July 21, 2011
It is our grave misfortune to announce Cassandra Hodges passed away earlier this month.
While AnimeIowa did not know Cassi very well, many of our staff had opportunities to interact with her a few times over the last two years. She was first brought to our attention by a fan in late 2009 as someone who would make a wonderful addition to AnimeIowa’s guest lists. So we did the research. Investigated what conventions she had attended up until that time and contacted their Guest Departments to get a better feel for who Cassandra really was; not only as a professional, but as a person. It should come as no surprise to anyone that everyone she met seemed to love her and they all wanted to have her back as often as she could come.
The following is an account from one of our staff members who was in contact with her.
During the course of the 2010 convention year, I got to speak with Cassi on a few occasions. Confirming flight information, panels ideas and going over any unusual requests that she might have had. What stood out the most for me was that she really wanted to go to Riverside, IA in order to see the future birth place of Cpt. James T. Kirk. For anyone not familiar with Iowa and were Riverside is, it is roughly a fifteen to twenty minute drive from Coralville, where the convention is held. As a trekker myself, it was something I looked forward to fulfilling for her. It was not to be however. In 2010, Cassi was unable to attend our convention last minute. While on her way to the airport, Cassi was involved in an auto accident and suffered a blow to the head. From what I was told, Cassi still wanted to get on the plane and make the flight out to the convention, but Doctor’s would not permit her to fly out of concern for her health. I fully agreed with the Doctor’s. Her health outweighed the cost of trying to bring her out to the convention. I kept in contact with her over the few days after AnimeIowa. Cassi insisted that she would repay us for the cost of her plane ticket, I politely told her that if she sends us a check, that we will either send it back or simply tear it up; we didn’t want her to repay us. Thankfully, she never tried.
Over the course of the last year, she was still enthusiastic about coming to AnimeIowa. She always seemed very upbeat about it and always seemed to look forward to it. It is a travesty that she had pass away so early in life. Cassi made a lot of people smile during the time that she was here. She was goofy, witty and downright entertaining. She will be missed by all who knew her.
AnimeIowa staff sends all our best wishes to her and her family in this time of need.
February 28, 2011
We are happy to announce the first batch of guests for AnimeIowa 2011! Returning this year are Christopher Ayres, Greg Ayres, Robert Axelrod, Kyle Hebert, Lea Hernandez, and Helen McCarthy. We would also like to welcome first time guests Cassandra Hodges, Carli Mosier, and Jan Scott-Frazier. You can find out more about these individuals in the Guests page.