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The Spirit of Liberty

Last weekend marked the 35th anniversary of LibertyCon and it was amazing in so many ways. For me, the most impressive statement about the spirit of LibertyCon didn’t happen during the convention proper. I heard it from a stranger on a Monday morning elevator ride.

During the final loadout from That Ain’t Quite Right Café and Bar, one of Marriott’s wonderful valets was bringing up a luggage cart to help. He mentioned, quite out of the blue, he was surprised about how different the convention was from many of the others the Marriott hosted. I asked what he meant. He said, and I have to paraphrase here because I don’t remember his exact words, “Everyone seems like a family. I see people at these events looking like they want to communicate with each other but don’t know how. Well, not until they drink enough at the bar. But (LibertyCon) arrived and there wasn’t any hesitation. It was more like a family reunion. They also treated all of us better than any other group.”

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, liberty is defined as “the freedom to live as you wish or go where you want” while spirit is defined as “a particular way of thinking, feeling, or behaving, especially a way that is typical of a particular group of people, an activity, a time, or a place.” Certainly, our little get-together embodies both these words well.

The spirit shown by all of you is one of true freedom. The freedom for each person to be themselves without repercussions from others. The freedom to accept and be accepted. The freedom to enjoy what you enjoy and meet others who do the same. That is part of the spirit of LibertyCon.

There is also the freedom to help others. Not because anyone says we must, but rather because we are free to make the choice. This year, the Art and Charity auction raised over $17,000 for the Ronald McDonald House of Greater Chattanooga, a group dedicated to helping families. Additionally, just over $280 was donated via the charity box on the Ronald McDonald House table. Overall, an astounding outpouring of love and charity. How does this translate in real terms? This weekend I discovered it costs the Ronald McDonald House around $150 per night and about $15 per meal, not including clothing or sundries that may be needed, to house a family. The funds LibertyCon will be able to give will directly help families stay closer to their hospitalized children for approximately three months.

But our attendees weren’t only donating pennies and dollars. They literally gave of themselves as well. Our blood drive with Blood Assurance had over 20 donors willing to pass on life-saving fluid. This means up to 77 lives will be saved from the blood donated at LibertyCon 35.

Donations didn’t end with blood. People donated food and equipment throughout the convention where needed. Most of all they freely donated their precious time. It requires the willingness of our many amazing, talented, and helpful people to ensure LibertyCon runs smoothly and is fun for everyone. In fact, without the tireless efforts of our volunteer staff, LibertyCon could not exist.

The ethos of LibertyCon is a spirit of giving; a spirit of loving; a spirit of family; and most of all, it’s a spirit of liberty. The Board of Directors extends a heartfelt and well-deserved thank you to everyone who has made, does make, and will continue to make LibertyCon the amazing and awe-inspiring gathering it is. Because we are a family, and that is what a family does.

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Unknown member
Jul 14, 2023

I had a fantastic time. Long trip over from Scotland but so so worth it. Really looking forward to 36


Jul 01, 2023

Much thanks to Brandy and the staff and con board of directors for making love, generosity, and sacrificial care for one another the central tenant of this convention. I’m thoroughly convinced that is a huge part of its success, because we come together not for ourselves, but for each other, who we love. LibertyCon feels different because it IS different.


Jun 30, 2023

Well done to everyone, and thank you for yet another successful Con!


Jun 28, 2023

Did you know that a group of people can get together and provide a meal at a Ronald McDonald house? You bring the groceries and use the house kitchen. Only don't be surprised if maybe a guest or two doesn't feel well enough to come down for the meal. A group from work did this. We made breakfast for the household.


Jun 27, 2023

I'm not crying, YOU'RE CRYING!


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