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Community Work

Event Organizing
I conceived and co-created Pinellas County's largest comic con in 2014. Held at St. Petersburg College's Seminole Campus, it was the 2nd most attended event ever at the campus, surpassed only by President Obama's campaign visit in 2012. Over 3,500 visitors enjoyed vendors, panel discussions, live entertainment, and costume contests - all with free admission! In following years, our family-friendly convention had over 5,000 attendees.

In 2018, I organized Hamil-Fest - Florida's first major event for fans of the Broadway's Hamilton. I saw the opportunity to create this free event when I learned that the Alexander Hamilton Awareness Society is based in Pinellas County. We had as guests the widow of Hamilton's great-great-grandson and a panel of history experts. I was able to get St. Pete College's Gibbs Campus to host the event so dozens of enthusiastic young people could compete in an on-stage talent contest. We had vendors, presentations, games, and an escape room. I created a mini-golf course based on events from Hamilton's life.  







Church VBS sets

I created large scale stage sets and activity hall sets for vacation bible school at my church, Chapel on the Hill in Seminole, Florida. Dozens of elementary age neighborhood children enjoy the immersive experience each summer, which brings fantastic themes to life.

My constructions for summer 2009's Rome theme included a 16-foot-wide cardboard Roman coliseum facade, a 6 foot tall temple with columns and life-sized paper mache statues. 

For summer 2010's Galactic Blast theme, I constructed a 14-foot-long space shuttle play set using cardboard, pvc pipes, shower curtains, foam noodles and an old plastic lawn play set.  I also designed a full-stage control center, using cardboard, foil and bottle caps.



Costumes

Rocket Raccoon costume 
Paper mache cow skull

My hand-crafted costumes have been both purposeful and award-winning.

My Rocket Raccoon suit was big hit everywhere. The giant cardboard & plywood gun helped make me look small by comparison. The fluffy tail was made of large synthetic fiber dusters, colored with fabric paint.

The rhino-like alien Judoon (from Doctor Who) won a few first prizes including the 2016 TimeLord Fest contest.  Mostly made of paper mache and duct tape.

I created and wore a pelican costume for the February 2010 Hands Across the Sand demonstration in Pinellas County. The non-political event included about 10,000 citizens, business owners and politicians on the Florida coast voicing their opposition to the environmental threat of near-shore drilling. The costume was designed for maximum photographic/emotional impact and cost me $15 to build.  It was necessary to make it waterproof, to allow for reuse after pouring imitation oil (chocolate syrup) on it. Paper mache over wire mask, sealed with polyurethane (obtained for free from the county recycling center). Feathers and mouth-sack crafted from shower liners. Acrylic paint.


 

Harry Potter platform cart
Harry Potter Event

I recreated this train station scene from the Harry Potter stories as a photo op for a couple of local events celebrating the release of the 2016 Harry Potter books. Materials used were mostly old vintage family luggage. I used bolt cutters to shape a discarded grocery cart. 








Parade Float

For the 2010 City of Seminole Pow Wow Parade, I designed and led the construction of the float for Seminole Goes Green. The replica of the city water tower promoted the location of the county recycling center. 
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Election Campaign

I assisted in my wife's successful election campaign for Seminole City Council in March 2009. I handled the graphic design for her website, newspaper ads, postcards, door hangers and outdoor signs. We actually campaigned in the two previous races and learned a whole lot about local elections. It was a lot of hard work, but the eventual victory was sweet, as Patricia got even more votes for her non-partisan council seat than the former State Representative.
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English Language Tutoring

Twice a month, I volunteer to help teach English to immigrants and refugees in the mid-county area through a United Methodist Church Ministries program. My knowledge of Spanish helps, while we serve a variety of nationalities.