Hudson Valley Ghostbusters
Hudson Valley Ghostbusters, Inc, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit committed to helping our local community and having some fun along the way
2023 Year In Review
Hello all, and Happy Holidays!
Another year, another season of slime, fundraising, and fun for the Hudson Valley Ghostbusters!
As I write this, it's nearly Christmas. At HQ, that means our tree is up, the stockings are hung, and the Ecto-1G is covered with more lights than usual. It also means we catch up on our year-end record keeping and take stock of our accomplishments over the past 12 months.
Overall, it was a slower year for us, from an events perspective. We had fewer appearances than usual, although with the exceptionally rainy conditions over the summer, that's not surprising. From a growth perspective, however, we were anything but slow!
Thanks to the recruiting initiative we put in place in 2022, we brought on 7 new Ghostbusters to the HVGB team! That puts our number to over 25 now, an impressive crew for a small nonprofit. What's even more impressive is that this crew does this as volunteers. They do it for a love of Ghostbusters and helping others through fundraising. It takes a special breed; putting on a flight suit that doesn't breathe well in the heat, strapping 15-30 pounds (sometimes more!) of equipment to their backs, standing for hours at a time, sometimes for a whole weekend. Plus doing it with a smile and usually being stained with slime!
Recently, my wife and fellow HVGB co-founder, Tara, said to me, "You know, we really have built a little community." It made me realize it's true, and it's awesome. When we started this company of cosplayers in 2017, I never expected it would reach the heights it has.
The people we've added to the team along the way have become close friends. We chat constantly and share in the excitement and sadness of life's experiences. We go down rabbit holes of theories about photos or posters or videos from the new Ghostbusters movie. We share the things we are building, and the techniques to help our fellow 'busters with their builds. We support each other when we need it.
The old saying goes that it's tough making new friends when you get older, but I will respectfully disagree. As a younger man, I only had a few close friends. I'm still close with a couple, and I'm forever thankful to have them in my life. However, I turned 40 this year, and I also now have a team of over 20 new friends. I've met and closely befriended more people after I turned 35 than any other time in my life!
Bringing this back to the business; this team, my friends, continued to bring their A-game this year. We developed new ideas for fundraising, and they have been working excellently! Despite the slower year, we still raised nearly $4500 in funds for our various charity partners. Our total raised since forming as a group is just about $20,000. $20,000 from a group of folks dressed as Ghostbusters.
Who would ever have expected that?! I wouldn't have. I'd always hoped, but I'd never expected it.
To say I'm proud of Hudson Valley Ghostbusters is a gross understatement. There aren't enough words to describe the elation of being with this team. Everyone brings something to the table; everyone has input to help in continuing to grow this business and uphold our mission of helping those in need. Hudson Valley Ghostbusters makes Ghostbusting look good!
To sign off, I'll share a quote I love from Peter Capaldi's 12th Doctor, from the TV show Doctor Who. This quote embodies the idea that HVGB is built on, and is a sentiment we should all strive for:
"Remember that hatred is always foolish, and love is always wise. Always try to be nice, but never fail to be kind."
On behalf of the entire team at Hudson Valley Ghostbusters, I wish everyone a very safe and happy holiday season, and look forward to seeing you all in 2024!
-Matthew Bennett, HVGB Executive Director