The 501st Legion, the 10,000-strong worldwide organization of “bad guys (and girls) doing good” has donated the largest single gift ever to Rancho Obi-Wan, the nonprofit 501(c)(3) museum that houses the Guinness World Records-certified largest collection of Star Wars memorabilia.
In making the donation, which came from fundraising at Star Wars Celebration Orlando 2017 and was the same amount contributed to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the 501st said: “Please use the donation to continue spreading the wonder and excitement of the Star Wars universe, the art of collecting and the camaraderie that comes with sharing a passion.”
Rancho Obi-Wan became a nonprofit and started giving tours to the public in November, 2011. It will celebrate its sixth anniversary with a fundraising gala on Nov. 4, 2017.
Rancho’s purpose is to serve the public through the collection, conservation, exhibition and interpretation of Star Wars memorabilia and artifacts, using the collection to provide meaningful educational, aesthetic, intellectual and cultural experiences for a wide array of audiences and to carry out other charitable and educational activities associated with this goal.
Funds raised are used for insurance, utilities, professional services, maintenance on the buildings, and protection and preservation of the collection. None is used to acquire collectibles. Monies raised also enable Rancho Obi-Wan to perform public outreach to schools and other charitable organizations and to support community programs.
“We want to thank the 501st for this surprise and most generous gift, which we’ll use to further our goals and meet some pressing needs,” said Steve Sansweet, chairman, and Anne Neumann, vice president and curator. “The men and women of the 501st have always been huge supporters and volunteers at our events. We are thankful to call so many members friends.”