This article was originally published at DC Infinite on April 15, 2014.
Legend Comics & Coffee, an Omaha, NE comic book store, is sponsoring its third annual fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Starting in 2012, Legend has sold drawing tickets during the month leading up to Free Comic Book Day. The drawing includes a wide variety of prizes, but is always headlined by a valuable comic book. The drawing is national in its scope. Legend will mail prizes (with the best of packaging and protection) anywhere in the United States. The fundraiser page can be found here.
Legend provided copies of Amazing Fantasy #15 (the first appearance of Spider-Man) and Spider-Man #1 in 2012 and 2013, respectively. This year they are giving away a copy of The Walking Dead #1 with a CGC rating of 9.6. It is valued at approximately $ 4,300. In addition, the grand prize will grow as more money is raised, creating a drawing for another copy of The Walking Dead #1 (CGC rating 9.4) after $20,000 has been collected.
All money raised from the fundraiser goes directly to Make-A-Wish. All of the comics and prizes are donated by Legend and local businesses. The time, advertising, and Paypal fees involved are all paid by the store. The intention of this policy is that 100% of all money raised goes directly to Make-A-Wish.
The fundraiser was inspired by Alyssa, the niece of co-owner David DeMarco. David met Alyssa at his wedding reception when he married her aunt, Michelle. He learned that Alyssa was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at the age of five. She spent over two years in the hospital and during that time she received a wish from Make-A-Wish.
Alyssa and her family accredit her survival to the experience. DeMarco says, “It was this wish that gave her the happy memories to cling to when being sick all the time got tough. It was the wish that ensured that no matter what happened, her family, mom, dad, brothers and sister, would have a memory of their daughter and sister that didn’t involve the hospital.”
DeMarco, partnered with co-owners Jason Dasenbrock and Wendy Pivonka, and store manager Joe Patrick to open the new location of Legend Comics & Coffee one month after his wedding. DeMarco says, “In that month, I decided to do something that would make my niece proud… I owned an entire comic book store, there was only one thing to do: use my position as a comic book store owner to make a difference in the world.”
Legend Comics & Coffee has encountered a great deal of success since opening their new location. They recently received their second nomination for the Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award and will be traveling to San-Diego Comic Con for the ceremony this summer. They are part of a thriving comics scene in the Omaha area and are well known for their welcoming atmosphere, knowledgeable staff, and community building events. It is considered by both locals and visitors to be a “must see” comic shop.
DeMarco spoke of the incredible gratitude he feels for both the success of his shop and the opportunity he has been given to help others. “Thanks to Alyssa for being the best niece an uncle could ask for, and thanks to Make A Wish for giving children a chance to hope”
If you would like to donate to the Legend Comics & Coffee 3rd Annual Make-A-Wish Fundraiser, you can follow the links listed below. Winners outside of the Omaha area will be able to receive their prizes through the mail.