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Hey everyone, my name is Anthony Vernon. I was born in the suburbs of Chicago and have lived there for a good portion of my life. My exposure into cosplay is actually rather strange. I first learned about it when I spent a Saturday at ACEN in 2002. I was so excited to see all the costumes of my favorite game/anime characters. However at the time it was my only ACEN due to my various high school activities (Theater and multiple music ensembles).

Fast forward about 8 years to 2010. I had just returned to the suburbs from college and with the help of an old friend from HS (thank you again Katie) I was given the opportunity to attend ACEN for a full weekend. I jumped at the opportunity, and even decided to make an awesome costume (with the help of my friend Bethany).

I feel like I’ve come a long way since that ACEN. I’ve met many amazing cosplayers, made plenty of fun costumes and formed some great friendships. It wasn’t long that I learned about Costumers with a Cause, and decided to helping out with them. I always thought it was great to go to cons and have fun, but I also wanted to find a way to use my cosplaying to give back to the community. Being a part of this group has allowed me to bring joy to others, whether it be children or adults. I can’t wait to see what else happens on this journey, but I can definitely say that it’ll be a blessed and fantastic ride.

Q & A

How did you learn about CwC?

I think I learned about CWC through a few facebook friends.  I saw an event for the Fourth of July Parade and I wanted to try something new so I signed up and took part in it. The rest as they say is History.

What was your most memorable CwC event, and why?

I think my most memorable was the the Kicks with Kids event. I really enjoy working with kids, and seeing all the kids interact with everyone (even though I got beat up with a noodle numerous times) was so much fun.

Do you have a charity or cause that you hold closer to your heart than any other and if so, is there something you could teach us about that cause or charity?  

I’ve been beginning to follow STOMP Out Bullying more and more. Its an organization that tries to prevent Bullying and cyber bulling. I was bullied growing up, and it wasn’t until recently that I discovered some of the long term effects of bullying. I hope that someday we don’t have to worry about bullying and I feel that as a teacher and as a person, I hope that I can educate people and do my part to help others.

If you could cosplay any character at all without restriction to skill finances for costuming and so on, which character would it be, and why?  

The main one (That I actually plan on doing someday) is Cecil Harvey from Final Fantasy IV. This is a character that I have always related to because of his personality as well as his drive to help others His outfit is a customized set of Armor. Currently I am not well versed in making armor using things like worbla and since my time is often used up working, its something that I currently cannot set time aside for. One day, I do plan on making it happen though.

What are your hobbies/ interests outside of CWC?

I am big into video games and movies and music (I went to college majoring in Music Education with the Trombone being my main instrument). Pretty much anything that allows me to get out and spend time with friends and loved ones.
I’m also trying to get into reading a bit more (I just recently read Felicia Day’s memoir, Con Job by Laura Vanarendonk Baugh and in the middle of reading Bullied by Carrie Goldman), but…idk, I think some of my other hobbies get in the way of that (rubs head).

As we all know, the world is full of everyday heroes. Who would you consider to be your everyday hero and why do you consider them to be so?

This is a really tough question. I think right now one of my heroes would be Felicia Day. As I said above, I read her memoir which was very eye opening (not in a bad way). Seeing where she started off and where she is now is really inspiring. I had the opportunity to meet her in 2013 at C2E2 and I was surprised by her enthusiasm when I talked to her. She’s always trying to encourage other people to be comfortable with who they are and to ‘embrace their weird’. Growing up I’ve always been told not to be ashamed of who I was because of my quirks, and sometimes its nice to be reminded of that.

What is your favorite quote? What makes it meaningful to you? (Could be related to anything but explaining why is helpful)

Its always hard for me to choose just one favorite quote because I love quotes and their deeper meaning. A favorite I can think of off the top of my head is one from Doctor Who: “900 years of Time and Space and I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t important.” The reason I like this quote so much has to do with the fact that a being who has been through various points throughout history and various places has probably met so many people throughout his 900+ years. And for someone with that much life experience to say something like that means a lot. It shows that even whenever we may feel that we aren’t making a difference in this world, that in the end we are special and bring something unique to the world.

If you could give any advice to someone new to cosplaying what would it be?

Don’t be afraid to try new things and not have it work out. When we have things that don’t work out, it just helps us to realize what we can do to fix it down the line. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help either. People are around and willing to help out. Obviously, CwC does a lot of events centered around kids with chronic and sometimes life threatening illnesses.

How does it make you feel when we do events for them?

I love working with kids. While working with kids that have illnesses, it makes me realize that time in life is short. If I’m able to give a child some ounce of happiness just for a few hours of a day, it brings me a great amount of joy. Sometimes a small gesture like that might make all the worlds of difference to a small child.

Okay, last one. If you could do anything, go anywhere without limitations of any sort, where would you go , what would you do there, and why would you choose this place?

I would love to travel to Japan and maybe a few places in Europe like England, France, and Greece. I really want to check out the culture thats involved in those countries. I want to see the landmarks, learn more about the history, and see a different style of life.

Thank you so much for all you have done with Costumers With A Cause Anthony!!! We couldn’t be the awesome group we are without people like you!!!