Calgary donor gives at-risk kids private Star Wars screening
Months of planning came to fruition Saturday, and there was pizza afterwards
A generous donor quietly helped 180 at-risk youth experience their own private screening of the new Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens, Saturday in Calgary.
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Larry Leach is with Cornerstone and says it was quite the experience for the group.
"We are celebrating the fact that a generous donor came forward to Kids Up Front and they got our youth involved in this and they got to see Star Wars for the first time, so pretty exciting time," Leach said.
"We were able to meet some characters and the whole bit so it was a really good experience for the kids."
The youth each took something unique away from the experience.
"I loved it," said 11-year-old Zachary Gaucher.
"It just had a great story and all of it just made sense. And one part, yeah, I may have not liked, but it was just a really good movie."
Joseph Legge said he likes the newness of The Force Awakens, the seventh in the franchise.
"There were a lot of new characters, and I guess they tried to change up a few things to make it more interesting," 12-year-old Legge said.
Harlee Code with Kids Up Front said, the anonymous donor went above and beyond.
"This has been in the planning for months and it came to fruition today," Code said.
"So he came to us to help organize groups of children in large numbers and to get them to the theatre to enjoy an amazing day at the movies, including snacks, drinks and all the trimmings."
Leach says the youth had a day they won't soon forget.
"Oh, it was electric. It was absolutely electric," Leach said. "There was excitement, and as soon as that music started there was cheering, and clapping and just lots of excitement."
Following the screening, the kids enjoyed a pizza party and compared notes.
"Even since I saw the first trailer for the movie I was like 'more Star Wars, Yes,'" Gaucher said.
Word of the special screening has spread with actor Mark Hamill tweeting his approval Sunday.
Helping the less fortunate embodies the very spirit of the saga. Bravo! Hope we all see more of this kindness. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TFA?src=hash">#TFA</a> <a href="https://t.co/GmuEtgVJVe">https://t.co/GmuEtgVJVe</a>—@HamillHimself
With files from Andrew Brown