DATES TBD 2025 – Richmond, VA

Author: ravenchair (Page 1 of 3)

Charity Auction 2024

Over the years, Virginia has been fortunate to have several great local conventions. ShevaCon was one that I tried to attend whenever possible, but in reality I ended up only attending sporadically throughout the Nineties. I started attending on a regular basis in 2002, when I began publishing Nth Degree. By my second appearance there as a guest, I was getting to know the staff pretty well. In 2005, when I was starting to organize the first RavenCon, word got to me that a few members of the ShevaCon staff were retiring and might be interested in helping out. I, of course, took them up on their offer. This was when Doris and Mike Manning became part of my family.

Ever since the first RavenCon, Doris ran our Registration Desk. She was always the first person you would see when you arrived at the convention; greeting people, handing out badges, and answering everyone’s questions. Doris embodied a quiet efficiency that kept us running smoothly. She loved her con family, cats, unicorns, books, and the Muppets; not necessarily in that order.

In January of 2014, Doris had a routine run-in with con crud. Her doctor screwed up and put her on an antibiotic that after a mere four doses pretty much shut down her kidney function. The nephrologist she was refered to proceeded to put her on a treatment plan with no better than a 50% chance of success. Several years of illnesses and treatments followed; around and around. Through it all, her loving husband and her convention friends kept her spirits up and she stayed her ever-positive self through it all—leg ulcers, treatments, more con crud, treatments, the COVID years, more treatments…

The last time she walked was July 12, 2021. She walked into the hospital under her own power, had one more surgical debridement there, and then got shipped to a nursing facility in Charlottesville where she ended up at the UVA Medical Center and woke up a week later… to the sound of a dialysis machine… mittens on her hands… and a promise that if she held still just a few minutes more the ventilator would be taken out. From that moment until the day that she passed, Doris fought. She had so many things that she still wanted to do, including getting back to see her convention family. The day before she passed I watched her make plans for long-term treatments and listened as she laid out plans for beating her illness and getting out of bed again.

Needless to say, there are bills and insurance is neither quick nor efficient nor kind. We’ve designated Doris as our 2024 Charity Auction recipient to help with the bills she left behind and to help make things easier on her husband, Mike Manning. Doris never missed the Charity Auction; she loved the crazy unpredictable stunts that would happen during the Auction and she always helped keep it running efficiently so it’s only fitting that we give her a good send off this year.

–Fearless Leader


Count Gore De Vol

Count Gore De Vol began his career of hosting horror movies in 1973 on WDCA-TV in Washington, DC. In 1998, he took his program to the Internet, becoming the first horror host to do so. In 2018, he created his own Roku Channel, Count Gore De Vol Presents providing ten new video offerings every month.

Count Gore is played by actor Dick Dyszel, who also produces the program. He has appeared in several feature films including, The Alien Factor, Nightbeast, and Galaxy Invader, and was the subject of a feature length documentary on his career called Every Other Day is Halloween now available on an extended Blu-Ray.

Charity Auction 2023

In 2023, our Charity Auction supported ReEstablish Richmond

ReEstablish Richmond was chosen to honor Lelia Taylor. Lelia was the owner of the Richmond-based Creatures ‘n Crooks Bookshoppe. She was also a part of RavenCon from the beginning, a yearly presence in our Vendors’ Room until she finally retired after many years of bookselling. She supported many of our RavenCon authors early in their careers, carrying their books in the Vendors’ Room and in her Richmond store, recommending them to readers looking for new SFFH.

Besides her passion for books (and cats, scented candles, Thin Mints, gourmet snacks, nightshirts depicting kittens, Christmas ornament shops, friendships that lasted for decades, and playing mahjong on her computer), Lelia financially supported a long list of charitable organizations that she felt very passionate about.

Founded in 2010, ReEstablish Richmond is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization focused on helping refugees settle into Richmond while maintaining ties to their home culture. For the past two decades, they have developed programs related to housing, agriculture, transportation independence, employment, independence, health and wellness, economic empowerment, and community engagement. Their primary focus has been on connecting Richmond’s newest neighbors to life-building tools and resources, helping their integration into the community to be a positive and empowering experience. 

If you would like to make a donation to ReEstablish Richmond you can do so through this link.

Charity Auction 2017

In 2017, our Charity Auction supported the Interstitial Cystitis Association (ICA)The Interstitial Cystitis Association is the only nonprofit charitable organization dedicated solely to improving the quality of healthcare and the lives of people living with interstitial cystitis (IC). IC is a recurring pelvic pain, pressure, or discomfort in the bladder and pelvic region, often associated with urinary frequency (needing to go often) and urgency (feeling a strong need to go). IC can affect anyone. More than 12 million people in the US have IC, including two members of the RavenCon staff.

If you would like to make a donation to the ICA you can do so through this link.


Charity Auction 2016

2016’s Charity Auction was held in support of the Dialysis Patients Citizens’ Education Center. The Center is dedicated to improving kidney patients’ quality of life and reducing the occurrence of ESRD (end-stage renal disease) through education and by developing awareness of dialysis and kidney disease issues, improving the partnership between patients and caregivers, and developing favorable public policy solutions.

We chose this organization in honor of our good friend and co-conspirator, Ed Pope. Ed passed away on March 18th, a mere six weeks before the convention that he was looking forward to so much. Ed was our friendly Con Suite host—always smiling, always friendly, always positive. His one and only job at the convention was to make people feel welcome. Nobody did it better.


Charity Auction 2016

In 2016, RavenCon’s Charity Auction supported the Dialysis Patients Citizens Education Center. The Center is dedicated to improving kidney patients’ quality of life and reducing the occurrence of ESRD (end-stage renal disease) through education and by developing awareness of dialysis and kidney disease issues, improving the partnership between patients and caregivers, and developing favorable public policy solutions.

The Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) Education Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and the affiliate organization of Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC). Founded in 2012, the Center is led by a board of directors composed of 10 end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients, including six currently on dialysis and four transplant recipients.

In the opening months of 2016, we lost our good friends Ed Pope and Bud Webster. Our donation to the DPC was made in their names.


Charity Auction 2015

RavenCon chose the Richmond Animal League (RAL) as 2015’s charity in memory of our late Vice Chair, John Patrick Jones. John was very fond of animals and RavenCon was happy to support one his favorite organizations.

Since 1979, Richmond Animal League has been finding homes for homeless dogs and cats in the Richmond area.

For many years they rented a kennel in Chesterfield County. In 1987 the property was sold to a residential developer and they were asked to leave the facility. In spite of this setback, they continued to care for many needy animals and boarded them at veterinarian offices and foster homes. Their goal was to raise enough money to build a brand new facility.

After seven years of fundraising activities and the generosity of their community, their dreams became a reality! In May 1994, they opened their new kennel near Chesterfield Towne Center. This facility can house up to 30 dogs, and 60 cats and kittens.

Since their facility opened, they have helped thousands of animals. They found homes for over 1,700 animals last year.

Though there is now a small staff of eight full-time employees, RAL has always been led by a volunteer board dedicated to reducing euthanasia rates in their community.

In 2009, they saw the great need for a low-cost, high-volume spay neuter clinic on the south side of the James. A year later, they opened an onsite clinic. The Loving Spay & Neuter Clinic provides low-cost services to municipal shelters, rescue groups, and private pet owners, as well as free services for feral cats. Free spay and neuter services are available for pet owners who meet low-income guidelines.

Their history continues to be written as they grow.


Charity Auction 2014

RavenCon chose the Foundation Fighting Blindness as 2014’s charity.

The Foundation Fighting Blindness is dedicated to funding innovative research to find preventions, treatments, and cures for inherited retinal degenerative diseases that lead to blindness and affect more than 10 million people in the United States.

The urgent mission of the Foundation Fighting Blindness, Inc. (FFB) is to drive the research that will provide preventions, treatments and cures for people affected by retinitis pigmentosa (RP), macular degeneration, Usher Syndrome, and the entire spectrum of retinal degenerative diseases.

Anita Bruckert

Anita BruckertVice Chair

Anita is a multi-media artist who has enjoyed RavenCon from day one, and has progressively become more involved.

In her art, she has exhibited in galleries throughout the Central New York and Adirondack region, Scranton, Pennsylvania, and Richmond, VA. As a henna artist, she has covered the feet, hands, and backs of local Richmonders.

Aside from her that, she spent many years in theater, working primarily behind the scenes designing sets and costumes. She worked on the sets for A Midsummer Nights’s Dream, Sleeping Beauty or Coma, Anything Goes, The Sound of Music, Little Shop of Horrors, and All in the Timing to name a few. She now makes costumes just for herself and friends, and focuses more on her artwork, and working with the cast members of Charming Underclothes in Roanoke, VA as she plays Magenta.

The boring info: she has several degrees; Fine and Performing Art, Studio Art, and Curriculum Design and Instruction. She is a certified corporate trainer and is a practicing licensed Optician and Arbonne Consultant.


Charity Auction 2013

RavenCon chose the Huntington’s Disease Society of America for 2013’s Charity Auction beneficiary as a way to honor the memory of an attendee who passed away at the 2012 convention.

In March 2000, the Huntington’s Disease Society of America named the University of Virginia Health System a Center of Excellence for the care of patients with HD and their families. The UVA HD Program was one of the first ten Huntington’s Centers of Excellence in the nation and is the only one in Virginia.


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