The Iron Legion benefits children in need

The Iron Legion benefits children in need
Pepper Potts Rescuer, War Machine, Iron Man, and Iron Patriot

For the past 16 years, Chase Lawless has donned costumes for charities with several different groups. Recently, he started The Iron Legion, an initiative to provide entertainment and funding for children in need.

The Iron Legion is built around Iron Man, a Marvel Comics superhero. Lawless chose this character because he is completely covered, which is important in these COVID times. Lawless hopes to get The Iron Legion into hospitals to visit sick children. “These are kids with terminal illnesses. Even if we’re vaccinated, we still have to wear a mask to go see them,” Lawless pointed out. Superman has to wear a COVID mask, but Iron Man and the other members of his Legion do not. “You’re not looking at the mask. You’re looking at the hero,” he said.

The four members of the Legion are Iron Man, the main character in red and gold; Pepper Potts Rescuer in blue and gold; War Machine in black and white; and Iron Patriot in red, white, and blue. “Kids seeing their heroes gives them hope and takes them out of their own situations for a little while,” Lawless said.

Lawless is the owner of Capes & Gowns, a character entertainment service that provides princesses and heroes for birthday parties and social events. As an ordained minister, Lawless can even perform a wedding service in full costume, if requested. He has loftier goals with this new initiative though.

What is more impressive is that Lawless and his group of 12 assistants make the costumes. Lawless is the primary builder for the group so far. His helpers are volunteers from the theater and film industry. He has a few local dads who help out, too, and he could use more.

“I had one child standing and staring at me at the Riverside Arts Market for about 20 minutes. There is nothing better than seeing the eyes of the kids light up when they see a hero right in front of them,” Lawless said.

In late September, Lawless had had all four Legion armors together at an event for the first time when they visited BASCA’s annual 5K in Orange Park. They also appeared in mid-October at the Jacksonville Beach SeaWalk Pavilion to support the Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville’s Buddy Walk. In November, they plan to make an appearance at the Walk to Defeat ALS in St. Augustine. On December 4, the Legion will be at the Festival of Lights 5K in San Marco to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network.

The Iron Legion asks JAX residents to support these and other charities that they support. Lawless is working on setting up The Iron Legion as an official 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

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