Archive of CSTS Global

A New Organizer Speaks

(This was first heard on The Signal podcast. Our thanks to Craig Kurumada for allowing us to reprint it here)

I confess that when I first heard of Can't Stop the Serenity, I thought that these events would be something I personally might visit, but never help create. I imagined them to be similar to a big conventions. Well, not as big as DragonCon, but big enough to be put on by professional organizations and have a few celebrities. The cities were generally large metropolitan places with hundreds and hundreds of Browncoats able to raise thousands of dollars for Joss Whedon's favorite charity, Equality Now.
Big league stuff.

So it took a while for me to connect a couple of dots. Please understand, I live in a small town: Arcata, California has 16,000 people when school's in session. A little more than half that in the summer or over holidays. But, we do have two movie theatres.
One of them, the Arcata Theatre Lounge, started what they call "Science Fiction Wednesdays." This generally means showing really low budget science fiction movies for a five-dollar admission. It's free if you buy 5 dollars worth of beer or food, which is quite easy to do. Now, please don't be insulted when I say low budget science fiction shows. It isn't always so. Sometimes, they show great, classic sci-fi such as Forbidden Planet, The Day the Earth Stood Still, and, ta-da! Serenity.

For the past 6 or so years, whenever they would show Serenity, I rallied all the Browncoats I could and even bought a block of tickets. We then started making a "pre-Serenity show" with trivia and prizes. I'm an incurable swag collector and whenever Qmx or ThinkGeek comes up with some Fireflyesque item, I always buy one or two extras as prizes for some shindig or another. We'd done this now for several years, so I thought, why not try to do a CSTS event here in Arcata? We've got all the makings, just not the grand scale.

So, I went online to the CSTS website and got informed. I found all the deadlines.
(You should get organized in late spring or early summer for anything to happen in early fall.)
I took the plunge and registered. I realized that I had all kinds of fears about doing it wrong, making a mess and disgracing our local Browncoats. But, the people at CSTS headquarters were wonderful. They were very supportive of a small event like ours and gave us plenty of guidance.

Our event actually was not much different from any regular shindig, except people were very happy to pay the extra dollar for charity. I was also wonderfully surprised at their spontaneous contributions once they understood what CSTS was about. Many of the attendees didn't know it was a CSTS event, but they were accustomed to the Serenity showings. It was just more shiny goodness to them, knowing they were supporting Joss' favorite charity.

So, we labeled the beer taps "Mudder's Milk", gave away a ton of swag in trivia contests, and raised over $400 for CSTS. As a matter of pride, we had a head count of 164. I realized that with a population of 16,400 or so, we could claim that 1% of the population of the entire town was at our event! Hah!

Now that my fear of failure has been dissolved, I know we can do much more next year. I'm planning on it.

And you should, too. Organize your local Browncoats and do some good. Size really doesn't matter. It really is the intent and getting more people involved in supporting this worthwhile cause, all while having the shiniest of times.

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Registration for 2015 is open!

Join Browncoats around the world celebrating 10 years of Can't Stop The Serenity. Whether you have a big screening or gather a small group of friends together to raise money, every event is very welcome.

Not sure what goes on or how to get started? We have lots of excellent information here.

Many CSTS events are known as "Screening Events" where Joss Whedon's "Serenity" is shown on the big screen in conjunction with auctions, raffles, contests, merchandise sales and other multimedia (pending licensing arrangements).

If you're unable to organize a Screening Event (due to funds, location or proximity to other Browncoats), an Affiliate event may be the answer. This can be any kind of event, such as a BBQ, dance party, trivia night, or video night, etc. The choice is yours! And you can do both if you want.

Once you've decided, take advantage of Event Resources to help you and your team with the planning process.

Next, you need to tell the Global Team about your plans so that you can become an official event. There are two ways to do it. Do you already have everything in place? Time, location, fellow volunteers? Then go straight to the Event Registration.

Maybe all the details have still to be worked out. Then what you want is the "Expression of Interest" Form. Filling this in gives you access to our Event Organizer forum and all the help there.

Being an official CSTS Event means that you become part of the wonderful CSTS community. We'll help you raise money for Equality Now by assisting you with promotion, & giving you access to our forums to talk with other organizers who have come before and continue to triumph. By indicating you are affiliated with CSTS you are telling your potential sponsors, donors and audience that you are legit! Your event's charitable donation will be added to the 2014 Global Donation Total.

But most importantly, you'll be helping raise awareness and money for Equality Now so that they can continue their work to end violence and discrimination against women and girls around the world. And with up to 25% available for you to donate to other Charities, CSTS does good around the world.

If you still have questions, drop an email to events@cantstoptheserenity.com. Join our forums and talk with other browncoats.

This is a year of celebration! Let's also make it the year that we raise the most money for Equality Now & other charities.

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Welcome to the CSTS 2015 Global Team

Can't Stop the Serenity 2015 is very lucky to have a great crew make up the Global team for our 10th year.

Most if not all of these knowledgeable and hardworking people have been involved with CSTS at a local level, and many of them have been on the Global Team before.

They are bringing a deep enthusiasm & joy for our 10th year which I hope you will see over the course of the next months.

  • Global Event Coordinator & Sponsorship - Sheilah O'Connor
  • Webmaster - Stephanie Leisure
  • Communications Director & Donations - Julia Svaganovic
  • Merchandise & Swag - Annie Burnaman
  • Art Director - Phil Towle
  • Video - Liam Merrick
  • Shepherd - Anne Barringer

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Introducing our new Global Event Coordinator for 2015…

As we finalise all the loose ends to formally close out the 2014 Season, we've also been hard at work behind the scenes to get things ready to kick off the 2015 Season! This year sees us reach a fantastic milestone. Can't Stop the Serenity turns 10 years old in 2015! For a decade, Browncoats all over the world have donated thousands of hours of their spare time to organise events both big and small to celebrate our fandom and to support some amazing charities.

We're pleased to announce that this landmark season will be coordinated by Toronto's Sheilah O'Connor. Sheilah (aka Lioness) has been involved in CSTS since our first year back in 2006, organising the Toronto event for five years. In 2011, she joined the Global Team as our Shepherd and has guided countless organisers through the trials and triumphs of putting a CSTS event together. In her four years on the Global Team, she has also lent her skills to the registration and donation management roles, and as Communications Director. She has also taken a lead role in the behind-the-scenes management of CSTS in 2014, and is ready to step up to take charge in 2015.

Says Sheilah, "The 10th year is an important milestone. I can see that many event cities are already planning how to do something special. But some groups don't have the volunteers, time, or space to do something extra and that is where Global can help... Having been Shepherd, I do think that the most important thing is to remain open and accessible."

Sheilah already has some great ideas for the 2015 season (but we'll let her share those with you all rather than spill the beans now). Suffice to say, this year is going to be big!

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Be part of the team for CSTS 2015 and help us celebrate 10 years!

Do you want to be part of the team for Can't Stop the Serenity 2015? Be part of the crew who will be spearheading our 10th year celebrations, and volunteer today! Nominations are now open for roles on 2015 Global Team!

Can't Stop the Serenity is organised entirely by volunteers who work side by side with local event organisers to make each year's events a success. We're looking for dedicated, passionate, talented folks to join us. It's fun, rewarding and a great experience! And 2015 will be extra special as it's both the 10th Can't Stop the Serenity season and the 10th Anniversary of Serenity’s release!

Nominations are now open for 2015 Global Event Coordinator and Team Roles. We're looking for enthusiastic and talented individuals who are organized, have great communication skills, work well independently and as part of a team, and are keen to help where needed. We especially need a few US-based volunteers who can handle logistics (such as merchandise ordering & fulfillment, global auction etc). The roles are flexible and indicative of the tasks that are needed to keep CSTS running smoothly, and are filled according to the make-up of the team at any one time (one person may fill multiple roles or share roles according to their skills). Nominations will be accepted until 21 December 2014. The application process for each position is provided here. Applications must be submitted via email to gsc@cantstoptheserenity.com by the closing date.

New Global Team members will be paired up with volunteers from the current Global Team so that you can pick up as much as you can before taking charge of the role. After that time, the members of the GSC will be on hand to provide support and guidance. Global Team members have access to the online Global Organization forum which details the various tasks for each role and provides information, suggestions, recommendations, contacts, resources and more.

So what are you waiting for? Help us to make CSTS 2015 brilliant and volunteer today!

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Thank you for supporting the auction

Thanks for supporting our Fall E-Bay auction, whether you bid on something or told everyone you knew about it.
The money is coming in and the prizes are going out and we should have a final tally soon.

Our very big thanks go to the California Browncoats for hosting the auction again and to the New Melbourne Browncoats and Jen Cummings who donated all of the items in both Rounds when we couldn't access the other donations we had planned on using, in a timely manner.
We couldn't have run the auction at all without their amazing generosity.

Next up for Can't Stop The Serenity? Well, we are still getting money in from the most recent events. Once it is all in and confirmed, we'll be pleased to announce how much was raised this year.

And then? CSTS10!

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