Marty had decided to completely over-schedule himself in order to accommodate with a grocery shopping trip and two separate committee meetings in order to help us out. That’s the kind of guy he was.

Marty, your many friends will miss you terribly but we take comfort in our memories of you and the knowledge that you are now reunited with your beloved Bobby.

Sharon VanBlarcom, Farpoint convention co-chair

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Our 2013 charity recipients are below. Thank you as always for your generous support.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is a leading advocate of freedom of speech and consumer rights in the world of digital media. Check out their website https://www.eff.org/ for more information.

Caitlyn Smith is a teenager, and granddaughter to Lee and Chris Warren from Vic’s Place and the Pack Ratz) who is undergoing treatment for cancer. A portion of the auction proceeds will help the family with their medical expenses.

There are plans in motion for a get-well card signing for Peter David and we are hoping to have a couple of special items from Peter’s friends to be auctioned off with those proceeds earmarked to assist the Davids with expenses. Even with Peter not being able to attend in person, we are planning to have his books available at an author signing event we are planning for Friday evening. Several authors at the event have already come forward to say they will donate a portion of their signing event proceeds as well.

We are accepting donations to the auction; please contact us at auctions@farpointcon.com This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to arrange for delivery.

Auction items will be on display in the Art Show and convention members will submit silent bids for them using the same procedures we use for our Art Show auction. These bids will feed into two short live charity auctions, one on Friday night after the banquet and one Saturday night during Masquerade half-time. Items with three or more written silent bids will go into one of the two live auctions – our Charity Auction coordinator will pick the night. Items with fewer than three written bids by Saturday night will go to the highest written bidder on Sunday, and can be picked up at the Art Show during the checkout time after the Art Auction.

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We’re trying something new and less formal for our Friday night Opening Ceremonies that will hopefully encourage ALL to attend. Instead of doing our traditional sit down banquet, we’re going to have a time for light food and socializing as we kick-off our Opening Ceremonies and LIVE ENTERTAINMENT (including Prometheus Radio Theater, Insane Ian, Jonah Knight and Gentleman Jim).  At this time the menu will include two meat carving stations, a pasta station, and a salad station. Desserts and coffee/tea will also be included. The cost will be $25. There will be limited at the door tickets available.

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2012 Charities

The Farpoint committee has chosen the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Julien Fleming Memorial Fund as our 2012 charities. EFF is a leading advocate of freedom of speech and consumer rights in the world of digital media. JFMF assists families with the costs of caring for critically I’ll children. We are accepting donations for the auction; please contact us at auctions@Farpointcon.com to arrange for delivery. There will be a Silent Auction held as part of our Art Show, with live auctions taking place on Friday evening as part of our Opening Ceremonies and Saturday evening as part of the Masquerade half time show. The generosity of science fiction fandom is legendary. Farpoint thanks you, as always, for your donations and auction purchases.

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News from the Farpoint front!

1. We have just announced that Laurie Holden from “The Walking Dead” will be coming to Farpoint in her first-ever convention appearance. Laurie joins us as we have to sadly announce that John Billingsley has accepted a play committment and cannot attend as planned. Previously announced celebrity guests Adam Baldwin and Bonita Friedricy are still attending.

2. Autographs – Adam Baldwin will be signing one item per member per day at no charge during the official autograph session. This item must be provided by the member. Adam will also have additional items for sale during the session and at various times throughout the convention.

Laurie Holden and Bonita Friedricy are signing for a fee and will sign either an item provided by the member or an item sold by them at the event. Laurie and Bonita will have table times throughout the weekend for signing and greeting convention members.

3. Volker/McChesney Award Nominations – This award is given annually to recognize service to the fan community. It is named in honor of Beverly Volker and Marion McChesney, two original leaders of the fan community in the Star Trek fan community. This award is given to an individual or a group; past recipients include The Boogie Knights, Marty Gear, Dale Arnold, and the USS Chesapeake. If you know of a deserving individual or group who has made a difference to your fan experience, please drop us a note at trekcontact@comcast.net to tell us why you think they should receive this award. One note: current Farpoint committee members and past winners are not eligible for nomination. Nominations close on 31 December 2010.

4. Program Book ads are available! Contact our editor at progbook@farpointcon.com for rates and information. Ad submission deadline is 31 December 2010.

5. Friday night’s Opening Activities are set! We start with a banquet dinner, open to all members for an additional fee. The cost per member is $45. Seating and social hour begins at 7:00 pm with dinner at 8:00 pm. As many of our guests as we can get to Maryland on time will be attending the banquet as well. Open to all convention members after dinner is the presentation of the Volker/McChesney award, a short Charity Auction and a live performance by Prometheus Radio Theatre.

6. More banquet – this year’s theme is Sherlock Holmes! Come dressed as your favorite Holmes character – we expect to see many variations on the different versions of Sherlock over the years! Prizes are awarded for best costumes. One note: costumes are encouraged but not mandatory for attending the banquet. The banquet menu will be announced in January; members who have already purchased tickets will be contacted at that time to make their entree choices. Tickets are still on sale – if you have already purchased a convention membership, contact us at trekcontact@comcast.net to arrange to add on banquet tickets. Banquet tickets WILL NOT be available at the door.

7. Upcoming deadlines:

Program book submissions – 31 December 2010
Volker/McChesney Award nominations – 31 December 2010
Hotel room reservations – 15 January 2011
Convention pre-registration – 31 January 2011

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