On a Thursday night not too long ago I watched as my youngest son gleefully posed for pictures with Kylo Ren and Princess Leia, then sparred a bit with Obi-Wan just to round the evening off.
And no, he wasn’t at Comic Con.
For the past seven or eight years Zach and I have attended Star Wars-themed nights at the Brick Public Library, and for years those evenings have remained some of Zach’s favorite summer events. In past years the creator, Miss Michele, has included such events as games, raffles (with awesome prizes!), scavenger hunts, photo opps, and the most important event, a visit from the 501st Legion.
The 501st is comprised of a group of volunteers who make detailed Star Wars costume replicas and put them to good use by fundraising, doing charity work, and volunteering. Fortunately for us one of their annual events is our library, and I know it is the highlight of the evening just by listening to the kids who attend and watching their faces as they walk into a room with all their favorite Star Wars characters.
I admit, as a four-decade veteran Star Wars fan, I get a little verklempt too.
Trust me, it’s an evening the adults enjoy just as much as the kids.
And truly, nobody enjoys it as much as Miss Michele. I am certain these evenings require a great deal of work and organization on her part, and she continues to outdo herself every single year. Her dedication to children and to fostering their love of reading is unsurpassed, and our town is very fortunate to have her.
And since I enjoy these nights as much as Zach does, we truly are lucky.
This year for the first time Zach won a gourgeous (and huge!) Star Wars book which will take him the entire summer to finish, and the smile on his face when he learned he’d won was incandescent. It was a wonderful way to wrap up our evening, and when I asked my tween if he still wanted to attend next year, there was a bit of eye-rolling with his accompanying “yes Mom!”, so I know we’ll be doing at least one thing together next summer.
So thanks for that Miss Michele, and thanks for creating an event that is the highlight of many kids’ summers.
May the Force be with you all!
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