Street Talk: Art & craft of gift giving

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Craig Hahn, Rutland Town

Today is the third annual Galactic Toy Drop, however, this year we turned it into a Super Galactic Toy Drop and Character Extravaganza. What that means is, in years past, our toy drop here with BROC-Community Action was a Star Wars-themed event. This year, Star Wars is here, but superheroes, princesses, an F-35 pilot, Lt. Col. Michael Blair, from the Green Mountain Boys is here; we have Ghostbusters; the DeLorean from “Back to the Future” is here — so this is a Super Galactic Toy Drop and Character Extravaganza. We’ve got every movie fandom, every comic book hero you could think of here today, and we’re collecting toys to help the kids here in Rutland County.

Eliza Bridge, Rutland

I’m Princess Jasmine from the movie “Aladdin.” We’re here to promote the toy donation for kids, the Toys Under the Tree, and everybody can come and they can buy a toy and they can donate it right here.

Shelly Sobel, Rutland

I’m Anna, I’m Elsa’s sister and the new movie came out yesterday, “Frozen II” 

RH: What are you going to do for Thanksgiving?

SS: Just be with my family.

Eliese Bouchard, Rutland

I’m Elsa, I’m Anna’s sister — I’m the queen of the kingdom. I’ve got ice powers. I guess I can just make ice, you know, make things cold, make it winter. It’s kind of a secret. But, also, I’m a senior at Rutland High School.

RH: Are you excited about graduating? Do you have plans for the future?

EB: I’m thinking about going to Seton Hall University to study diplomacy.

Jennifer Davis, Hill, New Hampshire

I’m Jane Foster Thor, and it is based on a figurine that was done. It is all 3-D printed. My husband did the 3-D printing, and I did the sewing of the cape and some of the clothing.

Jeff LeBlanc, Hill, New Hampshire

Yes, this is all 3-D printed. You print small pieces of plastic, and then you epoxy them together and fill the seams with caulking and sand it down, and prime it and paint it — and eventually you end up with this. I’m an engineer. I largely self-taught the pieces that I needed to learn to do, and I did the programming that I needed to do the get the helmet to work correctly. I’m Tony Stark, or Ironman, from the Marvel Avengers movies. This particular suit of armor was from Marvel’s first Avengers movies, so it’s technically the Mark VII armor. That movie came out in 2012, and I’ll be making the other suits of armor as I go along until eventually I have most of them done. 

Dana Alyce-Schwarz, Burlington

Myself and my friend here are part of The Guardian Legion. We’re a group of Vermont cosplayers based out of Burlington, and we simply wanted to have more opportunities to get involved in the greater community. We’ve worked with Make-A-Wish, the Lake Monsters, Shelburne Museum, Children’s Hospital, any group that we can get in touch with and find a good opportunity to help them out at their events or to set up an event. Nobody every says ‘no’ to superheroes, we’re always a good addition. What we’re doing today, we’re helping out with the Rutland toy drive, the Galactic Toy drive. It’s our first time helping out here. We’ve done similar events in the past. We’re happy to help out a local Vermont event, to give back and to support the community.

Mary Jane Watson, Forest Hills, New York

I’m a friend of Peter Parker’s, and in some of the comic runs I do get my own suit and some super powers, so I’m here today as a Spider Person. … There are so many iterations of different Spider characters. There’s Silk, there’s Spider-Gwen, there’s Peter Parker, there’s Miles Morales. The Spider-World is so big, that now we’re just generally called Spider-People.

RH: Tell me about some of your powers? What can you do?

MJW: You know, I can sling a few webs like Spider-Man and all that good stuff.

RH: You can do that slinging part?

MJW: I can do that, but, you know, I’d rather keep my powers a surprise.

Officer Ernest LaGuardia, Rutland City Police Department

Right now we’re here with the Galactic Toy Drop. It’s a wonderful event, it’s for the community where people can drop off different toys or donate anything for families in need for Christmas, for the coming holidays. If you want to drop off toys you can go out front, if you want to drop off a check and make a donation, you can do that as well. It all goes to a good cause.

Donalee Kirk, Rutland

This toy drive is an amazing event that is a great opportunity for BROC-Community Action to gather toys for the children within Rutland County. All the toys that are collected here today will be distributed right through our offices at 45 Union St. to the local community children. And all cash that’s donated will be used to gather additional toys for the gaps in donations that arrive here … for the teenagers and the really young children so we can make sure that everybody has a great Christmas.

RH: Thank you, Donalee, and a merry Christmas to you, and I hope your Thanksgiving is bright, too.

DK: Thank you so much! And merry Christmas to you also.

Interviews, camera and production by RH Alcott

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