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Star Wars has landed

By Staff | Dec 19, 2014

Six Star Wars characters greeted movie goers at the Opera House. They helped the Marines collect Toys 4 Tots for several hours.

Anyone who donated an unwrapped toy received free admission to the original Star Wars movie.

“It’s the most kid friendly,” organizer Eugene Marino said of the film series.

One family admitted they were driving down German Street and saw the crowd.

“The Stormtroopers drew me in,” one attendee shared.

Another family from Hagerstown planned to attend.

“I used to live and work in Shepherdstown. We saw this on the Christmas in Shepherdstown website,” said Trish Kline a mother of two small children.

“My son is so excited,” she continued.

The Star Wars event began with a trivia game about the iconic movie and by the end of the show the stormtroopers collected 160 toys and $150 in cash donations. The gifts were then wrapped at a Martinsburg warehouse and will be distributed within the Panhandle.

Harry Greene, one of the group’s media representatives, said he participates because of the children.

“Kids love it – young and old.” he said.

He posts all their social media pictures with #badguysdoinggood.

The Star Wars characters are all part of the 105st Legion, a Star Wars costuming club covering Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia and Delaware; however, at least three were local to the Panhandle.

One Shepherd employee, Jamie Welsh, finished the event, changed his clothes, and spent the same evening as a Civil War re-enactor at Antietam National Battlefield.

This is the fifth year for this event.

Opera House owner, Larry Cumbo, said of the movie attendance, “This year was our largest turnout and most successful.”

The Toys for Tots collection bins will remain at the Opera House and at Four Seasons Books until Christmas Eve. Marino says the Marines who run that campaign will work nearly 24 hours a day between Dec. 24 and 26 to distribute the children’s gifts.