What do you expect from a Science Fiction Fan Club? For most, it’s the chance to get together with like-minded people, who share a common interest and love for all things Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and yes, a little Horror thrown in for good measure.
Most meeting nights for the RISFC consist of some type of theme, like a Trivia Night or Halloween party, but the majority of the time, it’s just ‘hanging around’, swapping stories and theories about the latest TV show, movie, book, or comics. We also go to lots of Conventions.
My question for you is: should that be enough?
Here’s the thing. I’m 60, and at this age, my basement is chock full of cool stuff I’ve collected over the decades, I still read comics, I try to whittle down my too-long book reading list, and I enjoy the Summer Movie season. I look forward to getting together with my friends each month, but lately, I have to be honest, I’ve been wanting more. Let me expand on that.
My upbringing was Catholic Christian, and as a Teen, my family was heavily involved in CYO (Catholic Youth Organization). Most of my growing up years consisted of Prayer Meetings, singing at Saturday night Mass, and Youth Retreats. It taught me that a person is at their best, when being of service to others. Today, that’s spilled over into my career, working with special needs students.
How does this fit into a Club like the RISFC? I look at the two ‘Can’t Stop The Serenity’ events we’ve hosted, and am proud of the work we did for that charity. We’ve gone back and forth about helping other charities, but have gotten nowhere (oh, we did also collect supplies for a local animal shelter). I look at guys like Matches Malone, who dresses as Batman, and donates his time to TONS of charity work; a perfect example of serving others, while enjoying his love for comics, and the SF genre. I think we should be doing more of this. In fact, I think we should consider ‘rebranding’ ourselves as an organization with members who donate their time and talent to charity work FIRST, and hang around talking about all things SF second.
An example: “Do you like all things Sci-Fi? Check. Do you think the world these days is a conflicted, intolerant mess, and that people should step up and help others, instead of tearing each other down? Check. Do you want to make a positive difference in this world, working to actually solving problems, instead of just complaining? Check. Then do I have a Sci-Fi Club for you: the RISFC!
But, but, that takes time and energy! Yes, yes it does, but it’s actually possible to find a nice balance between charity work, and enjoying this SF world we love so much. This 60 year old RISFC Founding Father thinks we should be doing more to help others, which in the end, will likely attract more members. We may alienate and lose some who are only interested in ‘sitting around’, but if we want the RISFC to have a future, this needs to be done.
Think about it, and please offer some (constructive) feedback.