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Please enjoy this questionnaire completed by one of our dedicated, long-time Northeast Florida Admins, Dana Roberts, and get to know her a little better!

How did you first get involved with Costumers with a Cause, and what has been your favorite or most memorable event so far and what made it memorable?

As an event planner at my old employment I had the honor of working with CWC and admired their dedication to bringing smiles. I was asked by one of the founding members if I would like to join them once she saw me in a costume for a work event. It would be some time before I took her up on the offer as confidence wasn’t my strong suit.

Every event is memorable to me, but if I had to pick one it would be the Jacksonville Children’s Christmas Party, not only did I see first hand the magic and laughter we costumers bring; but I had my first real encounter with Jack who later would become the lead of NE FL. He was a VERY convincing Green Arrow and his acting along with the costume was stunning! I was in awe of his talent and was very honored to have met and worked with him. Little did I know then we would become good friends.

Our members put on many faces in CWC. What is your favorite character you represent and what is it that you like about that character?

That is a hard one, Fairy Godmother will always be my love, she brought magic to many and she is beloved dearly. But I do so enjoy Ursula! Her confidence and energy is very fun to bring to events. People light up seeing her and I am no exception. In Ursula I get to be wicked and sassy as well as confident and proud in my work.

Based on your experiences with us, how would you describe what we do to someone who knows absolutely nothing about us or who we are?

I always ask “Do you see those people in costume in hospitals, schools, and the like?” We’re kinda like that. We bring costumes to any cause in our community and make people smile. We volunteer our time, energy, and love to causes all over the USA and it starts in our local communities. Our people are really just here to make magic happen.

What do you feel are your best assets, talents, gifts, etc., are, and how did you acquire them?

I have been blessed with many hobbies and skills by growing up in a time where you had to make what you wanted if it wasn’t made by someone else and affordable. My parents always gave to people and would do anything to make life easier for our neighbors, often that came with a lot of leadership, hard work, and hand skills. My brothers and I picked this up and carried on in our schools, clubs, and now our adult lives. I have an ability to make people feel comfortable and  have been told I have a motherly air about me. I guess in CWC I make our members feel valued, safe, and respected; because that’s how they make me feel.

It seems that lately we are hearing about more and more children who are being bullied or have self-esteem issues, body issues, etc. If a child came to you with any one of the many issues you are aware of, what advice would you give them?

I am an advocate for cosplay is for every BODY. I would simply tell them that not everyone likes the same desserts, but we can all agree they are delicious; it’s the same with people. Not everyone will like you or you like everyone, but your favorite kind of people, those are the ones to keep in stock. Like your favorite desserts.

Imagine: You are on a deserted island. There is absolutely no way off this island. You are totally alone, with the exception of a magic genie who wants to grant you 3 wishes. Getting off the island isn’t one of them. What would your 3 wishes be and why?

Wish one, bigger island. Wish two, all the people I love. Wish 3 all the means to live comfortably on the island. Ta-dah! Paradise was built.

Many of our members tell us stories of special situations or circumstances in their own personal lives which causes them to have a special place in their heart for charity organizations. Is there any charity or organization that holds a special place in your heart?

I have been overly blessed with many friends and family to always help out, but for me charity is as natural as breathing. Louisa May Alcott wrote about the charity her family received in her books, and though her family had little they gave what they could even if it was only their time and skills. Troupes of storytellers and performers would donate their time to my local library in the summer to make kids smile and believe in wondrous things. My father was always Santa for kid homes and holiday parties for families with little to have. I have been shown my entire life the light charity and costumes can bring to a child or a family, even for just a moment. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?

What is your favorite amusement park, and what is your favorite ride within that park?

In the past Wet-n-Wild and the lazy river, mostly because it was time with my Mom while the boys rode bigger and thrilling rides. Now I find I like parks much like Sea World where I can ride or walk under water and see an entire world I’ve never known.

Secret time: What is one thing about you that you think would surprise someone who thinks they know you pretty well.

I honestly don’t know. Some people are surprised to find I’m a Boudoir model, others that I’m a mermaid part time. I LARP and run into combat with bow and arrows in costume… There are all just parts of me that seem to surprise everyone at times.

Who is someone you really admire? They can be real or fictional, alive or passed on. What is it about them that you admire and why?

Louisa May Alcott and Robin Williams. One for her stories of lessons and patients that very much shape the mother and teacher I am today. The other for his smile and look on life even in darkness, this much shaped the friend and stranger I am to people. Both magical in their own way.