Get to Know Your MI501st :: November, 2011

Dave Raimondo
Legion ID: 8789
Joined August, 2007

Dave has always loved Star Wars from the moment he saw it on the big screen when he was a young boy. He was eight years old and his father came home from work one day and said that he wanted to take him to a movie that everyone at his work has been talking about. He said the title of the movie was "Star Wars", which at the time held little meaning for Dave, but when they went to see it on the big screen…"WOW", says Dave, "my life was changed forever!"

Since that day he's been an avid collector of all sorts of Star Wars merchandise and memorabilia. "I regularly go to Comic Cons, toy shows, and collector shows to hopefully one day come across that one particular Star Wars item I didn't know was out there, and to complete my existing collections", says Dave. This passion in part is what led to him joining the ranks of the 501st.

"I was at a toy show and there were members of the 501st Legion present as well as Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett)", says Dave. "The 501st guys were having a drawing to raffle off all sorts of vintage Star Wars merchandise so I bought a significant number of tickets. All the proceeds went to the Make-A- Wish foundation. I didn't win, but my friend actually did and he was so happy when a member of the 501st Legion contacted him to inform him that he was the winner", says Dave. At the time of the delivery, his friend asked about how to become a member of such a cool and awesome club. His friend then contacted Dave with the information, and the rest is history.

Since joining the club in 2007, Dave has trooped almost 60 events! When asked if he has a favorite event that stands out, he says, "I have many events I find are very enjoyable and fun to troop such as the Grand Rapids Griffins and the West Michigan Whitecaps games. These are two of my favorite events primarily because I get to troop with so many of our members at the same time. It's like one big costume party and we're all the stars of the evening." However, if Dave had to pick his most favorite event, it would have to be the Grandville Michigan 4th of the July Parade. "Although very HOT & STICKY, it is my favorite, primarily because we get to interact with so many people and children in one place and to hear them scream out my character's name, touch so many of their hands, and get the hugs really does it for me", says Dave.

Becoming an official member of the 501st Legion has allowed Dave to better understand and have a greater appreciation for the fact that people are so fortunate in life not to be stricken with an illness, or born with a handicap. Dave says, "We troop events to help raise money for people who are less fortunate than we are and how truly lucky I am to have been given a gift of good health. You really take for granted certain things in life and by being a member I guess I really wouldn't have fully understood this."

Dave's nickname and forum name is PESCI. The name actually was given to him by one of the Great Lakes Garrison members. "I guess I resemble the actor Joe Pesci. I am shorter in height and on some occasions may mimic his tone of voice. I am also Italian and perhaps elicit somewhat of the same mannerisms, and body language he may have, so I guess in some ways the name is somewhat fitting", says Dave.
His love for Star Wars and collecting has resulted in him meeting quite a few Star Wars celebrities like Billy Dee Williams, Jeremy Bulloch, Peter Meyhew, David Prowse, Carrie Fisher, Jake Loyd, Tamara Morrison, Anthony Forest, Richard LePalmentie, and Felix Silva to name a few!

When Dave is not on patrol for the Empire, he works as a Plastics Process Engineer for a global manufacturer of automotive components - primarily head lamps and tail lamps - for many Toyota, GM, Mitsubishi, and VW automobiles. He has earned a degree in Plastics Engineering Technology through Ferris State University, and also receiving his certification as a Master Molder through RJG associates. He likes to ride motorcycles, loves to build and renovate property (especially his own). He enjoys weight lifting, swimming, camping, bike riding, rollerblading or anything that can be done outdoors. Dave says, "I'm also a master on the Grill!"

When asked what his biggest accomplishment is Dave replies, "The birth of my daughter Celia who just turned 14 months. I hope that one day she too will also enjoy Star Wars as much as I do."

View Dave's profile...

All Featured Troopers:

Apr '19: Mathew May
Oct '12: Joel Aldrich
Aug '12: Scott Jones
Jul '12: Rob Miller
Jun '12: Jennifer Rodriquez
May '12: Julie Balk
Apr '12: Derek Lane-Waters
Mar '12: Zachary Titus
Jan '12: Carrie Ivey
Dec '10: Jesse McClear
Oct '10: Michael Arnold
Sep '10: Chris Brown
Aug '10: Justin Overholt
Jun '10: Rome Ohnui
May '10: Jackie Wagensomer
Apr '10: Shannon Trombley
Mar '10: Aaron Combs
Feb '10: Martin Pondell
Jan '10: Amanda Raimondo
Dec '09: Rob Brang
Oct '09: Tiffany Murphy
The 501st Legion is a worldwide Star Wars costuming organization comprised of and operated by Star Wars fans. While it is not sponsored by Lucasfilm Ltd., it is Lucasfilm's preferred Imperial costuming group. Star Wars, its characters, costumes, and all associated items are the intellectual property of Lucasfilm. © 2024 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All rights reserved. Used under authorization.