NEW YORK, April 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- DK Publishing announced today a $95,000 children's book donation on behalf of the 501st Legion and Rebel Legion, two all-volunteer organizations of Star Wars™ costume enthusiasts who raise money for children's charities all over the world. The donation, a record-breaking amount for DK, was made to The Today Show Charitable Foundation, Inc., who dispersed over 7,000 new, full-color reference books to The Pajama Program for distribution to children across the country.
"We love our ever-growing relationship with the 501st and Rebel Legion volunteers," said Rachel Kempster, DK's Director of Marketing and Publicity. "They are devoted, caring groups of people, who are more than just our partners in business—we also consider them our friends." Kempster was inducted as an official Friend of the Legion at last year's Comic-Con International in San Diego by 501st Legion Officers Lesley Farquhar and Mark Chu-Lin of the Southern California and Central California Garrisons respectively.
2012 marks the fourth consecutive year DK and the Legions have partnered in spreading a love of reading and Star Wars™. "The 501st and Rebel Legions have attended hundreds of book events for us, from small gatherings at independent bookstores and public libraries to large conferences and tours such as Book Expo America and the forthcoming Attack of the Authors West Coast tour, kicking off in mid-April," said DK Publicity Manager Mindy Fichter. "I've grown to love the Star Wars™ universe throughout my tenure at DK and am so pleased we are part of the Legions' important mission."
"This donation from DK is a prime example of how many lives we can touch with our unique brand of volunteerism," said Dean Plantamura, a 501st Legion Public Relations Officer. "The men and women of the Legion donate their time and often commute great distances to bring a Star Wars presence to an event and smiles to children's faces. In 2011 alone, we estimate that the efforts of the 501st Legion helped raise more than $11,000,000 world wide to benefit charities all around the globe."
Editor's Notes About DK Publishing DK Publishing is the New York Times bestselling publisher known for its distinctive, highly visual books, eBooks and apps that inform, inspire and entertain readers of all ages. DK also publishes the award-winning Eyewitness series for children and Eyewitness Travel Guides. BradyGames and Rough Guides are also available from DK, a division of Penguin Group.
About the 501st Legion Since 1997, the costuming organization known as the 501st Legion has spread the magic of the Star Wars™ genre worldwide through its authentic-looking costumes, and has become the leading force in fan-based charity events. The 501st, also known as "Vader's Fist," is truly dedicated to brightening the lives of those less-fortunate.
About the Rebel Legion The Rebel Legion is an international Star Wars™ costuming organization that promotes the Star Wars™ franchise and helps others through charity work and community service. The Rebel Legion first appeared in mid-1999 and in the years since its formation, the group has grown from a few dozen Rebel costumers to the premier Rebel costuming group in the Star Wars™ community.