Scholarship fund gets boost from online "Xena" auction

by Lori Werner

Special Thanks to the Chronical

The sale of a prop from the television show Xena: Warrior Princess netted over $14,100 for a University scholarship two weeks ago.

The prop, called a chakram, is a circular weapon worn and used by Xena (played by Lucy Lawless). The chakram, one of the most identifiable icon props from the series was actually used during the show's filming, and was created by the prop masters at Pacific Renaissance. The auction drew over 60 bids and ended with a final bid of $14,100.00.

The proceeds went to the James W. Ellis Memorial Scholarship fund. Student Activities Director Anita Ellis began the James W. Ellis Scholarship, named in honor of her father, to benefit University students who have cancer, are in cancer remission or whose parents have or have had cancer.

Since 1997, over I 10 students have received financial aid from the James W. Ellis scholarship. "I'm in the unique position to know the needs of certain students, and hear their stories," Anita Ellis said. ."When I hear their pain I feel compelled to help them. Whether they need financial support, counseling, or just someone to listen, I will do whatever it takes," she said.

Part of the funding for this scholarship comes from memorabilia auctions from the television show, Xena: the Warrior Princess through a division of Fandom, Inc. called Creation Entertainment. Founded in 197 1, Creation Entertainment offers conventions, merchandise, and clubs for fans of selected science fiction television series and films. "The whole crew at Creation have been wonderful," Ellis said. Creation gives one hundred percent of the proceeds from the charity auctions to the scholarship fund. With the help of Creation, Ellis has been able to raise "a tremendous amount of money

Ellis also works with Creation at their Xena conventions. She hosts charity breakfasts across the country to raise additional funds for the James W. Ellis scholarship program. "I often meet Hofstra Alumni around the country at the breakfasts," Ellis said. "And when I do I treat them like a VIP, I get them involved, make them feel special."

Through Creation and the conventions, Ellis has had the chance to meet and get to 'know a number of the actors and actresses on the show. Some have even donated articles from the series to benefit the scholarship. "Through the show, I've made good friends, and they have been very generous and supportive. There are no words to express my thanks to them," Ellis said.

While at the University, Anita Ellis has reached out to students coping with cancer. "It's important that they know there is some- one to help them," she said.

Anita added, "I love my job at Hofstra, and our students that I get the chance to work with. For me to help lighten their financial load and honor my father, who felt that a college education was the greatest gift, is incredibly special,"