Thursday, May 26, 2011

Why "Can't Stop The Serenity"?

Four years ago, a young woman named Du'a Khalil Aswad was stoned to death in northern Iraq for the sin of falling in love with a young man of a different religion. There are conflicting stories about why she was actually stoned - whether she had converted for her boyfriend, was thinking of converting or just seen talking to him in the street.  Whatever the reason, while she was being stoned, many people of her village stood around and watched, some taking pictures and videos on their cell phones and posting them on the Internet.

At the time the story made headlines around the world, Joss Whedon wrote a post on Whedonesque about it that had little of his trademark humour in it, just heartfelt questions about why this was happening and some suggestions to counter it.  Out of that came a website and a book, Nothing But Red.  Can't Stop The Serenity was gearing up for its second year of global fundraising events and Joss's post about Du'a Khalil Aswad served to strengthen our efforts to raise money for Equality Now, Joss's favourite charity and one that works to end violence and discrimination against women and girls throughout the world.

CSTS is now celebrating its sixth anniversary and the fact that the worldwide events have raised over half a million dollars for Equality Now and various local charities.  This year one of the moderators of Whedonesque, Damon Schmidt aka zeitgeist, wrote an eloquent reminder that what happened to Du'a Khalil was not, unfortunately, an isolated incident.

So each year we get together with other Joss Whedon fans to watch his movie, Serenity; to sing along to Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog; to dress up as our favourite Whedon characters; to win prizes and buy swag; and to have fun.  And have fun we do! But let's not forget the reason we do this: to help those women and girls who are less fortunate than we are and who may not be able to help themselves.

In Vancouver, 80% of the net proceeds from our CSTS event go to Equality Now, with the other 20% to BC Women's Hospital & Health Care Foundation, which helps to give children a good start in life and to do the best to keep women of this province healthy.  So far, in five years, we have raised over $15,000 and we hope this year is the best one yet.

Remember when you buy your ticket, or grab bag, or bingo card, or bid on one of the exciting items in our Silent Auction, that you are helping to improve the lives of women around the world as well as those right here at home.

So do you have your costume ready? Have you rewatched Firefly so you can answer all the trivia questions? Have you stashed away a bit of extra cash to bid on that special item that you just must have? Have you practised your evil laugh?  Is your singing voice ready?  Then make sure you buy your tickets early and bring your friends because raising money for such a good cause has never been more fun.

Keep checking the blog for some of the shiny items we will have in the auction and details of the day and we'll see you on June 25th at 11 am!

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