Attendance grew, new blood drive record is set
Dragon Con, Atlanta’s internationally known pop culture, fantasy, and sci-fi convention, announced a record attendance of more than 57,000 for this year’s convention in downtown Atlanta. In addition to attendance, the convention set new records in its charity fundraising and blood drive efforts.
“We had a great year,” said Pat Henry, President of Dragon Con, Inc. “We had amazing actors and other celebrities join us. We had a terrific program of panels, discussions, concerts and shows. And, as always, the cosplay was out of this world.”
During the closing ceremonies, Dragon Con announced a change in convention leadership for 2014. Rachel Reeves, Senior Director of Guests and Media, will join David Cody as convention co-chair. Convention chairs are responsible for running the day-to-day operations of the convention.
Henry and Cody, Senior Director of Gaming, have co-chaired since 2011. Henry stepped down from that role but will continue to be President of Dragon Con, Inc.
Dragon Con’s annual Robert A. Heinlein “Pay It Forward” blood drive attracted a record turnout, with 2,972 attendees donating more than 6,000 units of blood and blood products this year. The annual drive – consistently ranked as the largest convention-based blood drive – benefits LifeSouth, which serves more than 40 hospitals in the Atlanta area and 110 hospitals in the Southeast.
In its fundraising efforts, Dragon Con raised $87,356 for its three official charities – Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary, Georgia Conservancy, and Marcus Autism Center. The charities, which were selected in a poll promoted on Facebook and other social media channels, will each receive a share of the purse.
Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary, the overwhelming favorite of poll voters, received $43,612, which is 50 percent of the money raised throughout the four-day convention. Georgia Conservancy, which placed second in the poll, received $26,207 – or 30 percent – while Marcus Autism Center received the remaining $17,471.
Since 2005, Dragon*Con has raised more $311,000 for its official charities, which change each year. The money was raised at the convention in a series of charity auctions and events, as well as a portion of the ticket sales for Dragon Con Night at Turner Field and collectible co-branded merchandise in partnership with Atlanta’s Hard Rock Café. About $40,000 of the funds raised this year came in the form of a company match from Dragon Con.
In addition to its official charity fundraising that takes place during the annual convention, Dragon Con donated nearly $60,000 this year to The Lupus Foundation Georgia Chapter, Center for Puppetry Arts, Atlanta Center for Self Sufficiency and other organizations.
Dragon Con is the largest pop culture convention featuring comics, film, television, costuming, art, music, and gaming. Held each Labor Day weekend in Atlanta, Dragon Con attracted more than 57,000 attendees in 2013. For more information, please visit www.dragoncon.org.