Whether you are new to conventions or a pro, remember these few suggestions to make your visit to any convention enjoyable and safe. A convention like CoreCon has activities and events galore. Don’t get so busy you forget to take care of you! Here is a helpful guide to enjoy everything to the fullest extent. Continue Reading

The CoreCon Costume Contest is the time when convention attendees get to highlight all the hard work that goes into costuming. The fun begins on Saturday afternoon with a masquerade for children. The children’s masquerade is a fun event where anyone under the age of 12 can show off their awesome costumes. There’s no formal judging, just judges who can give you tips and information on how to get into costuming. This is the place where CoreCon Kids can get their feet wet without having to walk through the main competition in front of a large audience.

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One of our sister conventions, Fargo GameFest, happens this weekend from March 23rd to March 25th. You can check out information about their event here. But don’t think that you have to contain your convention gaming to just one weekend of the year!

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With the change of hotel (the Holiday Inn) and dates (Memorial weekend), the policies have been updated for 2018. Here are a few things that you might want to know for your upcoming CoreCon X experience!

  • The smoking tent will be located outside door 12.
  • Operations will be open 24/7 in the atrium.
  • Per the hotel’s policy, no crockpots or griddles are allowed in the hotel rooms.
  • All conventions rooms, not including fansuites in the pool area, need to close at 3 AM but can reopen at 6 AM. Alcohol must be out of the convention rooms by 1:30 AM. The pool room will close at 1 AM, but fansuites are personal rooms and can remain open with their doors closed. Check the schedule for their actual hours.
  • Service animals are allowed according to North Dakota law. Therapy animals will be allowed if they are registered. Attendees will need to bring appropriate paperwork, and a $100 fee can be charged to the sleeping room if needed. Contact the hotel if you have more questions regarding their service and therapy animal policies.
  • The restaurant will have a special, cheaper menu for con attendees. We will get more information closer to the convention. The hours for the restaurant are:
    • Thursday: 6 AM – 10 PM
    • Friday: 6 AM – 11 PM
    • Saturday: 7 AM – 11 PM
  • The Holiday Inn security protocol is that they will give you one warning. If you break the rules a second time, you will be asked to leave. So follow the rules!

Feel free to check out our complete policies page on the website!

Since CoreCon accepts donations in order to be able to have an event each year, we make a huge effort to give back to the community in various ways. Some of our most recognized events include raising money through the annual Extra Life fundraiser and organizing blood drives. We also select a charity to benefit through a silent auction at each convention.

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CoreCon isn’t just for adults! In fact, we try really hard to make sure people under eighteen feel like they get just as much out of CoreCon as their older peers do. This is a family event. Most of the people who organize and attend CoreCon have children that they want to make sure feel included as much as possible, even if they can’t attend every panel. So since we have some 18+ rooms and panels, we gave children and young adults their own rooms and events, too!

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Jennifer Cihi & Stefanie DeLeo

Jennifer Cihi

Jennifer Cihi began her professional career at the age of 12 when she landed the role of Pepper in the Broadway production of Annie. She has sung professionally for over 40 years and has worked with some of the most prominent musicians and vocal artists. She is most known in the anime world for being the original English singing voice of Sailor Moon. She is the voice behind the iconic songs “My Only Love” and “Power of Love” to name a few. She is the singer of the famous Hot Pocket commercials and starred in the Nickelodeon show Roundhouse. Jennifer has been appearing at conventions most weekends over the past few years and loves the opportunity to connect with fans!

Stefanie DeLeo

Stefanie DeLeo is a published and produced playwright and author. Her published work, Worth a Thousand Words, was published by JACNEED back in 2010. She was also recently published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Dreams and the Unexplainable where she chronicles her adventures of being friends with the voice of Sailor Moon and appearing at comic and anime conventions all over the world. She has her Master’s Degree in Theatre from NYU and has worked professionally onstage in New York, Boston, Connecticut and Tennessee. She was a Peace Corps volunteer in South Africa for three years where she wrote and directed socially conscious theatre pieces.

Both Jennifer Cihi and Stefanie DeLeo are passionate about mental health awareness and support. They co-founded a project called Mariposa, dedicated to providing support for kids and young adults affected by mental illness. They both spoke at the Mental Health America National Conference in Washington DC in 2016, where they used theatre as a tool to foster dialogue about mental health issues. Be sure ask them questions about this exciting new project!

Thank you, Jennifer and Stefanie, for joining us at CoreCon X! We’re excited to get to know more about you and Mariposa!

Paul St. Peter

Paul St. Peter

We loved Paul St. Peter so much when he was a guest at CoreCon VIII that we had to bring him back for another year! He’s accomplished a lot since we last saw him, including voicing Sorbet on Dragon Ball Super and Beast King and Subterranean 3 on One Punch Man. His IMDB page lists 179 credits! So of course, you can understand why we adore him so much.

Paul loves to encourage others to follow their dreams of voice acting and has taught classes on speech, accents, dialects, phonetics, vocal productions, and Shakespeare at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Cal State University Los Angeles, San Diego State University, Los Angeles Broadcasting School, and The Windward School. He is a speech and acting coach for Native Voices at The Autry, a Native American theatre company, and The Rogue Artists, a hyper-theatre company.

Paul is a versatile performer and has sang for four seasons with the San Diego Opera Company, three seasons with The San Diego Civic Light Opera, and appeared in several productions at The Old Globe Theatre. In Los Angeles, Paul acted onstage at The Globe Playhouse, Richard Basehart Theatre, Palos Verdes Shakespeare on The Meadow, and has “gone on the road” with Nevada Shakespeare in The Park for eleven seasons.

Paul’s TV appearances include work on NCIS, Last Man Standing, Ringer, Tim and Eric’s Awesome Show, Jessie, Legit, and the hilarious Key and Peele.

Thank you so much, Paul, for joining us again! You’re a great guest to have with us for the 10th anniversary of CoreCon!

Adam Quesnell

Adam Quesnell

Adam is a comedy-pit filled with laugh-snakes and has been entertaining audiences since before you even knew that this bio existed. Bouncing from witty social observation, to commentary on language, to biting introspection, his act walks that fine line that people often write about in bios. He started performing comedy in Fargo-Moorhead, and he recently re-located to Minneapolis, MN where he quickly became a comedian that lives in Minneapolis, MN. Aside from any club/bar/museum opening that will have him in the Midwest, Adam has performed at the Akumal Comedy Festival, Hell-Yes Fest in New Orleans, and the Comedy Exposition in Chicago. He is a Stand Up! Records Recording Artist who will be releasing a 7” EP this Easter inspired by his love of Cadbury Creme Eggs. In December 2017, Adam returned to Fargo to record a full length LP at the Red Raven. “Despair II: Social Justice Warlord” will be released in late 2018 via Stand Up! Records.

Beyond stand up comedy, Adam is also a screenwriter who recently wrote an adaptation of comic book characters created by Eliot Rahal and John Bivens for Cult Classic, a public access spooktacular. An avid art toy collector, Quesnell released a 3” keshi style rubber mini-figure as the special edition of his first album “Can We Afford This Much Despair?”. This figure, “Despair”, was a collaboration featuring the talents of some of the top names in the hand cast custom mini figure scene. Oh yeah, and he’s half of the acoustic guitar electric bass duo, Let There Be Tight, who are based out of Minneapolis.

Basically, Adam Quesnell is a creative weirdo who is going to make you feel good about feeling bad about feeling good when things are bad.

Adam Quesnell originally joined us for CoreCon in 2014, and he made such a lasting impression that we wanted him to be a part of our anniversary year! Thank you, Adam, for clearing out your schedule to come make us laugh again!

There are debates among nerds over all sorts of things. Is Star Trek better than Star Wars? Did Han shoot first? What was up with the ending of Inception? Even though some things can be settled with facts, these fights will still continue because of how passionate we are about our fandoms. And that’s fine. We don’t mind healthy arguments and debates. It’s when you cross into the area of straight up bullying someone that we get really angry. And you wouldn’t like us when we’re angry.

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Character Name: Gary “House” Williams
Class: Orc
Race: Half-Giant
Height: 6’6”
Strength: 24 (used to haul items for CoreCon)
Constitution: 24
Sarcasm: 38
Intelligence: 12 (arguably higher but we docked points for his jokes)
Charisma: 30
Wisdom: 26
Volunteerism: 152

CoreCon began ten years ago with the idea of “By The Fans, For The Fans.” One fan in particular deserves special notice. This gentle orc would give you the chainmail off his back if you needed it, and CoreCon would not be the same without House.

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One of the costumes people couldn’t stop talking about at CoreCon IX was Hagrid. He was massive and even had a magical pink umbrella! Kevin Ruddy won Fan Favorite and Best in Show during the costume contest, so we asked him to tell us about what it was like to become Hagrid.

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Guest Writer: BBDesign Cosplay

Imagine a world in which you can express your passions and hobbies without being criticized or belittled but rather praised in a welcoming environment that encourages you just to be, well, you! Imagine spending hours upon hours on creating a character that you look up to or share similar personality traits with and showcasing that to a community that you can be comfortable demonstrating that confidence.

Wait a minute. Comfortable showing confidence? Isn’t that kind of backwards?

Not for me, Brittney of BBDesign Cosplay, in the cosplay world and in the Fargo-Moorhead community. Cosplay has given me so much confidence to express who I am in and out of character. Over the years, I have figured out a couple of reasons why.

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There are three Consuls, or heads, of CoreCon: Mind, Body, and Soul. They make all of the tough decisions that no one else wants to and oversee every department. Mind Consul Kim Odegaard has been a part of CoreCon since the very beginning. Alongside Body Consul Tyler Schara and Soul Consul Sarah “Kitten” Danielson-Ruddy, she does her best to ensure each year is better than the last!

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A picture is worth a thousand words, so it might seem a little pointless to write a blog when we could just show you a slideshow. But pictures won’t capture how much effort our volunteer photographers put in each year to make sure that every great moment is captured on film forever.

There are a lot of things that happen at CoreCon each year, and we are blessed to have so many talented photographers who want to make sure that you can remember it all through images. You’ll be able to spot most of them at panels, tournaments, and just walking around, talking to people and snapping photos. In case you can’t find one of them, they also have a designated photography room called The Save Point.

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Panels are one of the biggest parts of any convention. These are scheduled slots of time in which a group of people can reserve a room and do… well, pretty much anything they want (within reason). The panel is advertised in the program guide and heralded throughout the convention, so other attendees can join the fun. They’re the best way for people with common interests to come together and discuss them.  Continue Reading

Don’t lose sight of this post! [We’re starting with an eye-related pun so that everyone knows Doug Beierle had a hand in making this one possible.]

“The words that come out of Doug’s mouth do not necessarily represent CoreCon, DCon, Anime Fargo, Digital Grail, his family or friends. Use caution if listening.” This is the quote written on Doug Beierle’s shirt. He is a walking hazard and requires a disclaimer from our CoreCon staff. However, we are giving you express permission to listen to him today. In fact, we are urging you to heed his advice.

Doug is a Bad Joke Generator, but more importantly, he’s an optician. He’s seen people sacrifice their eyesight and put themselves at risk of future problems for the sake of a good costume. Costume contacts, or circle lenses, can be a really cool addition to a cosplay character, but it’s important to do proper research before getting yourself a pair.

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Our volunteers take many things into account when arranging events for the convention, and the biggest one is safety. We don’t want anyone getting hurt, so we do everything we can to prepare for the worst. While our medical team focuses on any potential medical emergencies, the security team works on arranging emergency safety plans.

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CoreCon is considered a vacation for some. Even if you live within walking distance of the convention, being able to hole up in the hotel with nothing but your fellow gamers, cosplayers, furries, or whoever else can be the best thing. But just like any other vacation, your entire weekend can be ruined by losing something. When you’re not at home, misplacing an item can feel like an emergency. And if the thing you’ve lost is your medicine, it might actually be one. There’s where Operations (or Ops) comes in. Continue Reading

The Inner Core team wants to share what they love about Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror, and Anime with like-minded fans. That’s why CoreCon was started ten years ago. We want to let everyone have a space where they can really let their nerd flag fly and have an unlimited amount of fun. [Disclaimer: Fun supplies may be limited. Get yours now while supplies last.] You can’t have fun without safety (supposedly), so we have several teams who work hard to do all the serious stuff behind-the-scenes and keep you out of harm’s way! This blog will cover the first department: Medical. Continue Reading

CoreCon is getting crafty! Beginning in 2018, for the first time ever, we will have our very own craft room! Spark Station will be a place to spark your creativity, learn some new skills, and take home a fun and unique souvenir from the convention! There will be a full schedule of crafting sessions available in the program guide, but if you want to help make this room extra awesome, we’ll tell you how! Continue Reading

November 4th is the day when gamers around the country will dedicate 24 hours purely to gaming. While this may not be too different from what these gamers do every day, November 4th is different because they will be raising money for Extra Life and the Children’s Miracle Network. To help people understand how important this event is, we talked to Steve Dekrey, president of the Extra Life Guild of North Dakota. Continue Reading

The 4th Annual Worst Human Tournament is designed to be as offensive as possible, and it succeeds in doing just that. This is an annual event, and while they have had smaller tournaments throughout past years (like at CoreCon), this will be the only one happening for 2017, so you better be there!  It happens November 11th, and this blog post should provide you with all the information you need to be crowned The Worst Human. Continue Reading

Emily says, “Join the Rebel Legion. Stop the Empire!”

With all of the heroic or villainous tasks you have to do on a day-to-day basis, maybe you hadn’t heard, but   CoreCon is changing their dates to Memorial Day Weekend. That’s right! Not just a hotel change but dates, too! The Holiday Inn of Fargo May 24-27th is the place to be!
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CoreCon began with roughly 100 supporters. After almost ten years, we have more than 1,000 regular attendees! With this growth in fan base, we outgrew our old hotel and needed a new place to continue to provide everything the congoers love and expect. The Holiday Inn of Fargo will be the new location for CoreCon X as it has almost double the convention space. Continue Reading

Access Panel Blog
It’s Okay To Be You
By Richard Early

I was very excited when I learned that CoreCon had chosen Freedom Resource as its charity this year and even moreso when I found out CoreCon was dedicated to improving accessibility for the convention and at the Baymont. I can’t thank the leadership enough for taking this step and for making this a priority. I am leading a panel on this aspect of the con on Friday, June 9th at noon. I encourage you to attend, and here is a story about why this is such an important aspect of the convention.

Several years ago, I was at a local convention and I was approached by a man I didn’t really know. He sought me out specifically to thank me. He said I had helped change his life.

While this was heartwarming, I really wasn’t sure what I had done. He said he had attended a Paradox comics monthly tabletop night and we were promoting the convention. He signed up for a drawing to win tickets for the con, and he won them. He told me he was not planning to go because he was shy and afraid. Yet something called to him about the convention.
I wish I knew his name and I wish I could tell you more about him. Maybe he will read this and reach out. I know that he has struggled with some personal issue of mental and physical health. The idea of attending an event with so many people was scary and he almost stayed home. But something moved him to take a chance and go. The reason he thanked me was because that convention changed his life. The community and acceptance and sense of belonging he found by becoming a part of it had a meaningful impact.

When I met him, he was so happy and at peace and looked so comfortable, like he belonged. Like he got it.

This was profound for me and in no way because of the credit he was giving me. It was profound for me because I had spent years and years attending the same convention circuit and had still felt separate from it, afraid, despite the friends I had and the warmth around me.

As many of you know, I am severely visually impaired. Going to a hotel full of strangers was a daunting challenge even after so many years of running my own business. I was out of my element and didn’t even have the benefit of the program guide everyone else did. I didn’t know where things were, who was around me, or how to navigate all that. And most of all, I didn’t know where or how to ask for help. Basically, I felt alone and isolated even in the crowd and even after years of running my own business. During those years, no convention was focused on helping someone like me enjoy the events in the same way everyone else could.

But what is important to understand also is that no matter what is or isn’t offered, the first barrier to sharing that experience is yourself. The first thing that holds you back from access to the world and all the wonderful things in it is always you.

But this man who shook my hand and said I changed his life had broken through that and found a community he yearned for. A community that accepted him for who he was. So I just want him to know that while I appreciate his thanks, he has my admiration for doing something that took me so many years to do. He took a chance. He challenged himself. He broke through that barrier. I hope I meet him again so I can thank him for being such a great example for me and the others in his life.

As I close this blog, I am thinking about the fact that you don’t in any way need to be disabled to feel this apprehension, anxiety, and fear about attending something new. In fact, I think one of the most common and shared things about being part of the nerd world is that we are all people struggling to find our identity. We have these great refuges where we can dress up, celebrate what we love, and find friends and family. But to get there we have to overcome our phobias. Whether sighted or blind, anxious or calm, depressed or happy, disabled or healthy, wheelchair bound or not, the first step is break down that barrier in our own heads and go somewhere where it is okay to be us. That’s CoreCon and they are reaching out to us.

I’ve adopted several new beliefs and attitudes recently and one of them is a quote from the Mother of Dragons herself. She says, “If I turn back, I’m lost.” So we move forward into the future and we build on what we’ve started to become stronger and healthier and see what happens next. I hope anyone who has doubt about joining us at CoreCon can overcome that and come see what it’s all about and find the same community I have and this stranger who came to thank me did. It can be your first step to a better life and the folks who run it are there to help you cross that barrier.

Note from CoreCon:

Thanks, Rich. We are glad people can find a family at our convention. Although there are still many hurdles, we are doing what we can to make CoreCon a safe and friendly space with wheelchair accessible stages, a quiet room, gender neutral bathrooms, no bullying tolerance, and food and allergy information in all fansuites. If you or a friend have concerns or needs not being met, please email accessibility@fargocorecon.org

Take control of a ship to help kill the monsters roaming in Fargo and save the city at CoreCon: Monsters Vs. Mechs.

New races and ships are available this year! Even if you’ve played Artemis in the past, this can be a new experience with a ship like the Juggernaut.

The crew includes:

  • The navigator who hopefully knows left from right and takes the crew on adventure. Steer towards the danger and become a hero or steer away from it and run like a scared cat. We won’t judge. Promise.
  • The weapons officer gets to blast the bad guys out of the water with laser cannons, missiles and nukes.
  • The science officer is your person in the crows nest. They scan other ships for weaknesses and keep tabs on your allies.
  • The communication officer signals friendly ships to get out of danger and can taunt the bad guys with insults or terms of surrender.
  • The engineer directs energy to the stations needing power the most. They can help tip the scale between victory and defeat in a battle.
  • The fighter is a new crew member. They can man their own small ship to help defend your captain’s ship and kill the enemies.

A team of six is best but Artemis can be played by as little as three. If you have never played, come to the training sessions Friday and/or Saturday from noon to 1 pm. If you can’t make it then, you are welcome to watch other crews to learn. Sign your team up on the convenient sign in sheet.

The ships will be flying:

  • Thursday: 9 pm to 2 am
  • Friday: noon to 2 am
  • Saturday: noon to 2 am

There will be an Artemis tournament beginning on Saturday at 1 pm and continuing until 10 pm. With multiple rooms running Artemis, you will still be able to play impromptu runs while the tournaments are going on.


Check out the schedu­le at:  corecon2017.­sched.com

Make sure to save the app to your cell’s homepage so you don’t miss anything!

We will be updating a few things as CoreCon IX grows closer, but now you can see some of what CoreCon IX has to offer!

  • Create your own sche­dule, so you don’t miss our Guest Panels.
  • Know when deliciousness will be served at Gus’ Galaxy Diner.
  • Need a movie break? Search by Type: TV & Movie Buffs.
  • Want to know when yo­ur favorite Fansuite or gaming room open­s? Search by Type: Info.
  • Know which events are for Kids, Teens, and Adults Only (18+).

Now each event has a Feedback Forum to let us know instantly how you liked a panel, room, or event! Share your thoughts with us to continue to make CoreCon a success!

youtube bannerCoreCon has some great panels and guests every year. So many in fact that there is no way a person can attend them all. It’s okay though because our AV team has the talent, the equipment and the drive to cover almost every panel. 2016 Opening Ceremonies, 2016 Costume ContestCurse Like A Pyrate: 2016 With Paul St Peter, Pirates in Literature: 2016 with Terri PrayPutting the Sizzle in the Scene: 2016 with Terri Pray (18+) are a few of the panels from CoreCon VIII: On Ancient Seas that have been edited and are ready to view. More are on the way. Continue Reading

The Showdown is about to start! The Monsters and Mechs will be battling at the Baymont Inn of Fargo June 8-11, 2017. While the battle rages on, you need to stop gawking and get your butt in the Gaming Central Hazard Shelter!

The Gaming Central Hazard Shelter is  your safety from the hazards and pitfalls of the Monsters and Mechs battling just outside. We have ourselves a premium amount of dedicated tabletop space for games! Secure your spot not just for table space but your very survival. Many wayward gamers will take refuge with us, and there might not be room for everyone, but if you sign up to run a game, you will have your safety in the Gaming Central Hazard Shelter reserved.

What you need to do is simple.

At the bottom of this blog post is a signup form to run games at CoreCon IX, Monster vs Mechs. Pick your favorite game and let us know you want to run it for your fellow con-goers seeking shelter in the Gaming Central Hazard Shelter.  Remember, this is not just for role-playing games. You can sign up to run anything: board games, card games, miniatures, role-playing games, and everything in-between.

When you sign up to run a game, you get some great benefits along with the fun that you bring fellow gamers.  First off, everyone that runs at least one game will earn themselves a special Limited Edition CoreCon IX dice.  Second, you guarantee yourself a table for your game.  With attendance growing each year, pickup games can sometimes be hard to secure space for, so reserving a spot by signing up makes sure you will not be short a table when it comes time to trounce your friends.

We do not have forever, though; the deadline to make it in the program guide is March 31st.

Ensure your safety! Sign Up to Run a Game!


Hello there, fellow nerds!

 Are YOU or someone you know interested in hosting a Fansuite or “Party Room”? Well, lucky for you, there are a few spots open! Fansuites are hotel rooms reserved in the “party area” of CoreCon, right around the pool. By hosting a fansuite, you will get two CoreCon badges and have the option to decorate it how you want. (This is within reason, of course. Don’t put holes in the wall or trash the room!)

Hosts will be able to get into the room early on Wednesday night to decorate and be ready for the con, but you won’t be able to sleep in the room unless you pay for the extra time.

More information can be found at https://www.fargocorecon.org/fansuites/ or you can message the Leader and Assistant at fansuites@fargocorecon.org.
Thank you,
Assistant, Katie

Some of the people of CoreCon helped a while back with the birth of Anime Fargo . CoreCon is proud to announce she is running on her own and is going to be three years old in September. Their theme this year is “Kawaii Invasion” which is a type of cuteness factor in Japan which really fits turning three. An entire convention devoted to Anime is just what Fargo needed.

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So wrongWhen I first heard of CoreCon IX’s theme “Monster’s and Mechs” I envisioned Danny Trejo using a machete against some werewolves and wondering if this was racist or not. I guess it was Mechs as in short for Mechanical, oops. Now I have that sorted out our project team is going to have fun with this one. Continue Reading

To13419232_10208119511419111_3998293221519119834_n copy all of the volunteers and people who made this years convention happen THANK YOU! CoreCon has always been a “for fans by  fans” run convention. It took unbelievable hours and effort for a four-day celebration. Some people worked on bits and pieces all year-long so THANK YOU. The volunteers in the Inner Core (3 Consuls head the con, Inner Core are the Department Heads and Assistants) did a tremendous job this year and all while working regular jobs and home lives. Continue Reading

CoreCon is a non-profit fan based convention entirely run by volunteers. As if getting ready for CoreCon wasn’t enough work, some of the volunteers do more volunteering within our own group called CoreCon Cares. This year we are collecting toys and donating money to help out The Village Family Service Center and hope you will too. Continue Reading