Posts Tagged ‘fan guest of honor’

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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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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Congratulations to Melissa James, the recipient of the 2012 Volker/McChesney Award for service to fandom. The award recognizes her longtime efforts on behalf of the fans as a core member of the ShoreLeave committee. Melissa has served in multiple positions on the committee, and is currently ShoreLeave’s co-chair. The Volker/McChesney Award will be presented on Friday evening as part of our Opening Ceremonies, and we invite Melissa’s fandom friends to join us then to celebrate her achievement.

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We are happy to announce that Lee Warren and Chris Sverra are the winners of the 2011 Volker/McChesney Award for Service to Fandom. Each year, Lee and Chris bring the fun of “Vic’s Place” to Farpoint on Friday night for a swinging karaoke party. They organize the entire event themselves at no charge to us. We greatly appreciate Lee and Chris’ support over the years and look forward to presenting the award to them at convention Opening Ceremony on Friday evening.

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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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We are proud to announce that the winner of the Volker/McChesney Award for 2010 is Thomas G. Atkinson. Thomas is a long time convention member and an avid costumer. Thomas’ friends don’t remember not seeing him in costume! He is very glad to share his knowledge and encourages new costumers in their endeavors. Thomas is active in the Baltimore area fan community and can be seen (in costume) at our local conventions and in his daily life.

Congratulations, Thomas, and thank you for everything you do for the fan community.

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The Farpoint Committee is pleased to announce the 2008 recipient of the Volker/McChesney Award for service to Fandom is Mr. Dale Arnold.
Dale is a longtime member of the Baltimore Science Fiction Society and a familiar face to those of us who attend Balticon.  You’ve also seen him at Farpoint and ShoreLeave working the BSFS/Balticon tables.  What you may not know is the tremendous amount of behind the scenes support Dale provides to all the local conventions, including the loan of equipment for our audio/visual needs.  Dale’s help and support is invaluable to the local convention scene, and we are proud to be able to recognize his efforts!

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