A Fan-Operated Science Fiction and Fantasy Literary and Filk Convention in the Dallas/Fort Worth Area
A Message from Larry Dixon:
Please forgive the mass mail, I have been on the phone & handling a ton of incoming info. I know this is long, but as Lincoln said, "I didn't have time to be brief."
Many of you may know me as a fantasy novelist and artist, but more importantly I'm an experienced emergency worker (7 years volunteer firefighter, 2 yrs stormspotter & CERT (Civilian Emergency Response Team)). Mercedes Lackey and I have a charitable foundation we are turning towards the effort of helping the fantasy, scifi, and roleplaying games fans hit by Katrina.
When Katrina was coming in, I packed up my rescue gear for activation, and began putting together a civilian relief convoy to help out the Gulf Coast fandom. The high-level dispatch I saw yesterday at the Emergency Operations Center here in Oklahoma is, in as many words, "Nobody Goes In" during the continued---and perhaps complete---evacuation of the Gulf Coast. The only aid people that are being specifically asked for at the moment, through my channels, are fast water rescue teams.
So, the angle of the fan/pro/gamer aid effort is shifting on the fly---from one of going in with supplies for those who stayed and pulling out those left homeless, to instead, locating the fans who HAVE evacuated, and relocating them to places they can get back on their feet. We'll be taking some in ourselves up here in Oklahoma. We have room and resources in house for six or so people and our contractor is readying to rebuild the garage into a bunkhouse to accomodate up to 22 at any one time.
The website for the effort will be a part of www.gryphonking.com. Email will ALWAYS work best for sending information to me: firstname.lastname@example.org will work fine. Studio number phone number is 918-343-9462. Instant messengers/SMS: gryphongryn at Y!M, 31317565 on ICQ, gryphgryphgryph on AIM.
If you can get word in directly to any fans/pros/gamers in need, get this info to them. If they can make no other contact, tell them that if they can make it to Exit 255 on I-44 in Oklahoma, they're ten minutes from us and we have space ready. And if they can only get partway, we will make sure someone can rendezvous and bring them in. Let NO ONE be bashful or selfconscious right now---this is not a situation of either pride or pity. If someone needs a roof, get'em to tell us. If someone has a roof, tell us. Share this whole message with whoever you think will be interested. Fandom is a VERY tight-knit group, and in this case, that could be a vital advantage, if contact info can travel at the usual speed of rumor.
We're putting together a specialized website and will link it in to other fan, SCA, renfaire, and pro groups around the USA. We'll also get an SSL/Paypal thing soon, for people that can chip in, and hopefully the site will have updates regularly on how the effort is going & how people can help. Luckily, people have a LOT more to give than cash. There will be a "stuff list" section where people with spare clothes, furniture, tools, etc. in a region can list what they have to give or share. The website will also become a "placement system" where, through the use of searchable forums, we can unite people who need a home with households that they'd fit in well with. And prevent unfortunate matches, such as the realistic situation of someone who has good intentions but isn't really economically able to take someone in---so they both sink.
We are all family because of our passions. Possibly the most valuable thing that gamers, fans and pros can give each other in these times is a gift beyond price: the knowledge that in tragedy as much as in joy, their fellows are there for them with open hearts and open arms.
I'll get more info to you as soon as I can.
Hurricane Katrina Disaster Relief
Last updated 02 September 2005
Text and images Copyright 2003-2005 by Dallas Future Society, Dallas, Texas.