Mission Report
Kiddieland – Saturday Oct 13th


Tom Schaefer TK TD TR TI DZ IC 118 - C3PO / Stormtrooper Event Coordinator
Austin Schaefer – Imperial Crew (padawan)
Jason Patterson TI SL 1719- Darth Vader / TIE Pilot
Alyssa Patterson – Tie Pilot (padawan)
Kevin Lehning TK-669. - Chewbacca
Amanda Lehning - Support
Aimee Jorgenson TB-0101 and kids – Support
Joe Flores TI 1296 – TIE Pilot -
Alex Flores – Imperial Crew
John E Fitzsimmons DZ TK 6442 – Tusken Raider / Stormtrooper
Terrell Reber TK1787- Stormtrooper
Gino Dipka - Costume Support
Jim DeJan TI ID IC–3853 Imperial Crew / TIE Pilot - tattooist
Emily DeJan - Costume Support / tattooist
Andy Marsh TI 2079- TIE Pilot

Kevin and Amanda arrived so early at Kiddieland, in Melrose Park, Illinois to find that not only were they the first to arrive but also that the gates to parking lot were still closed. Quickly contacting Tom on his cell that all was well and that he was just a few blocks away. By the time he arrived the gates opened and they were allowed to park.

Having organized the Kiddieland event twice before, Tom Schaefer was familiar with the routine He, his son Austin, Kevin and Amanda entered the employee entrance to the room where we would all be changing. Kevin and Tom then got their Chewbacca and C3PO costumes prepared and laid out. Amanda sadly was not feeling well and was a bit low key, but smiled and made the best of it. Tom then went out to the parking lot to see if anyone else had arrived yet and to grab some video of the Kiddieland scrolling marquee where the 501st legion and Midwest Garrison were proudly announced.

Aimee with her daughters had arrived slightly before he made it to parking lot, As did Jason Patterson and Alyssa, Jim and Emily DeJan and Joe Flores with his daughter Alex and John Fitzsimmons. Andy Marsh arrived after followed by Terrell Reber and his friend Gino Dipka from Michigan.

We all started suiting up. Sadly, Aimee realized after getting there that her chest and back armor were not in her armor tub, and could not suit up. but being the member she is, she stayed and helped not only Tom get bolted into the golden iron maiden that is 3PO, but helped others as well.
  And Joe forgot his flight suit and had to run home and get it.

Jim and Emily set up the table Kiddieland had provided for us. The DeJans brought the 501st banner, as well as the big Midwest Garrison logo sign, as well as PLENTY of temporary tattoos and supplies to apply them for the kids. Jason also brought along a laptop to play our propaganda as well as Maestro Williams’ orchestral scores to set the tone of the day as well as the DVD of the Weird Al show done on September 25th with members of the Midwest Garrison, and the Midwest Garrison DVD that Tom brought. Several boxes of book marks provided by the Museum of Science and Industry to promote the Star Wars “Where Science Meets Imagination” exhibit and were laid out for the public to take.
While the DeJans were making many kids smile with the tattoos, allowing some more adventurous younglings try on Jim’s TIE helmet and informing adults about who we were and what we do, the rest of us suited up and started interacting with guests of the park. Shaking hands, taking photos and wowing the crowds, Kevin in his Chewbacca and Tom in his C3PO, Jason, Alyssa, Joe and Andy in TIE gear, Alex, Austin, John in Tusken (which he later changed to Trooper after kids seemed a bit too scarred of Tusken) Terrell in Trooper, Emily, Aimee and Amanda as support and Gino all seemed to make the day of those attending park the first 3 hours.
Amanda wasn’t feeling well and Kevin’s feet were hurting and Tom was understandably uncomfortable in the droid, So Aimee and Emily gathered everyone together for a group shot before Kevin and Amanda headed home for the day. Tom was paroled from C3PO and relaxed a bit before suiting into his Trooper armor. YES, TK118 would actually suit up in TK armor for the first time in MANY, MANY months. The owner of Kiddieland provided coupons for our food . A huge thank you to Kiddieland for that, so we got to have free lunch and drinks. After eating. Jason got into Sith mode and suited up as Vader. WOW, Did the kids LOVE that! Vader was joined by 3 Stormtroopers and a TIE pilot as they walked around the park, rode the train,(which by the way they not only had the normal Diesel one running, but also the STEAM POWERED one. Yes, they have a steam powered train that actually burns coal like the real ones! That was a must see, as they don’t run that one very often.) and took the customary walk out to the main intersection and slowed traffic by the amusement park.

As the sun stated to set and the crowds slowly started to die down, we all suited down at about 6:30pm and headed down the street to Ruby Tuesdays to have dinner. Sadly Aimee, Jim and Emily and Jason couldn’t join us. Midwest Garrison CO Kathy van Beuningen, drove out from the city, after working all day, and picked up Quincy from a school event just to have dinner with us. Tom was happy Kathy came out, as is shows not only an interest in the Kiddieland event, but support for it and for ALL those attending it, especially for our guest Terrell Reber and his friend Gino Dipka who made time during his visit to Chicago from Michigan to do this event, and Jim and Emily who drove over 2hrs each way to make it.

After a lot of chatting, joke telling and having food, drinks and fun, it was time to call it a night. We all shook hands, hugged and said good bye and headed home. It was a great day and another very successful Kiddieland appearance. They once again were VERY pleased with us and we hope to return again next season.

Since this is a two day Event, and Tom could not attend on Sunday due to work ( He had to kiss major Butt just to get the day off on Sat to attend) Jason is taking the reigns as Coordinator for the Sunday portion of the event at Tom’s request.

A HUGE, HUGE thank you to EVERYONE who came out! You ALL made it the fun and memorable event is was.

Translated by MarStoq


  Marstoq's pics      






  Home ] Up ]
Send mail to TK118 CLICK HERE with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright © 2002 - 2009
Last modified: September 28, 2009

technical support provided by