By Kevin Shannahan
Alexandria’s Tree House Children’s Museum was overrun by Darth Vader and the forces of the Empire in the form of the 501st Legion Feb. 4. Over 150 children and their families got to meet their favorite Star Wars characters and have their photos taken with them. The 501st Legion is a nation-wide group of Star Wars enthusiats who authentically portray characters from the Star Wars movies. They travel to children’s hospitals and charitable events to bring the children’s favorite Star Wars characters to life.
Rey from The Force Awakens, portrayed by Kaylee Walleser, gave lessons on light saber fighting to the children attending the event. Natchitoches attorney Eddie Harrington portrayed an Imperial Stormtrooper while Sarah Dyess was a Jedi.
The fun event had a serious purpose. Kylie is a young girl facing a multi organ transplant in an Omaha hospital. She will spend 6 months there to be followed by another 6 months of out-patient treatment. While insurance will cover the medical expenses, transportation and her family’s living expenses are not. The day’s event was designed to help defray those expenses. Kylie and her family are avid Star Wars fans so it was a natural fit for the Tree House and the 501st Legion. In fact, her sister Kaylee is a member and portrayed Rey from the latest Star Wars movie.
The Natchitoches Parish Journal is donating the event photography. Full size downloads are enabled and anyone may download for free. If you do download any photographs, please consider a donation to this worthy cause. Kylie’s mother Joan may be reached at 318-625-8003 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Tree House may be reached at 318-619-9394. The NPJ extends it best wishes to her for a speedy recovery.