October 1, 2004
All of the attendees began lining up at noon in the Grand Ballroom
to pick up their registration materials. Everyone was so excited
to see old friends and to chat with new friends while waiting. We
picked up an envelope that had tickets for everything we had
pre-ordered, including our dinner entrées and event gear. Then we
picked up our registration bag – it was absolutely loaded with
goodies! Candies, cups, pens, paper pads, a Beanie Baby, and tons
of other neat stuff from clubs, dealers, HBC, and HOP! Next stop
was to pick up our event pieces and event gear. Then we deposited
our prepaid raffle tickets in the bucket anticipating the big
raffle on Sunday.
After mingling with friends, it was time for the games to start.
Everyone who wanted to play the HK games was given a colored
button. The color of your button indicated which cluster of
balloons your team was located by. The first game was a Scavenger
Hunt. The twist, however, was that the items on the list had to be
on someone's person right then and there - no going elsewhere to
find it! The second game was an outside Treasure Hunt where
contestants had to locate various landmarks in the blocks near the
hotel and answer questions associated with them. After these games
were completed, the top two teams moved on to the final match – a
Family Feud: HK Style – to determine who had bragging rights as
the winning team! Members of these two teams answered questions
relating to Harmony Kingdom categories and pieces.
Participation in the games was excellent! And everyone enjoyed
Harmony Ball set up a display in the Warwick Suite of upcoming
Harmony Kingdom releases as well as current releases in the Lynda
Pleet menagerie, Story-Time by Olszewski, and others. A
representative from HBC was available to answer questions and to
chat about the various lines.
Throughout the weekend, Door Prizes were awarded to attendees.
Names were periodically called out and the winners received their
door prize. Everyone was a winner in the Door Prize giveaway!
A surprise guest at the event was Martin Perry! It was absolutely
delightful to have Martin join us in Philadelphia. He chatted with
attendees about Harmony Kingdom and his new line, Fragile World,
which has caught the hearts of many HK collectors.
After a short break, attendees gathered on the 3rd floor of the
hotel for a very nice reception. A string quartet provided
background and we were treated to a sumptuous array of food and
drink! It was a great opportunity for folks to meet and greet.
Following the reception, a number of collectors opened their rooms
for Room Hopping. HOP provided balloons to be placed on the doors
so that we could look down the halls and see which rooms were open
for us to visit and possible purchase some secondary market HK
The Hospitality Suite was open during the day's events and was it
ever nice! It was in the Presidential Suite of the hotel and
featured so many amenities it was unbelievable! It even had an
bathtub! Now, that's luxury! The Hospitality Suite provided drinks
and snacks, including some great baked treats provided by Jessie
Pierce (Aunt Foda)! A wonderful place to sit and chat with other
collectors and it was open pretty much the entire weekend. A wide
variety of volunteers took turns playing "host" in the Hospitality
Saturday, October 2, 2004
The morning began early with the HOP Annual Meeting for delegates
and alternates from the various independent collector clubs.
Elections of HOP officers were held and other business discussed
that will be relayed to your clubs.
Then the Paint Your Own activity and the Lucky Dip got underway in
the Grand Ballroom. Tables were set up and paints were placed on
the tables for collectors participating in the Paint Your Own.
After working diligently, collector artists submitted their
masterpieces for judging by Peter Calvesbert, Monique Baldwin and
Noel Wiggins. We have some very artistic folks amongst us! Some
collectors were so engrossed in their efforts that the morning
hours were no enough time, so they moved over to the Warwick Room
to continue painting for a few more hours.
The Lucky Dip had an incredible number of prizes available! And it
wasn't long before all the tickets had been sold and the prize
table stripped of all the goodies!
The afternoon was set aside for the Swap 'n Sell and more signing
by Peter and Monique. Approximately 20 people had retired HK and
other collectibles for sale at the Swap 'n Sell. It was very well
attended and the sellers were, in general, pleased with their
Included in the morning and afternoon events were piece signings
by Peter Calvesbert and Monique Baldwin. Collectors were given a
signing ticket (which was a nice collectible by itself!) for a
specific time to have their pieces signed. A surprise for everyone
was the presence of Martin at the signing tables, in the morning as
well. Because all of the event pieces were signed in advance of
the event, collectors were able to get their other treasures
signed by these great artists!
Saturday night was the wonderful event banquet - the Murphy's
Marble Dust Awards! Everyone looked so nice - all dressed up and
beaming! The dinner was outstanding and served very nicely by the
Following dinner, the Murphy Awards were announced. The awards
were given to a specific piece in a number of categories. A
volunteer collector represented each piece. The politicking
leading up to the final vote was one of the highlights of the
weekend! Some of the representatives dressed up in costumes and
others gave out treats in order to entice votes for their piece. The battles were hard-fought and it was glorious to win! We even
had one winner removed from the stage by the hook since her speech
ran too long!! It was heard that one of the nominees in that
category admitted that while she really wanted to win, she was
happy that she didn't miss the acceptance speech of all time!
HBC decided to raffle the Lynda Pleet and Olszewski Story-Time
items displayed rather than ship them back to Columbus. The
drawings were held at dinner and raised around $2,000 for NAMI.
Sunday, October 3, 2004
Sunday started off with a delicious brunch buffet for attendees.
The food was so yummy! Following the meal, the raffle drawings
were held. Talk about some fantastic pieces! As names were called,
the ticket-holder proceeded to the goody table to choose their
prize. The raffle assisted HOP in making the event profitable and
provided a $5,000 donation to The Aark, a wildlife rehabilitation
center in Philadelphia.
After the raffle, the auction was conducted. Proceeds from the
auction were donated to NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally
Ill) and amounted to $11,900! Many of the items were
one-of-a-kind and bidding was frantic! Volunteers walked amongst
the tables showing the piece currently up for bid.
After the conclusion of the auction, folks began preparing for
their departures from the hotel and Philadelphia. Many of us had a
very difficult time getting all of our goodies safely tucked away
in luggage for the trip home! But we all left with such good
memories of the weekend spent with other Marble Dust Addicts! And,
now, we are looking forward to the next one!
you, everyone, for making this event a success!
LET FREEDOM RING!
NEWSFLASH - NOVEMBER 3, 2003
NEWSFLASH UPDATE - FEBRUARY 12, 2004
NEWSFLASH UPDATE - JULY 29, 2004
NEWSFLASH UPDATE - OCTOBER 7, 2004
NEWSFLASH UPDATE - DECEMBER 12, 2004
"MURPHY'S MARBLE DUST AWARDS"
LET FREEDOM RING! COMMITTEE
LIVE CHARITY AUCTION
RAFFLE OF A LIFETIME