(Anaheim, Ca) This weekend at WonderCon, Marvel cosplay group the Avengers Initiative hosted a panel and booth to gather and celebrate their love of Marvel costuming and collective volunteerism and charity. Panelists included Mark Chu-Lin (event coordinator and Avengers Initiative club president), Jennifer Athey (California West Coast Avengers chapter leader), Alice Irvin (California West Coast Avengers executive officer), Daniel Trevizo (Los Angeles County fire captain and California West Coast Avengers member), Alex Cherry (California West Coast Avengers member), and Natalie Chicas (Shriners Children’s Southern California certified child life specialist). The discussion centered on how fan-based costuming and charity can intersect to have a positive impact on the local community, and especially in the pediatric sphere.
Having an opportunity to meet their favorite characters can be a huge morale boost for children, and by working with local children’s hospitals like Shiners Children’s Southern California, chapters like the West Coast Avengers have the opportunity to share a love of fandom and provide not only something new in what is often a stressful or scary environment, but to offer a piece of hope and optimism.
Cosplayers also hosted fans at their booth all weekend, welcoming fans to connect over a shared love of fandom. Highlights included appearances by “Cosmo the Space Dog” among other favorite Marvel characters.