A Trivia Night Far, Far Away

This week we break atmo on the other side of the world in Perth, Australia with a Sci Fi Quiz Night Affiliate event on 21st May.

Gather your favourite sci fi fans and form a team or be assigned to a team and meet new Browncoats. Don’t forget to dress up as prizes are being awarded best costume and quiz winners! Thanks to local sponsors White Dwarf Books, Comiczone, Game City and PokéPerth there’ll also be lots of shiny up for grabs in raffles and an auction.

Tickets are just $18 and are available here. All proceeds go to Equality Now and Living Proud LGBTI Community Services of WA.

This event sold out last year so get your tickets before they’re gone!

And not to fret if you can’t make it, Perth has some cunning plans for more events this year.

If these events aren’t local to you, have you checked our Find an Event page? And it’s not too late to register an event, you can find all the essential info here.

Up next, CSTS returns to Edinburgh!

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So It Begins

The start of the 10th Can’t Stop the Serenity season is here, and what a way to kick it off!

The honour of the first event of 2015 goes to Salt Lake City, this Saturday 16th May which is already sold out! The event at Brewvies Cinema Pub (brilliant concept, why are there not more cinema pubs??) features a screening of Serenity, trivia, a costume contest and auction.

With plenty of shiny including patches, stickers & more from Firefly Cargo Bay, James Hance prints, a whole pile of Malcolm Reynolds' dog tags, comics, signed Frank Beddor books and Salt Lake Comic Con passes up for grabs, not to mention CSTS merch for sale, make sure you bring plenty of cashy money.

If you missed out getting a ticket this time, don’t forget to buy one early next year! And keep an eye on their Facebook and Twitter for event updates.

Not in Utah? Have you checked our Find an Event page? And it’s not too late to register an event, you can find all the essential info here.

Up next week, Perth’s first event of the year!

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Big Damn Sponsors!

Our global sponsors are awesome.

They make events shinier by providing prizes, help us raise more money by donating amazing items for our end of season auction and keep us online.

We’re so pleased to welcome back some long time sponsors and excited some new ones have come on board. The one thing they all have in common? Their love for Firefly and desire to do good works.

This year’s sponsors have been very generous, check them out because your support thanks them for sponsoring us.

Sponsor packs One way our events increase their fundraising is through raffles and auctions of some awesome shiny. Every event has access to a sponsor pack which often forms the base of prizes.

Browncoat’s Patch Packet – The Browncoats of NYC, the Utah Browncoats, and artisans pennausamike and Yellowjacket have donated their group and expanded Verse patches to the sponsor packs.

Dark Horse Comics - is the largest independent comic book publisher in the US and has been supporting CSTS for many years. This year they have donated a wide assortment of items to the Sponsor Pack.

Done The Impossible: The Fans’ Tale of Firefly & Serenity has once again generously donated DVDs of this story of the rise, fall & rebirth of Firefly, featuring interviews with Joss Whedon, the cast, crew, and the fans themselves. Every event city will find one in their sponsors pack.

Dragonweave Jewelry – Since 2008 Dragonweave has been handcasting sterling silver Serenity pendants especially for our event cities’ sponsor packs. Based in Pennsylvania, this online store offers a wide variety of jewelry ranging from Celtic to Steampunk.

The Fallen Stars is an Americana Rock band from Southern California who are fervent Browncoats. They have donated CDs of their current project “Leaves on the Wind”, songs inspired by episodes of Firefly, for the sponsor packs. A portion of the proceeds from all Leaves on the Wind sales goes to support Equality Now

Harmsway Press - Whedon fan & Author J. Merideth Harmon has donated 2 of his books for each sponsor pack, the Snyper novel and the prequel novella, Murderous Row (both autographed), about Cupid as an assassin.

Mikey Mason reached the pinnacle of Browncoat fame with his hit “She don’t like Firefly”. He’s played at many CSTS events and this year has donated his CD Barbarian Jetpack including the song, Please bring Firefly back.

Papryusaurus is an online store run by Ashley Coyle. She does all sorts of cool things with paper and donated Serenity inspired art prints for our sponsor packs.

The PDX Browncoats have been raising money through CSTS for all 10 years of our existence. This year they increased their generosity by donating lanyards and wristbands to the sponsors packs.

The ‘Verse – a Firefly/Serenity costume club. The ‘Verse is a costuming club for Firefly/Serenity fandom worldwide, and this year have provided cunning handknit orange and yellow toques for event cities.

Phillip Kendall came to his first CSTS event in 2008 and knew it was something he wanted to be a part of. He believes strongly in the work Equality Now does and is proud to be a part of something that has real meaning and helps make a difference in people’s lives. Phillip is donating a variety of Whedonverse autographs.

Auction Sponsors Our online auction has become the traditional end of season event. It’s a great way for those who can’t get to an event to get something shiny while increasing our donation tally. It’s also a great way to pick up some signed and exclusive items. None of which we could do without items being donated.

Anne Thuong is a huge fan of Firefly/Serenity and Joss Whedon’s work at large. She admires what he does as a writer, director and activist with Equality Now. She happily contributed her handmade dolls to this season’s auction.

Dallas Comic Con has donated 3 items to our global e-bay auction, including a photo signed by most of the Serenity cast.

Dave Catoe, 2013’s Global Coordinator, has donated an autographed graphic novel for our auction.

We're also grateful to the companies who generously allow our events to show some of their content at no charge: Geek & Sundry features indie geek culture and the internet’s foremost geek voices. Started by Felicia Day and Kim Evey, it is now part of Legendary Entertainment.

Time Science Blood Club, LLC granted us the rights to screen Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog at our events this year.

Finally but by no means least, we'd like to thank former Global Organisers, Anne Barringer and Devon Pike for among other things, covering the website hosting and domain name fees.

For more information about our current and past sponsors, check out our sponsors page.

Don’t forget to check your local event’s website and support your local sponsors too!

And if you’d like to become a sponsor you can find out how here.

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A Short History of Can’t Stop the Serenity

Keeping flying for 10 years is no mean feat for any event, but it is a real achievement when every single person involved volunteers their time and resources for free.

To celebrate our tenth season we want to highlight some of our history. While many of you have known about us for a while now, one of the greatest things about Firefly is new Browncoats are discovering the series, and in turn us, all the time.

Here are a few things you may or may not know about Can’t Stop the Serenity.

It all began with one man’s idea. The One True b!X wanted to celebrate Joss’ birthday with a charity screening of Serenity, realizing it was a great idea he mentioned it on the message boards.

Browncoats worldwide responded. Called Serenity Now Equality Now, b!x handled the Tshirt sales and helped to co-ordinate all of the events. 46 cities in 5 countries held events between 17th and 31st June 2006, raising $65,900 for Equality Now.

The One True b!X chose Equality Now as the charity because it was close to Joss Whedon’s heart. His mother, Lee Stearns, had inspired the organisation’s founders.

Did you know the original website still exists, listing all participating cities and reports?

The enthusiasm and excitement after the first events led to ideas about how things could be done bigger and better the next year. Suddenly Can’t Stop the Serenity became an annual event.

108 individual cities across 9 countries have hosted events since CSTS began.

15 cities have participated in every CSTS, 8 have already registered events for 2015:

  • Arlington
  • Atlanta
  • Boston
  • Dallas Fort Worth
  • Denver
  • Melbourne
  • Minneapolis
  • Philadelphia
  • Phoenix
  • Pittsburgh
  • Portland
  • Raleigh
  • Seattle
  • Toronto
  • Tucson

Adam Levermore, better known as Lexigeek in the Browncoat community, designed the 2007 and 2008 logos and returned to create our 10th one.

In 2009 the Art Contest was introduced and Don McMillan, Melanie Fischer, Steve Jeyes and Jake Thompson have produced the winning logos, Don and Melanie each won two years in a row.

At the end of our 9th year we had raised over a million dollars for charity.

You can read more about our history including participating cities, donation totals and past logos on our website here and in our archived forums here.

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My Journey to a Million Dollars with the Browncoats by Mandy Sullivan

Thirteen years ago, I had never heard of Firefly. I had been working at Equality Now for quite some time and, as usual, we were struggling for funding. I got a call one day, from Renee Balmert from something called "the California Browncoats." She wanted our address in order to mail out a check to us representing proceeds from "ComicCon." The check was for over $3000, a staggering amount of money from one donor, at least it was in our experience. Apparently Joss Whedon had told them we were his favorite charity and they decided to give all the money to us. We were thrilled and grateful and Renee and I started up a conversation as she explained to me what Firefly was and what the Browncoats were.

I immediately purchased a copy of the series and spent the evening in a marathon viewing. Well, let's face it, it's hard not to, right?
Those events marked the beginning of a beautiful friendship. I won't go into the particulars of Joss' relationship to Equality Now as that is common knowledge now for most of you I think. The internet was starting to really come into force and, as I further learned, Joss had a huge and growing network of fans (from his other series Buffy the Vampire Slayer as well as Firefly) that was quickly becoming a worldwide virtual community. When Firefly was summarily dumped by FOX shortly after its short run in September 2002, this community decided to pool their resources and see how much weight they could put behind their disappointment, actually their outrage, and their loyalty to Joss. I mean, there were episodes that HAD NOT BEEN AIRED YET!!

In any case, you all know the rest. A film was made, Serenity, that closed out the stories of the characters in the beloved series. Throughout this time, I was mostly a bystander and cheerleader, but quickly becoming a true fan, a fan of the fans actually! And, a brilliant idea was forming, in the mind of a Portland, OR fan named b!X who asked the question: "Hey why don't we hold a screening of Serenity on Joss' birthday and raise money for Equality Now." That was June of 2006. 42 cities around the world held screenings that year. As the years went by, Equality Now began receiving checks from all over the country as well as UK, Australia, Canada and Ireland, as groups of Browncoats organized their own screenings. And it all happened at the same time of year! We sent the different organizers our brochures, key chains, bracelets, more brochures, hats and tee shirts for raffles and give-aways, supporting them in any way we could.

For me, it was one of the biggest challenges and most wonderful experiences I had while working at Equality Now. The organizers were fantastic people to work with, all of them, throughout the years. From time to time, new organizers would come in to replace those taking a break and they too were enthusiastic in their support of Equality Now's work, and a genuine pleasure to work with and in some cases, get to know. Their patience with me was absolutely limitless.

And every year, the grand total increased. It was absolutely amazing. Seeing as I was the fortunate one who became liaison between Can't Stop the Serenity and Equality Now, visitors, other staff would ask me "who are the Browncoats and why are they doing this?" Well, it's a long story....

The Browncoats brought me to ComicCon in San Francisco to speak on a panel there, they brought me to the Universal Studios premiere of Serenity, they hosted me in Portland and New York City, and always assured me of my welcome in whatever city's screening I might attend. I was so happy when we were able to organize an appearance by Joss at the SoCal CSTS a few years ago It was to thank all of you in the most meaningful way we could think of. To have you hear it from him.

I left Equality Now in October, after 18 years. More than half of those years were spent interacting with you wonderful people. The fact that together you have raised a total of one million dollars for Equality Now and other charities fills me with so much pride and gratitude. You have worked so hard, on your own time, year after year. Awesome. That's what you are. Totally Awesome. Thank you for all you have done for Equality Now, for me, and for just being the people that you are. You've sent some mighty, mighty good vibes out there into the universe, and it will never be the same.

Stay Shiny but most importantly keep flyin'.

Amanda Sullivan

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Help Celebrate Our $1million Achievement

Announcing we’d passed the one million dollar mark in donations was a momentous occasion for us.

This is an achievement that belongs to everyone who ever helped organise, attended, sponsored, spread the signal about or donated to a Can’t Stop the Serenity event. Big Damn Heroes all of you!

To celebrate all the thrilling heroics we want to show the world the amazing Browncoats who made this possible. We're looking for photos of Browncoats with signs celebrating that globally we've raised over 1 million dollars.

We would love pictures of you holding a sign along the lines of:
"Congratulations CSTS on raising $1M for charity from (Your name here) #CSTS1Million”.

It can be just you or a crowd of Browncoats. Have fun with it, be creative. Dress up in costume or show off your Can’t Stop the Serenity merchandise. Play around with photoshop. Your choice. Just don’t forget to tell us who you are!

Send your pics to info@cantstoptheserenity.com

Over the season we’ll be featuring the photos on our website and across social media.

Below is one of our first submissions from Brooke of CSTS Lawrence, KS, we can't wait to see yours!

We have done the impossible and that makes us mighty!

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