A few months ago, I started volunteering (with my daughters) with SCARE for a CURE.  It started as a bit of a lark, I’ll admit.  I’ve known a few people that have been involved with SCARE for a few years, and every Fall I kept telling myself I’d make it out to see the Haunted House, but never did.  Then this year, my youngest daughter, a Girl Scout, told me that she wanted to earn a special 100th Anniversary Girl Scout Badge by volunteering 100 hours by the end of the year.  I admit it, I went into a bit of a mild panic – what could I possibly find for a 10-year-old to do that we would BOTH find interesting?

She *loves* cats.  No, really, she ADORES cats.  It’s part of her email address, actually.  So I checked into us volunteering in the feline bottle babies unit at the local Animal Shelter.  She got Extremely Excited at the thought that she could feed and play with tiny kittens and Get Credit for doing Good Work at the same time.  No good.  She has to be something like 14 or 16 in order to be able to handle the babies and feed them.  Oh, well…

Then, in the middle of the month, a young man with whom I am acquainted posted on Facebook that he was going to be attending a Volunteer Party and Audition for the upcoming SCARE haunt.  I looked at the available information online and discovered that it should be quite easy, between Build and Haunt Run nights and Strike days, to accumulate 100 hours.  Plus, my kids both dig that kind of thing.  When I asked them if they might be interested in being actors in a Haunted House, they flipped (in a good way)!  The older daughter goes to a school that requires a certain amount of Community Service, and this certainly qualifies.  SCARE for a CURE is a non-profit, and proceeds from their annual Haunted House go to benefit the Breast Cancer Resource Centers of Texas.  A very worthy cause!

So we went to the party, I saw a couple of people I know, we learned about the theme for the then-upcoming Haunt (“Summer Camp Massacre!”), we auditioned for and got roles, and plans were made to start going out to Build weekends.  I won’t bore you with all the details, but suffice to say that over the next several months, we all made some new friends, and had a lot of fun.  During the course of my involvement with the Haunt, it occurred to me that I wanted to become more involved with the organization.  I mentioned this to a few key people.  Last weekend, we had the Wrap Party, and the Business Meeting.  New managers were announced for this year’s Haunt, and we voted on the Board of Directors.

Guess who is the new Volunteer Director?  Yep, that would be me.

This is what I do.  I get involved in a group that I like, I make friends, and next thing you know, I’m on the Board.  It happened when I started hanging out with my then-boyfriend at his monthly autocrosses, and I ended up being the Secretary.  It happened when I started playing in my orchestra, and I ended up being a Board Member at Large for several years.  And now it’s happened again.  Maybe one day I’ll learn…  Nah, probably not!  Anyway, I’ve already made friends with several people on the Board, and look forward to getting to know the others soon.

The President and Director for SCARE, Jarrett Crippen (aka The Defuser, winner of Season 2 of Stan Lee’s Who Wants To Be a Superhero?), is one such example, and I owe him a debt of gratitude.  Because he’s a bit of a celebrity, he has become affiliated with the Wizard World Comic Cons.  It’s probably not a huge secret that I want to take my Stage Hypnosis show on the road, preferably in conjunction with seminars on Weight Loss and Smoking Cessation.  I enjoy traveling (although I will always come back home to roost), and I enjoy entertaining and helping people – wouldn’t it be GREAT if I could do all of that at once???  It occurred to me that perhaps Wizard World could be a good vehicle for me to get started on that path, and I asked Jarrett if he thought it would be a good fit.  So he has kindly introduced me (via email) to the man responsible for selecting and running all the panels at all the Wizard World shows.  I don’t know if anything will come out of it, but at least the idea has been planted!

Another very exciting development for me is the addition of Virtual Gastric Band hypnosis to my practice.  I met Sheila Granger in Las Vegas last June, where she and I were both attending Jerry Valley’s Ultimate Stage Hypnosis Seminar.  Immediately following that, Sheila offered a 3-day seminar on her Virtual Gastric Band system.  One of the other hypnotists I met in Las Vegas has lost more than 50 pounds.  Sheila’s process has recently finished clinical trials in the UK and I am eagerly anticipating being able to read (and promote) the results!  I’m very excited to add this revolutionary technique to my hypnosis repertoire, and deeply honored to be able to help people from all over lose their excess weight!

Yes, it looks like 2013 is shaping up to be a REALLY good year!