This September marks the five-year anniversary of the Minnesota Paizo Organized Play (MN POP) group’s fundraising convention, SkålCon. Since the very beginning, our goal was always to raise as much money as we could, take in as many wish list items as possible, roll some dice, have fun, and try to surpass the previous year’s total. Over the years, we’ve done just that. A lot has changed in these past five years, but the spirit of generosity has not.
It is a testament to SkålCon’s mission that we are a destination convention for people across the country. We cannot do this alone! Support comes in many forms: our local volunteers, without whom this would never have happened; Paizo, who donates charity boons, sanctions runs of retired scenarios, and providing staff members such as Tonya Woldridge as attendees; to our convention goers, who donate money and items to those in need. Everything adds up to make for an amazing experience for everyone!
How does a relatively small regional convention such as SkålCon grow to get national, even international, attention? With a little help from our friends. Thurston Hillman, for one. He was instrumental in helping our convention get off the ground. His willingness to help in a myriad of ways, regardless of what it was we asked him to do, went a long way in ensuring we could put on our little convention the following years. Thurston also helped spread the word about our community’s dedication to the idea of SkålCon. Every year, I meet more and more people, most of whom I had never met before, who ask me when SkålCon is and if they can volunteer. Why? Because Thursty, that’s why.
While every convention is different, so our experience will be different than yours, Paizo event support is consistant. They have the ability to help you promote your convention. work with you to find the appropriate level of support for your convention, be it one that seats 15 or 150 tables over a weekend, and ask “How can we help make your convention better?” Most of the Org Play team has a Venture Corps background and were once doing what you are planning to do, so they understand the challenges of hosting an event. Paizo is in a position to give you the right level of support no matter what size convention you are running, and we encourage you to use them as a resource.
What do we do with the collected donations? We give them to Tubman, which helps women, men, youth and families throughout the Twin Cities who have experienced relationship violence, elder abuse, addiction, sexual exploitation or other forms of trauma. You can learn more about their mission at www.tubman.org.
Finally, I want to share a few words from Tubman’s Director of Communications, Emily Truscott:
“Since 2015, SkålCon participants and organizers have contributed nearly $20,000 and countless diapers, food items, clothing, and toiletries to support the people who need Tubman’s services. People come to Tubman due to domestic violence, sexual assault, addiction, and many other situations, and the support from the community means so much—not only in the tangible necessities, but because it sends a message to our clients that people care about them. Knowing that the community is supporting them while they go through these life-changing situations can make a huge impact on someone’s life. All of us at Tubman are grateful for the SkålCon community and what they’ve done for people at Tubman.”
SkålCon is September 20-22 2019 at Crowne Plaza Minneapolis West and we invite you to join us! Our website http://www.skalcon.org has all the information you need to attend.
Organizing Committee, SkålCon
Guest Organized Play Blog: SkålCon turns Five Years Old
Wednesday, August 21, 2019