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March 25, 2015 at 6:38am

5 Things To Do Today: Jerry Miller, Ninkasi Brewing Night, Comedy Open Mic, grindcore ...

Jerry Miller will perform after the Full Sail Brewing Brewer's Night at The Swiss tonight.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25 2015 >>>

1. Moby Grape was one of the most versatile San Francisco rock bands to emerge out of the summer of love.  While they were rooted in psychedelia, they injected elements of folk, blues and country. Unlike the jam bands of the time, Grape possessed a meticulously unique sound by way of multilayered triple guitar arrangements - Jerry Miller on first guitar, the melodious Peter Lewis on second, with weirdo Skip Spence on third. Sadly, through a combination of inner turmoil and bad management decisions, the mighty Moby Grape broke up in 1969. However, their debut album is still considered one of the best of all time by many critics, in part because of the nimble fingers of guitarist Miller. Miller was named one of the top 100 guitarists of all time by Rolling Stone above Eddie Van Halen, Johnny Winter and Randy Rhoads. The Tacoma native has enjoyed a rich career sharing the stage with countless musicians including members of the Doobie Brothers and Carlos Santana. Miller now performs with his trio, the Jerry Miller Band, as well as host jam and open mic nights around town, including Tuesday nights at Dave's in Milton. Miller and crew will perform at 8 p.m. in The Swiss. A pre-show Full Sail Brewing Brewer's Night will help everyone ride the snake.

2. Pint Defiance Specialty Beers & Taproom has killer Brewer's Nights. Their recent Facebook post reminded us of such fact: "one where we had a line out the door at start time, or that one where we broke the randall, we've had a history of kegs emptied in record time, and tons of great prizes given away." From 5-7 p.m., Ninkasi Brewing Company and rep. Josh Russell will be in the house with an eye on reaching Pint Defiance's Number One Brewer's Night Of All Time, with hoppier beers, more enthusiastic high fives and kitten-themed prizes, as well as the latest R&D (Rare & Delicious) release, Rich's Double Belgian IPA, "This Is Why I'm Hop" IPA, the original Total Domination IPA and Spring Reign Pale Ale.

3. SideWalk is a local organization on a mission to end homelessness in Thurston County. They combine volunteerism and intensive community engagement with data-driven, evidence based methods to accomplish their mission. The Olympia Downtown Association will be hosting a benefit house party for SideWalk from 5-8 p.m. at The Washington Center. Besides a performance by local band Blue Laces, and food and wine from several local restaurants, program will feature words from WCPA Executive Director Jill Barnes, ODA Executive Director Vida Zvirzdys-Farler and Sidewalk Executive Director Phil Owens. This is a free event for our community, with an opportunity to donate directly to Sidewalk during the evening.

4. Comedy open mics are where comedians cut their teeth, develop their chops and other folksy idioms meaning "possibly suck to get better." Polish is traded for rawness. Comedians nervously testing out premises they thought of while parking. It wouldn't be a true comedy open mic without a few rookies floundering or even some industry veterans filling the room with crushing awkwardness, but Tacoma Comedy Club's Open Mic Night features some damn good performers who more than balance it out. Check out the free performance at 8 p.m.

5. Deathgrave and Augurs, two Oakland, California, bands that have made grindcore and downtuned sonic aggression a way of life, will join The Vatican band for total auditive devastation at 9:30 p.m. in Obsidian.

March 21, 2015 at 7:33am

5 Things To Do Today: Rhythm and Rye Party, Flea Market, Taste of Gig Harbor, Amy Schumer ...

The Oly Mountain Boys will help Rhythm and Rye celebrate their first anniversary tonight.

SATURDAY, MARCH 21 2015 >>>

1. We knew the traditional fifth anniversary gift was the astoundingly lame "wood," and, of course, the 25th anniversary is the silver and 50th golden. We're pretty sure the 75th is either oxygen tanks or pre-chewed food. Apparently, the first anniversary is the kickass music anniversary, because downtown Olympia music and whiskey venue Rhythm and Rye is celebrating its first year in operation with bands Hillstomp (punk blues) and The Oly Mountain Boys (bluegrass), the two bands that officially opened the venue last March 21. The show begins at 9 p.m.

2. You spend hours wandering around consignment stores, yard sales, and nothing. Break the cycle. Rethink your thought process. Antiques - The older they are the better. And, unlike the average retail giant's merchandise, you can sometimes get a deal. So come check out the Women's League Annual Flea Market and peruse more than 60 vendor booths of previously owned antiques and collectibles, sporting goods, home furnishings, clothes, books and more from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the University of Puget Sound. It's the University of Puget Sound Women's League's 47th flea market to fund student scholarships. A silent auction runs throughout the day. Not so silent? You when you happen across mannequin legs! 

3. The Gig Harbor Rotary presents Taste of Gig Harbor from 5:30-10 p.m. at the Tacoma Narrows Airport. Weekly Volcano foodie Jackie Fender has the scoop here.

4. If we need to tell you who Amy Schumer is, you must not own a TV. Her Comedy Central series Inside Amy Schumer was nominated for an Emmy. Both Entertainment Weekly and Rolling Stone praised it as one of last year's best series, especially a firecracker of a sketch about a Call of Duty-type video game. Schumer wields one of the 21st century's most distinctive, vital, quotable comic voices, and it's won her gigs from Cosmo to Fox News to a slot in the upcoming Ghostbusters reboot. That's right, Amy Schumer will soon be given her very own proton pack. For a comedian in her 30s, that's like being named one of the apostles. Catch her at 8:30 p.m. in the Emerald Queen Casino.

5. The Fucking Eagles reminds one of a '50s sock hop mixed with a backwoods roadhouse show of the same era. It's fun as hell. Catch the band with The Wimps and Vibrating Antennas at 9 p.m. in The New Frontier Lounge, as part of the Bleak Outlook Vol. 3 festival.

March 9, 2015 at 9:29am

47th Combat Support Hospital leads efforts to raise cancer research funding at Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Sgt. 1st Class Madeline Diaz and Spc. Corey Seay, 47th Combat Support Hospital, hold hands as their heads are shaved to show support for the St. Baldrick Foundation. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

There are 175,000 reasons to shave your head.

That number represents the children who are annually diagnosed with cancer. Their fight against this deadly disease is an uphill brawl; more children in this country die of cancer than any other disease.

Saturday afternoon in the Joint Base Lewis-McChord MWR Special Events Tent, several dozen soldiers, family members and friends dropped by to have their heads shaved.

St. Baldrick - a play on words if ever there was one - touched every head.

A nonprofit public charity, the St. Baldrick's Foundation is a childhood cancer charity funding research to help cures for children with cancer. 

The foundation's name is not associated with a recognized saint of the Catholic Church but is founded on word play and the use of the title "saint."

>>> Staff Sgt Gregory Pfaff, 18th Engineer Company, holds his son, Richard, as his head is shaved. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

Speaking of the path to secular saintliness, volunteers, sponsored by family and friends, had their heads shaved in solidarity with children who typically lose their hair during cancer treatment.

Some women gave up eight to 10 inches of their hair, from which wigs would be made for children.

"We're here today to honor the sacrifices that embody the Army family," commented Sgt. 1st Class Madeline Diaz, a platoon leader in the 47th Combat Support Hospital and the event's organizer.

She had a point. Just before having her head shaved, Diaz told the audience that she would wrestle with cancer and the treatment it entails ... for the fourth time.

That statement brought the clippers and small crowd to a momentary halt.

After processing the comment, the barbers from the Olympia Barber and Esthetics School, who yielded their clippers like Samurai warriors, resumed their skin close shaving.

"This is no big deal," said Staff Sgt. Gregory Pfaff, 18th Engineer Company, as he held his son, Richard, and sat next to wife, Stephanie, as they too had their heads shaved. "Your hair grows back."

And so does the fight against childhood cancer.

Since 2000, St. Baldrick's Foundation volunteers have organized almost 4,200 head-shaving events and shaved more than 191,000 heads, raising more than $120 million for children cancer research.

"Our son, Freddy, was diagnosed with leukemia at age 2," said Chief Warrant Officer Carlos Henao, 47th Combat Support Hospital, as he sat next to his wife, Joselyn.

With chemotherapy the little boy soon went bald, and Henao twice gave up his hair in solidarity with his son's fight, one that he eventually won.

"This event is really, truly amazing," Henao continued. "It is great that we come together like this for a wonderful cause."

For more information about the St. Baldrick's Foundation, visit www.stbaldricks.org.

>>> Veteran Michael Henderson has his head shaved in support of children battling cancer. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

March 4, 2015 at 7:01am

5 Things To Do Today: Holocaust Education, Building the Future, Tippin' For Tigers, Chef Interrupted ...

"50 Children: The Rescue Mission of Mr. and Mrs. Kraus" to screen at Pacific Lutheran University tonight.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 4 2015 >>>

1. Pacific Lutheran University presents the Eighth Annual Powell-Heller Conference for Holocaust Education, a unique and perpetually relevant three-day event that provides educators, students and community members a way to use the lessons of the Holocaust to empower themselves and others to challenge prejudices, violence and other forms of dehumanization. The conference, held at PLU from March 4-6, focuses on the theme "Children's Voices: The Holocaust and Beyond." This year's conference opens with a 7 p.m. screening of the Emmy-nominated film 50 Children: The Rescue Mission of Mr. and Mrs. Kraus, which chronicles the courageous and intricate work of an American couple committed to saving Jewish children on the eve of the Holocaust. A discussion with 50 Children director/producer/writer Steven Pressman follows at 8:15 p.m.

2. "Building the Future: Collections at Evergreen" closes today at The Evergreen State College. The show highlights not only works of art from Evergreen's art gallery collection but also collections from the Malcolm Stilson Archives and Special Collections, the Chicano/Latino Archive, the James F. Holly Rare Books Collection, the Longhouse Education and Cultural Center and Evergreen Pictures. Read Alec Clayton's full review of "Building The Future: Collections at Evergreen" in the Music & Culture section, then catch its final day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

3. The Swiss Restaurant and Pub hosts Tippin for Tigers tonight. For each beverage you imbibe between 5 and 9 p.m. 50 cents will be donated to the Tiger Conservation Campaign. There's no easier way to get a case of the warm and fuzzies than to have some beers in support of some majestic furry friends.

4. For two decades Boundary Bay Brewing Co. has operated out of a historic 1922 warehouse on Railroad Avenue in Downtown Bellingham. A couple of weeks ago the brewery accepted a Lifetime Achievement Award from Sustainable Connections in Bellingham. They think local first, take care of their employees and live the principled life. That's not to say the brewery won't be thinking about the South Sound March 4 when it pours a bunch of their beers from 6-9 p.m. at the Puyallup River Alehouse. Boundary Bay representative Bryan Bendix will also have some sweet Boundary swag.

5. Author Trevis Gleason will give a free book talk and signing at 7 p.m. in the Wheelock Library. His book, Chef Interrupted: Discovering Life's Second Course in Ireland with Multiple Sclerosis, is not a book about diagnosis or coming to grips with a "new normal" of living with multiple sclerosis. It is a celebration of life and the indomitability of the human spirit, illustrating those lifelong dreams can still be realized with a bit of gritty determination, some serious planning, a positive attitude and the ability to laugh at yourself.

March 3, 2015 at 7:41am

5 Things To Do Today: "National Gallery" film, Tap Tasting Tuesday, Chinese New Year ...

Frederick Wiseman's lengthy "National Gallery" doc takes a provocative stroll in and about the famed British art museum. Tag along today at The Grand Cinema.

TUESDAY, MARCH 3 2015 >>>

1. Frederick Wiseman's three-hour documentary about Britain's National Gallery is a rather sly house of mirrors, in which we watch a film and, within that film, we watch others gaze at a painting, while also joining them in that act. Not to be outdone, many of the paintings - their subjects commissioned portraits, or figures of myth and Christianity - stare just as intently back at us. National Gallery screens at 1 and 6:20 p.m. in The Grand Cinema.

2. Pop by the Harmon Tap Room today for their Tap Tasting Tuesday special. Sample four, 5-ounce beers paired with four small bites for only $10 from 5 p.m. to close. Helluva deal, especially for those indecisive types.

3. Yielding, softness, centeredness, slowness, balancing, suppleness and rootedness are all characteristics of the ancient Chinese practice of Tai Chi. They are evident in names of the movements, like "Cloud hands," and in the movements themselves. The principle of Tai Chi can also be summed up in the title awarded to its founder, "a spiritual man who has attained the Tao and is no longer ruled by what he sees, hears or feels." Ring in Chinese New Year 2015 at the Tumwater Timberland Library with a program for all ages, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The Olympia Tai Chi & Kung-Fu Club will perform the traditional Lion Dance and demonstrate Tai Chi and the martial art of Kung-Fu.

4. Jerry Miller was named one of the top 100 guitarists of all time by Rolling Stone above Eddie Van Halen, Johnny Winter and Randy Rhoads. The Tacoma native has enjoyed a rich career sharing the stage with countless musicians including members of the Doobie Brothers and Carlos Santana. Miller hosts an open jam at 7 p.m. in Dave's of Milton.

5. TCC@TCC! - a group of Tacoma Community College communications students raising money for local tutoring nonprofit write@253 - has teamed up with the Tacoma Comedy Club for a benefit comedy performance at 8 p.m. Write@253 provides after-school homework hope to kids in underserved Tacoma neighborhoods.

February 26, 2015 at 7:14am

5 Things To Do Today: JFK program, Olympia Ambassadors benefit, "Angels In America," Barleywine Revue ...

In this public domain photo, President John F. Kennedy rides alongside First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy moments before his death. Hear more about this fateful day tonight in Olympia.

THURSDAY, FEB. 26 2015 >>>

1. We've all seen the footage: President John F. Kennedy in the gleaming dark blue limousine, smiling and waving at the crowd, and then the shot rings out in Dealey Plaza, and everything in a relatively mundane presidential moment has become a piece of history. Author and journalist Dean R. Owen was 7 years old on the day JFK was assassinated. Owen says the tragedy prompted his 30-plus year career in journalism and communications. He will present a multi-media program entitled "John Kennedy: the Man, Myth and Legend," at 7:30 p.m. in the Olympia Timberland Library. The program is based on Owen's book, November 22, 1963: Reflections on the Life, Assassination and Legacy of John F. Kennedy. Owen interviewed nearly 100 people for the book, including White House staff, civil rights leaders, family members of Kennedy, and journalists who covered him. Veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas, who died in 2013, wrote the foreword.

2. From sweeping alleys, to acting as extra eyes and being a familiar friendly face, downtown Olympia businesses have been benefitting from the Olympia Ambassadors. This of course, has been a pick-me-up for downtown retail. Downtown Olympia Ambassadors provide customer service, directions, and city information to all users of downtown. Our 2015 Best of Olympia issue praises the program multiple times. From 4-9 p.m. The Brotherhood Lounge will host a happy hour benefit for the Downtown Ambassadors, donating 50 percent of drink sales to the program.

3. Traveler Pat O'Connor will discuss his expedition to Antarctica and Argentina with pictures and stories of animals and ice at 7 p.m. in the Parkland/Spanaway Pierce County Library.

4. Volcano scribe Christian Carvajal spent last week in the skin of a monster. He's playing Roy Cohn, the very real attorney who guided the knife point of Sen. Joseph McCarthy's Red Scare, then adamantly denied his own homosexuality even as he was dying of AIDS. He's a character in Tony Kushner's landmark, two-part play Angels in America, directed by Nic Olson for Olympia Little Theatre. The show is challenging for both actors and audiences, and it inspires bizarre moments on stage. Read Christian Carvajal's first person account of Angels In America, Part 2: Perestroika on our Walkie Talkie blog, then catch the show at 7:55 p.m.

5. Barleywine Revue is just awesome. The band writes and performs contemporary, relevant bluegrass and Americana music while paying homage to the traditions that have come in generations before ... think Bill Monroe meets Bill Withers. Oh man, that's fresh! Catch the band with Squirrel Butter at 7 p.m. in The Swiss Restaurant & Pub.

February 11, 2015 at 7:18am

5 Things To Do Today: The Life of Elliott Smith, Kegs For Keepers, Kareem Kandi, One Love Wednesday ...

Elliott Smith as seen on the cover of "Torment Saint: The Life of Elliott Smith," which will be discussed tonight in Olympia.

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 10 2015 >>>

1. Before Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein branded Portland, Oregon, Elliott Smith did the same - except his Portland was about self-loathing. He told stories about addicts getting off the bus at Southeast Powell Boulevard and 6th Avenue to cop, and chronicled the absurd ritual of the Rose Parade. After battling depression, drugs and alcohol for years, Smith committed suicide Oct. 21, 2003. He was 34. William Todd Schultz, a professor of psychology, chronicled Smith's childhood and adolescence in the book, Torment Saint: The Life of Elliott Smith, offering critical insight into the musician as both an individual and an artist, as well as into the myriad influences that shaped his music and lyrical content. Schultz will drop by the Olympia Timberland Library at 7:30 p.m. to offer a presentation on the life and music of Smith - specifically rare audio recordings and early versions of lyrics for the potent Smith song, "King's Crossing." Q & A will follow.

2. The ParkWay Tavern will host Drinking for Conservation's Kegs For Keepers night. Fifty cents of every beer, cider and wine sold between 6 and 10 p.m. will help fund the Point Defiance Chapter of the American Association of Zookeepers.

3. Over the past week the Weekly Volcano has published 53 stories on the changes going down at Narrows Brewing Company. Head brewer Joe Walts is headed back home to Madison Wisconsin and his old job as quality control manager at Ale Asylum Brewery. Mike Davis will tie on the Narrows' head brewer apron next week. The folks at Puyallup River Brewing Alehouse bid Walts a fond farewell shining a light on Narrows Brewing beers, beginning at 6 p.m. Drop by and thank Walts for the tasty beers, and maybe even win a raffle prize.

4. Saxophonist Kareem Kandi has hosted an open jazz session for years, a backyard patio for his music school friends, fellow musicians and newbies to jam out standards - fresh, fiery and exciting. The jam now resides every second Wednesday at 8 p.m. in The Swiss.

5. Happy (late) birthday, Bob Marley! Although Tacoma's reigning dancehall king, DJ Qualifi, keeps it bangin' at Champions every Saturday night, there is another notable spot hosting a weekly, free Wednesday reggae/dancehall joint. One Love Wednesday at Jazzbones getting irie on Sixth Avenue with rotating bands, a DJ between sets and finishing the night off for the party people. At 9 p.m., The Sindicate takes the stage.

February 8, 2015 at 8:23am

5 Things To Do Today: Mazen Kerbaj, "H.M.S. Pinafore," Mark Dufresne, Comedy Drag Show ...

The festival of improvised music at Obsidian tonight features a very special guest by the name of Mazen Kerbaj.

SUNDAY, FEB. 8 2015 >>>

1. This festival of improvised music at Obsidian features a very special guest by the name of Mazen Kerbaj. Hailing from Beirut, Lebanon, Kerbaj specializes in the trumpet, taking that instrument many miles from any expectations you may have when I utter the words "improvisational trumpet." His style takes the trumpet in directions that delve deep into the experimental, testing the instrument's limits of expression, whether they be textural, percussive tonal, or pushing the envelope of what could reasonably pass for music. In taking advantage of his instrument's many characteristics, Kerbaj takes his audience through a journey of finding the potential in any sound to transport. For anyone with a passing interest in experimental music, this 8 p.m. show with Arrington De Dionyso, Paul Hoskin, Daniel Buscher and Hammer of Hathor must be observed. The daring will get the most from this excursion into the base elements of the musical experience.

2. Though 120 years old, H.M.S. Pinafore is as seaworthy as ever, an irresistible blend of Sullivan's matchless melodies and Gilbert's shrewd satire of the Victorian caste system. Tacoma Opera's production boasts vocals by Boston Lyric Opera soloist Michael Drumheller, Seattle Opera Guild's Ksenia Popova and returnees from The Barber of Seville. Read Christian Carvajal's full feature on H.M.S. Pinafore in the Music & Culture section, then catch the show at 2 p.m. in the Rialto Theater.

3. The Swiss Restaurant and Pub will host a benefit concert for the Mitrata-Nepal Foundation for Children featuring The Oly Mountain Boys at 4 p.m., Steve and Kristi Nebel at 5 p.m., The Twang Junkies at 6 p.m. and The Barleywine Revue at 7 p.m. Mitrata-Nepal Foundation for Children's mission is to educate and empower severely underprivileged children to reach their full potential as citizens of Nepal.

4. Mark Dufresne is schooled in the ways of Sonny Boy, Junior Wells and James Cotton. His work on the chromatic harmonica is considered as some of the most innovative in blues music. His ability to circular breathe has left audiences dazed, dancing in circles until they drop. Catch the blues musician and his band at 7 p.m. in The Spar in Old Town Tacoma.

5. Jubal Flagg from the Movin 92.5 FM morning show host a Comedy Drag Show featuring five comedians performing as themselves, get a complete makeover, and come back as the opposite sex. Check it out at 8 p.m. in the Tacoma Comedy Club.

December 22, 2014 at 2:16pm

"Holiday Magic" at Tacoma VFW Post #91

"Holiday Magic" at Tacoma VFW Post #91 / photo credit: Gary Lott

"Christmas this year has been hard on us, especially Thanksgiving," a young Washington National Guard specialist stated while gripping a holiday meal in the main room of the Tacoma VFW Post #91. "We haven't had enough funds to buy our 2-month-old son any gifts."

The holidays cause financial stress: shocking holiday credit card statements, elaborate holiday meals, late-night runs to grab last minute tape or name cards for or a slew of other stressful reasons.

The stress can be harder for that young servicemember who has returned from deployment with a growing young family.

That soldier is on the minds of the dozens who run this year's Washington National Guard's Family Programs' "Holiday Magic" service. Family Programs spends hundreds of hours distributing donated holiday meals, hams and, of course, toys at the Tacoma VFW Post #91 at 2000 South Union Ave. in central Tacoma. Post #91 members donate their post location and hours of volunteer time - often spent cleaning and sorting toys - to the Joint Services Support Family Programs, which primarily assists the servicemembers of the Washington National Guard and Reserves, as well as servicemembers from other branches. This year's "Holiday Magic" program sets aside a day to serve active-duty servicemembers, veterans and wounded veterans.

"The 'Holiday Magic' program has been an amazing gift," said the spouse of a deployed servicemember. "It has given me the joy and stress relief of knowing that I can give to my kids with a happy and relieving heart."

Although Pierce County residents make up the majority of the program's users, "Holiday Magic" volunteers have received requests from outside the county - and meals and toys were bagged, sorted and delivered by Family Assistance Specialists (FAS) who are stationed throughout the state near Washington National Guard unit locations such as Spokane, Vancouver, Everett, Port Orchard and Marysville. These FAS are also available to provide assistance throughout the year in forms of emergency grants, education assistance, employment assistance, resiliency matters and more.

"The program that is being ran by you is amazing," a private first class stationed on Joint Base Lewis-McChord stated to the volunteers at Tacoma VFW Post #91. "It has been a real tough year on me and I have been really stressed the last couple of months on what I was going to do for Christmas. The fact that this is available has been a huge relief and has helped very much. Thank you and everyone involved with this program very much. Merry Christmas!"

December 17, 2014 at 12:00pm

Heed the Trouble Alert: The Justice League of America needs you!

What was the first piece of writing you truly, deeply loved? I'm talking fictional characters whose biographies you knew back and forth, settings as real as your quiet hometown, and plot surprises you felt as keenly as your own life events. Chances are, it wasn't a book your teacher assigned. When I was a kid, it was 25-cent superhero comics. Before they're old enough for Harry Potter, Bilbo Baggins, or even Charlie Bucket, many boys and girls identify as True Believers or soar with the Justice League of America. In recent years, the grown-up world's rediscovered the innocent joy of an issue full of colorful splash panels and galaxy-spanning adventure, and for less than the cost of a Quarter Pounder at Mickey D's.

Still, even that $3.99 comic is a challenge for many families. A child who never falls in love with the power of written words is a child who faces an uphill battle in school and in life. Danger Room Comics in Olympia sees the importance of this truism every day. That's why they've partnered with the South Sound chapter of The Children's Reading Foundation to hand-pick comics guaranteed to transport children far from the here and now, then return them a bit smarter, more heroic, more adventurous, and more curious about the universe around them. This is important stuff, and it gives you a chance to be a real-world hero.

Not only does the Danger Room winter fundraiser benefit childhood literacy, its funnybook aficionados will send collections of comics to wounded warriors in Veterans Health Administration hospitals. These packages, festooned with purple ribbons in honor of recipients' Purple Hearts, have been chosen to assist patients dealing with the horrors of post-traumatic stress. Yeah, this kinda just got real, didn't it? This project is a collaboration between Danger Room Comics and Blackdog Foundation, a 501(c)3 support group based here in Olympia, and it's already collected thousands of comics-yet the battle rages on, True Believer.

Over decades of pop culture geek life, I've had the cherished privilege of highlighting such national crusades as Omaze for UNICEF, Batkid Day for San Franciscan cancer survivor Miles Scott and support for bullied Star Wars fan Katie Goldman. There are moments when thousands of geeks pull together around something they love in a way that makes life better for people in need. This Danger Room campaign marks one of those heartwarming moments, and its payoff lands right here at home. The Justice League of America, and the children and soldiers its heroes protect, require your generous assistance right now. Will you answer the call?

Please, visit DangerRoomOly.com/blog/2014/12/winter-charity-fundraiser/ to see how your monetary donations can help power this vital enterprise.

Filed under: Nerd Alert!, Benefits, Books, Olympia,

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