Since 1999, devoted Star Wars fans have camped outside of Hollywood’s TCL Chinese Theatre – waiting in line to purchase tickets to see the latest installment of the Star Wars saga.
Since the inaugural line, those fans have formed an organization, LiningUp.net, that has raised more than $100,000 for Starlight to help deliver happiness to seriously ill children and their families.
They are doing it again this year! Leading up to the first public showing of Star Wars: Episode IX at the Chinese Theatre, they’ll be lining up from December 10 through December 19 and, while they do it, they’ll be raising funds to give happiness to hospitalized kids.
Even if you can’t make the line, you can donate and be part of the fun!
LiningUp.net co-founder Sameer Bakhda loves Star Wars. He’s also the Medical Director of the Emergency Department at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula.
“In 1999, I was working at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles when I heard about Star Wars fans lining up to get tickets at the Chinese Theater,” Sameer said. “I’d finish my shift and go hang out with my new friends in the line.”
Sameer sat on the cold pavement of Hollywood Boulevard back in 1999, with his medical school study materials in hand and the love of Star Wars in his heart. He’s very proud of the work LiningUp.net does to raise awareness and funds for Starlight.
“I’ve seen Starlight Fun Centers and the Starlight play rooms first-hand. So, it’s a really neat opportunity to indulge in my love for Star Wars while supporting a charity that I have actually seen the effect it has on kids,” Sameer said.
Every year, LiningUp.net reserves tickets for one or two Starlight families to attend the showing.
Dorian was one of the lucky kids last year. He attended the showing of Solo: A Star Wars Story with his brother, best friend, and mother. Dorian was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. The day after Thanksgiving, Dorian spent five days in the ICU with complications.
The LiningUp.net members announced Dorian’s arrival and made him feel like a true VIP.
“I didn’t think going to the hospital could result in this fun event, thank you!” Sherri, Dorian’s mom said.
So, get your popcorn, dim the lights, and donate to LiningUp.net's campaign as they raise funds to deliver Starlight programs to seriously ill kids across the country.