Conventions, big or small, can be a place for cosplayers to meet each other and for artists to sell their work. (Source: Mariahn Seavello and Sami Arrington) Photo credit: Sami Arrington

Traditional fundraising involves making phone calls and pestering people with long-winded speeches until they give in and donate, but several Weber State University students have found a less obnoxious, more creative way to raise money for foreign exchange trips to Japan.

With help from Japan Study Abroad advisers, a group of students is hosting the second Wildcat Mini Con on April 22 at WSU. All of the profits (aside from vendor earnings) will go directly to WSU students.

“There are no side fees. There’s no money being spent anywhere else. It goes directly to the students, and it’s supposed to help them be able to succeed in their study abroad,” Mariahn Seavello, student coordinator for the event, said.

The students struggled last year while brainstorming ways to raise the money, until Seavello pitched the idea of a cosplay convention — and Wildcat Mini Con was born.

Wildcat Mini Con will have all the usual con events, just on a smaller scale. Cosplayers will don their best attire for a cosplay contest, and vendors will set up booths to sell their art.

Cosplayers spend a lot of time and money on their costumes, often to compete in contests like the ones at the Wild Cat Mini Con. (Source: Mariahn Seavello and Sami Arrington) Photo credit: Sami Arrington

“This year, we are planning to have more things to do in between discussion panels and the cosplay contest,” Janae Jensen, adviser for the Japan Study Abroad Program, said.

More things, in this case, means Matsuri (a kind of Japanese festival) booths and games, including fishing, target shooting and yo-yo ball.

A pre-event will be held at the Ice Sheet near the Dee Events Center.

The pre-event is themed around the popular anime “Yuri!!! On Ice” and will feature a separate figure skating-themed cosplay contest, trivia and, of course, ice-skating.

“I think it will be a great way for Weber students to relieve some stress before finals week,” said Jensen.

Wildcat Mini Con will be held in the Shepherd Union from 4–9 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring cash, as not all vendors can accept card payments.

The event is open to WSU students and the public. Passes to the event are $10 for adults, $7 for students and $5 for children under 10.

Passes to the pre-event are $10 and include skate rentals. A double pass for both the pre-event and the mini con is available for $15.

While tickets to the mini con are available on arrival, the ice-skating pre-event requires pre-registration to attend. Students wishing to participate in the cosplay contest must pre-register as well.

Attendees pre-registering for either can do so by visiting the Wildcat Mini Con Facebook page and messaging event coordinators.

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