Pensacola, Florida
Sunday December 21st 2014

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Helping Out, Superhero-Style

By Jessica Forbes

Following the flooding in late April that devastated the Manna Food Pantries headquarters on Guillemard Street in Long Hollow, an outpouring of support from the community came in the form of monetary donations and plans for fundraisers for the non-profit. Among the first organizations to announce plans for a benefit were Pensacon and Kinematic Entertainment.

Pensacon’s inaugural event in February 2014 included Manna Food Pantries as a charity partner, and the team behind the highly successful fan convention saw an opportunity to help out once again in Manna’s time of post-flood need.

“Manna was Pensacon’s charity of choice all along because we believe in the work they do,” said Mike Ensley, chairman and founder of Pensacon. “We just felt like if we could use whatever fan base and presence we’ve built to help them out, we definitely should.”

Ensley and Ben Galecki, CEO of Kinematic Entertainment, did just that, setting the theme of the Pensacon fundraiser as “Heroes for Hunger.” Guests are encouraged to cosplay or don whatever costumes or nice attire they’d like. Special guests from a number of the films, comics, and television series represented at Pensacon will be in attendance, and the organizers tapped into their connections to obtain a range of celebrity memorabilia to auction off. Over 30 local artists have donated pieces for an art auction to take place that evening.

“The event was really a collaborative effort,” Ensley said of the various partners who stepped up to help out. “Artist Michael Greene was already working on bringing local artists together and asked if he could be a part of what we were doing. When we reached out to celebrities and friends in the entertainment industry, musicians, caterers, et cetera, no one even hesitated to send items or come down for the event. All of our guests have donated their time.”

In addition to the various auctions during which attendees can score one-of-a-kind items, a prize raffle will also go on throughout the evening. For the raffle, the Pensacon team is donating a prize package containing two Pensacon 2015 VIP weekend passes and a room at the Crowne Plaza for Friday and Saturday of the fan convention, set for February 27—March 1, 2015.

The entry fee for “Heroes for Hunger” is either a cash donation or one or more non-perishable food items. One hundred percent of the funds raised and food items collected at the event will go to Manna, making the night the perfect chance to merge cosplay with charity…if just for one day.

HEROES FOR HUNGER: BENEFIT FOR MANNA FOOD PANTRIES
WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday, May 30
WHERE: Dolce Vita, 309 S. Reus St.
COST: A cash donation or one or more non-perishable food items
DETAILS: facebook.com/Pensacon