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Mandalorians, characters drawn from the Star Wars backstory, paid a personal visit to grieving kids in Southeast

DAVID F. ASHTON - To the delight of the kids - all clients of The Dougy Center for Grieving Children on S.E. 52nd - members of the Mandalorian Mercs Costume Club march in. Although none of them were actually heard speaking "Mando'a" – the language of the fictional planet Mandalore, created by George Lucas as part of the Star Wars films – the Mandalorians who visited The Dougy Center for Grieving Children on December 15 certainly looked authentic.

The children participating in The Dougy Center programs were delighted, as two groups roared into the center on S.E. 52nd Avenue, just south of Foster Road, in the Creston-Kenilworth neighborhood.

Astride motorcycles were members of the "Mandalorians Riding Club"; and arriving ahead of them, in full battle armor, were a four members of the related "Mandalorian Mercs Costume Club".

"Our founding members were 'nerds at heart'! Realizing their love for motorcycles, and their love of Star Wars nerd culture, they founded a club that brings these things together," explained "Deuce Mando" to THE BEE. He asked we not use his given name.

"Last year, our two clubs got together to help out The Dougy Center; and together this year we've raised about $2,000, and are bringing toys here this year as well," Mando said.

DAVID F. ASHTON - Even before the costumed visitors got inside The Dougy Center, young Kenny was clearly pumped up by the visit of these Mandalorian Mercs. "As a member of both clubs, the best part of this for me is seeing the excitement and joy on the faces of kids here, and at other nonprofit organizations where we visit kids throughout the year," exclaimed Victor Souto, who arrived on a motorcycle.

"In partnership with Rogue Toys, Excalibur Comics, and the Nerd Out Bar, they've been collecting toys and supplies for The Dougy Center this Holiday Season," the Center's Development Manager, Linda Miles, told THE BEE.

"While it seems like everyone enjoys the Star Wars stories, the Mandalorians are especially popular, thanks to the new show on The 'Disney Plus' streaming network, which also features Baby Yoda," Miles explained. "Both the financial contribution, as well as the toys and supplies, help sustain our work with grieving children and families in our support groups."

Learn more about the services of The Dougy Center by visiting their website – www.dougy.org


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