Why We Are Here (Part VII)

Why We Are Here

Twelve is a magical age, where life is poised to leave childhood behind while reaching out toward the mysteries of women. Dolls sit on shelves but remain dear friends and babysitting becomes something to strive for, to feed the blossoming feminine need to nurture as well as to earn money for little dreams. Yet on September 11th, for Fawziya Abdullah Youssef (a 12-year-old who should have been a flower girl instead of a child-bride) life ended - awash in pain and blood. Fawziya bled to death after three days of hard labor, a child forced to become a mother before her time. For most WOMEN it is a traumatic experience (pain of any kind for anyone is debilitating) but to force a CHILD to suffer through it for THREE days is a devastating commentary of sadness and disbelief. Yet, Fawziya is not the first Yemeni child-bride, nor is she to be the last. Unless something is done now to educate and legislate changes to protect these girls from the same kind of horrors Fawziya suffered through, thousands more will follow in her bloody footsteps. Without a minimum statutory age, there is no way to even begin to punish those responsible for this sick slavery. This is where the hard working efforts of organizations like Equality Now help to make a difference all over the world. Recent reports find that anywhere between 25% to 50% of the females in Yemen are married off before the age of fifteen - giving them the ghastly earned sobriquet of “the brides of death.” Many like Fawziya (married at a mere 11 years of age) are traded off like cattle to cousins and/or for the promise of high dowries. Little girls and young women without a chance to pursue their own dreams. Do you remember when you were 11 or 12? Do you know of a girl now who is that age? Can you imagine the horrors of being forced into maternal servitude without a say, to anyone with enough collateral to buy you? Can you imagine dying after three days of horrific pain, giving birth to a stillborn baby - alone and unprepared? Now imagine it if you went through it as a child. Don’t stop there - use that anger and disbelief and turn that energy toward something positive. Use it to do something, anything because there is always hope when good folk get together. It only takes a minute (at the very least) to donate something to an organization for change, like Equality Now. If you want to do more, you can write letters, speak out in blogs, twitter or get the word out via other social networking sites. Go to one of the remaining CSTS events to not only have a great time, but to donate to Equality Now so they can do more to bring balance to this impoverished area of the world. If 8-year-old Nojud Mohammed Ali can fight the system in Yemen, and win - just imagine what we can all do together. When her father married her off to a man 20 years older than her, she fought and was granted a divorce. Because of her courage, others are becoming aware of their own rights for childhood, education and the chance to become what they want to be. So it doesn’t matter how old you are, if you fight the good fight, you can make a difference and bring about change.

Join with me in supporting these girls and women and do something for the greater good of all of humanity. Donate your time, talents and pocket change to Equality Now - because that’s what us Browncoats do best. This is the best way I know of “aiming to misbehave.”

Warm Regards, Anne

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Calling all Browncoats and Doers of Good Deeds!

CSTS and Equality Now need your help to do good in the ‘Verse! What if we tell you that there is a way you can help make a difference to raise money for Equality Now and all it would take is maybe a minute of your time?  Sound good?  Well here’s the scoop. There’s a contest for your favorite charity at: http://www.ilovechristiecookies.com/contest/form.asp The link isn’t listed in the drop down menu yet, but with a few more votes it should be up there soon.  So where’s what you need to do. 1.  Click on the drop down menu (“Check to see if your favorite charity is already listed.”) to see if Equality Now is listed.  If it is, click on it and proceed to fill out your information and vote!  (Amanda Sullivan should be the Charity Contact Name) 2.  If it isn’t there, click on the 2nd drop down menu (“Don’t see your charity listed?  Click here add yours.”) and enter in Equality Now.  Fill in the information, use Amanda as the Charity Contact Name and send in your vote. 3.  Tell everyone you know about this and have them go and vote too!  There are 12 prizes in all ranging from first: $10,000, second: $5,000, and 10 prizes of $1,000 each.  There is only one vote per email address (so if you have multiple emails you can use them) The more we pass this on, the better chance we have to raise even more money for Equality Now. Nominations must be submitted on or before October 15, 2009. The winning charities will be announced in November 2009. SO let’s get out there and do our part to help Equality Now!  We can show them the big voices and hearts of gold, CSTS and Browncoats everywhere have to do good.

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1st Round Global Prize Winners

GUESS WHAT? I have here in my cyber hand something you fine folk have been waiting to read.  No, it’s not a puppy or a shiny sparkling bit of heist (although those things are fine enough in their own regards...) I have here, right here before me... that precious bit o’email from Amanda at Equality Now! What email you ask?  Well for those of you who mighta missed our little missive earlier, it contains two very special names - the names belonging to the shiny winners in part one of the global prize draw... Even I can’t stop the serenity - so now, without any further ado and/or and procrastination of the special shiny announcement - here we go.

::drum roll please:: The winner of the Creation Entertainment Gold Passes is: ✺❥✺ MEGAN MCAFEE-ERSKINE ✺❥✺ of Albuquerque❣ AND The winner of the Browncoat Ball Passes is:
✺❥✺ JOHNNY YARBROUGH ✺❥✺ of Chicago!❣ ✶✳✸✷✵✹✺  CONGRATULATIONS❢  ✺✹✵✷✸✳✶
From all of us here at CSTS central, we say thanks for supporting our awesome sauce cause by supporting your local organizers and whoot for winning!  Be sure to keep checking back because we have more things to share and we’ll also be drawing for the rest of the festive prizes in a couple months. Also, a very special thank you to Amanda Sullivan/Equality Now for agreeing to be our lovely random name/prize puller!  What a team we make and what a way to make a difference! Have a fantabulous Labor Day Weekend! Warm Regards, Anne

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1st Round Global Drawing Entries Submitted to EN

SHINY!  We’ve sent the following list of lucky first round winners off to our fantabulous friends at Equality Now and at any moment they will be picking the two lucky winners for the Browncoat Ball and Creation Entertainment passes! CREATION ENTERTAINMENT GOLD PASSES Jen Grańa - Boston Cory Seaton - Denver Carl Hewelt - Chicago Craig Dungan - Raleigh Abi Kritzer - Minneapolis Patrick O’Connor - Seattle David West - Pittsburgh Aurora Miracle - Portland Brett Trout - Des Moines Mark Thompson - Vancouver, BC Wendy Scott - Warwick, UK Diana Hall - Nottingham, UK David Hudgins - Arlington Steven Norris - Nashville Tiffany Bell - Melbourne, AUS Jacob Acosta - Dallas Megan McAfee-Erskine - Albuquerque Linda Bourbeau - OC/Irvine Michelle Carlbert - Los Angeles David Bean - San Diego MA Ghaffar - Riverside Lydia Hernandez - Austin Risa Kitaura - San Antonio BROWNCOAT BALL PASSES Dan Morley - New England Erin Card - Denver Johnny Yarbrough - Chicago Amy Preble - Raleigh Grant Johnson - Minneapolis Gary Rawson - Seattle Michele Trader - Pittsburgh Anitra Pavka - Portland Kelly Goergen - Des Moines Laurel Ragen - Vancouver, BC Susan Crean - Warwick, UK Laura Walker - Nottingham, UK Matt Krainik - Arlington Lisa Rish - Nashville Carly Williams - Melbourne, AUS Tracy Yothers - Dallas Chris Laplante - Albuquerque Michelle Evans - OC/Irvine Kate Hopp - Los Angeles Corey Ruhl - San Diego Beth Zorko - Riverside Barbara Slough - Austin Jaime Crowe - San Antonio And these are the Browncoat groups who sent ‘e m on up!

Albuquerque Browncoats Arlington Browncoats Austin Browncoats California Browncoats Chicago Browncoats Denver Browncoats Des Moines Browncoats Melbourne Browncoats Minneapolis Browncoats New England Browncoats* North Texas Browncoats Nottingham Browncoats Pittsburgh Browncoats Portland Browncoats Raleigh Browncoats San Antonio Browncoats Seattle Browncoats SoCal Browncoats Tennessee Valley Browncoats Vancouver Browncoats Warwick Browncoats
*via snail mail (All others were emailed to globalprizedraw@cantstoptheserenity.com) Stay tuned - we’ll be sure to let you know who they are as soon as we hear back from Amanda... GOOD LUCK!

Warm Regards, Anne

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What’s On: September 2009

Only two months left for Can't Stop the Serenity 2009! The last cities have signed up and we've grown to 55 cities this year in seven countries. If you've already been to an event this year, we'd love to hear your stories. You can use our Forum or email our Global Communications Team at jen@cantstoptheserenity.com and we'll add them for you. You can also add your photos to our Global Photo Pool at Flickr. And if you haven't yet experienced the fun and excitement of a Can't Stop the Serenity event, there's lots in store in September! For a full listing of events, please click here.

UPCOMING EVENTS...

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Global Prize Drawing Entries

Ni hao!!! Can you feel the excitement in the air?  I’m EXCITED!  Why?  Because we are ready to draw the Global Prizes for the Creation Entertainment Gold Weekend Package AND for the awesome Browncoat Ball Passes!!!   PLUS the lovely gals at Equality Now are standing by (well probably sitting lol) to do the random drawing for us. However, these are the only Browncoat groups I’ve received any entries for to date:

Chicago Browncoats Denver Browncoats Des Moines Browncoats Minneapolis Browncoats New England Browncoats* Nottingham Browncoats Pittsburgh Browncoats Portland Browncoats Raleigh Browncoats Seattle Browncoats Vancouver Browncoats Warwick Browncoats
*via snail mail (All others were emailed to globalprizedraw@cantstoptheserenity.com) (Las Vegas submitted only one entry and we are waiting for clarification on which prize their winner is suppose to be entered into) It seems we are short a few cities!  We want all everyone who made it to the final round to have a sporting chance so, IF you emailed your entries and are not on this list, I need you to

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