You may have heard about Star Wars fans lining up for days to be among the first to see a new movie when it comes out, but did you know that they’ve raised tens of thousands of dollars to deliver happiness to seriously ill Starlight kids?
It’s been 20 years since devoted fans of the Star Wars saga started the tradition of lining up on Hollywood Boulevard for days to get tickets to see screenings of the latest installments at the world famous Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.
Getting inside to see more tales from a galaxy far, far away was all that mattered to the super-fans when they started, then the community bonds they formed while waiting in line grew strong (one couple even got married on line!). The fans eventually formed LiningUp.net and began fundraising for Starlight, giving back by lining up.
This year, Starlight kid Josue – also a huge Star Wars fan, got to join the LiningUp crew to get a special viewing of this 9th installment of the franchise, directed by J.J. Abrams.
Josue, who was born with spina bifida and has had numerous spinal and other surgeries since told us that being invited to the Star Wars screening was a special thrill. “I’ve been a fan of 'Star Wars' since my childhood,” he said. “It was really fun to experience.” He told us being in the theater with fellow fans upped the excitement level. When the movie began to play and the theme music came on, it made him feel like he was part of the movie.
Also joining the line for the most recent release was filmmaker Kevin Smith, who recorded an episode of his podcast, "Fatman Beyond," on location and spoke with Starlight’s very own CEO, Adam Garone, and Liningup.net’s co-founder, Peter Genovese, about our longtime partnership.
While it takes an incredible level of commitment to stand in line for days to be the first to see a movie, it’s perhaps most impressive to make it an act of generosity for seriously ill kids. We’re grateful to our LiningUp.net friends for their support of our mission, raising tens of thousands of dollars.