By Valentin Lebosse
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that May 4 is an inevitable date for fans of the saga Star wars which is the international day. Its placement in the calendar owes nothing to coincidences: in English, the sentence “The 4th must be with you” parodies the cult line “May the force be with you”.
A little strength and happiness, that’s exactly it Star Wars Normandy intends to bring to hospitalized children of Rouen University Hospital, Wednesday, May 4, 2022.
“Everyone leaves with a toy”
On this occasion “we will be handing out thousands of euros in toy donations to children and entertaining them”, announces Grégory Gambé, president of this association, which gathers enthusiasts from the universe as George Lucas imagines.
Radio-controlled cars, books, figurines, baby socks, board games, bicycles … All of these gifts are offered by the association’s partners, especially the King Toys and PicWicToys stores, in exchange for costume services provided by Star Wars Normandy.
The children will be invited to a drawing competition on the theme Star wars. “But since everyone wants to win, everyone wants to go with a toy,” Grégory slips away.
Darth Vader in the halls of CHU!
Fifteen Star Wars Normandy volunteers will be dressed to spend the afternoon with these young patients. They will slip into the skin of emblematic characters: Darth Vader, Kylo Ren, Rey, Luke Skywalker … “We have several cosplays per person, I do not yet know exactly who will bring what”, admits Grégory, who also promises a “secret character”.
The team will be divided into several groups to animate the entrance to the pediatric ward, offer a workshop for building droids in the orphanage, walk through the waiting rooms in pediatric emergencies …
“Children’s smiles, parents’ wonder”
The association, partner of Rouen University Hospital, is not in its first attempt. She has already paid a disguised visit to the pediatric ward of the hospital in October 2021 and offered toys as Christmas presents during the Covid period, when visits were not possible.
“When the association was set up, we would be useful for something,” resumes its chairman. We took the example of other structures visiting hospitalized children by giving us this extra gift of toys. »
Star Wars Normandy
Its president, Grégory Gambé, “fell in love with the Star Wars saga” when his parents offered him, “at the age of 7 or 8”, a set of films from the first trilogy, released between 1977 and 1983.
After collecting toys inspired by “Star Wars” as a child, this resident of Grand-Bourgtheroulde (Eure) discovered the world of cosplay during the Expo Ch’tar Wars, an event held in November in Boulogne-sur-Mer (Pas-de) – Calais). “It was here that the idea of creating an association of enthusiasts came to me.”
Meetings with other “Star Wars” cosplayers will follow during the Gruchet Geek Convention in Gruchet-le-Valasse (Seine-Maritime). “We set up a small group with the idea of becoming an association to help hospitals.” Star Wars Normandy was thus founded in 2019. It now has about fifty members.
And Grégory concludes: “We enjoy it when we see the children’s smiles, the parents’ wonder. It really is our thing!”
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