30 Jun Arnold Day Raises Money For CJ Foundation
It’s back. Not Arnold Schwarzenegger, but the fun and fundraising day called appropriately, Arnold Day, co-founded by University of Central Florida graduate and Woo Creative founder Ryan Boylston – a child of the ’80s and die-hard Schwarzenegger fan. Now in its 11th year, Boylston, of Delray Beach, has been inviting the film star – known for his physique and action films – to attend a birthday party in his honor on Aug. 1 at the Lazy Moon Pizza parlor near the UCF campus in Orlando.
“It started with just a few of us watching Arnold videos,” said Boylston, whose favorite Schwarzenegger films are “Terminator II” and the 1990 comedy “Kindergarten Cop.” “Initially it was a spontaneous, unplanned gathering and the following year people were asking us, ‘Are you going to do Arnold Day again?,’ he said. “It snowballed each year. After we graduated, it turned into a reunion event.” More than 1,200 fans come dressed as their favorite character or purchase merchandise, including the specially designed polymorphic T-shirt depicting a square-jawed Schwarzenegger with his Terminator face holding a fistful of balloons. Boylston said the event has become so popular the bar expanded from 1,200 square feet to 4,000 square feet to accommodate the crowd.
On the Arnold Day website (arnoldday.com), Boylston said, “Way back when, it was a simple concept… two Arnold fans, a 19-inch TV, a VCR (that’s right, a VCR) and the greatest pizza/beer establishment in Orlando.” Lazy Moon co-owner Tim Brown said, “Ryan’s awesome. On Arnold Day, we’ll serve German or Austrian beers, bratwurst pizza and the event has caught on with both employees and customers.” “We’re not sure Arnold will show up, but it’s a fun day either way,” he said. After founding Woo Creative, an ad agency, in 2008, Boylston was looking for ways to support local charities. He chose the Boynton Beach-based CJ Foundation, founded in 2007 by Stacey Staley, which provides financial resources to help families with special needs children, including those with autism.
Boylston has a cousin with autism and understands the challenges families face. He said she hopes to raise $20,000 for the foundation. “The monies we raise are for kids to receive therapy not covered by insurance,” he said. “This therapy can change the trajectory of a child’s life.” According to Boylston, a portion of the day’s proceeds (anything purchased at the event) will go to the CJ Foundation, but the online crowd funding campaign is contingent upon Schwarzenegger showing up at the event. “Ryan’s been good to us,” said Staley, who also has a nephew with autism. “He supported our gala in May and he and his family volunteer at our respite program.” “We’re blessed to have him and Woo Creative step up,” she said.
For more information, including merchandise and ways to contribute, visit arnoldday.com, like the Facebook page and follow on Twitter @Arnold_Day, #ArnoldDay or visit cjsids.org. READ SUN SENTINEL ARTICLE