Fandoms Unite Against Cancer
By: Melissa Williams
Do you collect rare television and movie memorabilia? Do enjoy getting autographs? Do you want to help banish cancer one generous dollar at a time? Well, pull out those credit cards and prepare your fandom heart because there is a charity auction going on that you do not want to miss.
Cue flashback. It was 2010 and friends Jo Garfein and Jared Wong came up with a brilliant plan. Fandoms have some of the most dedicated fans, so why couldn’t that passion and love be channeled toward a great cause? From that idea, the non-profit charitable endeavor Cancer Gets LOST was born.
After two years spent collecting memorabilia, CGL’s first charity auction opened in 2012 with a bang! LOST alumni traveled to Los Angeles for a live webcast and fan party that drew tons of fans to the cause. The auction was exciting and successful. That year, in honor of Jo’s inspirational friend Jackie, 100% net proceeds were donated directly to the National Brain Tumor Society. At age thirty-three, Jackie passed away not long after the auction, but her memory lives on, continuing to inspire others. Her NBT memorial campaign is a reminder of how to truly live a life. She was adventurous and courageous and she knew she could make a difference. In fact, she raised over $210,000 for cancer research in four years.
Says Jo, “We were inspired to create CGL because my good friend Jackie was diagnosed with brain cancer, and I felt strongly compelled to do something for her. Together with my friend and fellow LOST fan Jared, we created CGL to utilize social media combined with the generosity of online fan communities, to inspire fellow fans down a path toward the greater good. It took us two years to acquire enough items for a large online charity auction, as well as get the memorabilia signed when possible. That is now our business model, as it gives us time for new item acquisitions and autographs, and allows fans the time to save money for the auctions every two years!”
In September of 2014, CGL partnered with Blacksparrow Auctions to host their second auction. That year, $80,000 (100% net proceeds) were raised and donated to the American Cancer Society in support of Jo’s mother-in-law, who is currently battling Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. This week marked the first day of the third ever CGL auction, with 100% net proceeds going to Alex’s Lemonade Stand, a foundation dedicated to making a difference for children with cancer. This auction is in memory of Jo and Jared’s friend Bonnie Craft – a major CGL supporter and LOST fan who passed away in 2014. You can read more about this inspirational women here. According to Garfein, “With each major online CGL charity auction, we designate a specific cancer charity to receive the net proceeds from the auction. There is always a personal connection and, sadly, I feel as though there always will be. Cancer is pervasive and it touches absolutely everyone; that is why CGL fundraises for all types of cancer to get lost…this auction benefits Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer because too many friends are losing young family members to cancer.”
Bidding for this year’s auction recently began, but registration is open worldwide (here) until the auction’s end on September 3rd. This is good news for any newcomers to the event because there is a ton of rare and fantastic merchandise to bid on. In fact, the auction contains more than 450 items from over sixty TV shows and eighteen films, most of which are signed.
Here is an alphabetical list of the shows and films that are represented in the auction: 10 Cloverfield Lane, The 100, Agent Carter, Alcatraz, Alias, American Horror Story, Arrow, Bates Motel, The Big Bang Theory, Breaking Bad, Captain America: Winter Soldier, Castle, Colony, The Comeback, Dexter, Doctor Who, Fear the Walking Dead, Firefly, The Flash, Friday The 13th, Friday Night Lights, Fringe, Game of Thrones, Glee, Gotham, Gremlins, Guardians of the Galaxy, Hawaii 5-O, Heroes, House of Cards, The Incredibles, Jericho, The Jungle Book, The Leftovers, Lost, Love Actually, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Middleman, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Once Upon a Time, Orange is the New Black, Orphan Black, Person of Interest, Saturday Night Live, Scandal, Sesame Street, The Shield, Smallville, Sons of Anarchy, Star Trek: Beyond, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Supernatural, Tomorrowland, Twin Peaks, V, The Vampire Diaries, The Walking Dead, The West Wing, The X-Files, and more.
Once the auction ends on September 3rd, the total amount of money donated will be revealed. Until then, the following is a small snapshot of what bidding is currently like:
The item getting the most traction is a one-of-a-kind original script cover page for episode 307 of The 100. That controversial episode, titled “Thirteen,” holds quite a significance for Clexa fans, so it is no wonder the page has such a high bid, especially since it is signed by Eliza Taylor (Clarke Griffin), Alycia Debnam-Carey (Lexa) and producer Javier Grillo-Marxuach, who previously owned it. Last I checked, the bidding was at $3250, and will no doubt continue to rise.
The second most-expensive item in the auction is another Clexa item and it is probably my favorite item in the entire auction. It is an authentic production copy of Clarke’s drawing of Lexa from episode 306. Created by the prop department of The 100 and shipped directly from the set in Vancouver, it is as stunning as Alycia herself.
While these two items are surly expensive, don’t let the price deter you from bidding. All proceeds go to a great cause and there are plenty of other items with current bids in the $20 to $50 range. Of course, if direct bidding doesn’t suit you, there is always the option to donate straight to the cause. In fact, because of ongoing donations to Cancer Gets LOST, CGL was able to cover all buyer’s premiums for this auction, saving winning bidders a substantial fee.
Truly, CGL is an impressive entity, especially considering it is a 2-person operation. But Jo and Jared give all the credit to the fans, actors and creative teams behind the scenes who have made CGL a success. Jo notes, “CGL exists and thrives because of amazing fans and the kindness of friends in the entertainment industry. We are so appreciative for every single item donated or signed, for all contributions to the cause and for the ongoing support.”
Again, the auction closes Saturday, September 3rd. That leaves you with plenty of time to read up on the auction process and get bidding! As you do, why don’t you share this information with fellow fans? As Jo hinted, beating cancer is a team effort. Good luck, happy bidding and know that whether you win or not, you are helping cancer to get lost and that is some swagger in and of itself.