June Member Spotlight

June Member Spotlight

Meet Steve Lukasik, North Ridge’s very own Chewbacca. Steve is known for various Star Wars characters, his most famous is Chewy. Steve said he was drawn to Chewbacca because “The character is faithful and loyal. If you upset a Wookiee or hurt his friends, Chewy will rip your arms out their sockets”. To say Steve embodies “Chewbacca’s spirit” would be an understatement. He is kind and fiercely loyal, and very protective of his friends.

Steve saw Star Wars at the Drive-in as a kid and was hooked. He has been an avid fan of the genre though all its peaks and valleys. He is loyal to the originals, he cites “Rogue One, as being one of the best new movies”.

Steve says, “I have always been a big kid at heart, a fan of Halloween and dressing up in costume. As I got older, I started my own costumes. My first build was Animal from the Muppets. I won a couple of contests at the bars that Halloween. I was hooked.”

Steve attended Star Wars Night at the Bison in 2009. He just knew he wanted to join. He attended the very next meeting and became an official member. It was in North Ridge that Steve’s “Cosplay Addiction” bloomed. He brought to life Chewbacca, Count Doku, you might have recently seen him as Baylan Skoll at this year’s Star Wars Night at the Bisons.

Steve also helped found Nickel City 501st , where he serves as a Squad leader. He couldn’t stop there; he is also an active member of Rebel Legion. Aside, from his Star Wars obsession, Steve is also Assistant Director of Superheroes Alliance of WNY. Over the years Steve has built over 30 cosplays. He jokes because he is not married and does not have any kids, he has extra money to build cosplays.

Come meet Steve at the next North Ridge event.

May the Force Be With You!

April Member Spotlight

April Member Spotlight

Meet Anna Swannie aka Princess Leia, current President at The North Ridge.

Anna said, “I have always been drawn to Princess Leia’s strength. She’s been a hero of mine for as long as I can remember.” After spending time with Anna, I can say with certainty she has Leia’s grace and dignity, a sense of fairness that she uses to lead and mentor.

Anna met founding members of The North Ridge, Janice and Larry Tetewsky at a Best Buy event supporting the release of the original series on DVD the rest is history. She joined North Ridge in 2011.

Her favorite movie is “Empire Strikes Back”. Her favorite Star Wars Night at the Bisons was in 2017. The North Ridge honored Carrie Fisher.

Aside from cosplaying Princess Leia, Anna mentors new members. She has posted tutorials for recreating Princess Leia’s signature buns. She is quick to help with costumes. Always has wise advice. She is as modest and kind as she is beautiful.
In 2014 she brought her two boys into The North Ridge, they portrayed 2 of the younglings on Star Wars Night that year. They have carried on Anna’s legacy of kindness and mentoring. She was proud to say, “They wrote the treatments for Star Wars Night 2023 and 2024.

Come meet The North Ridge’s very own Princess Leia, I mean Anna, at this year’s Bison’s Star Wars Night on Saturday, May 25th! Don’t be surprised if she is undercover as an X-wing fighter or Imperial Officer. She wears many hats.

May the Force always be with you!

Stay tuned for next month’s member spotlight!

March Member Spotlight

March Member Spotlight

Meet Chris Solecki aka Darth Vader, one of the founding members of The North Ridge.

Chris said, “Growing up, I watched a ton of movies. It fueled my interest in special effects. I researched how an effect was created and the secrets to making movie magic” From there Chris began creating costumes from his favorite fandoms, Darth Vader, whom he would become known for in NR, Boba Fett, Paul Stanley, the Terminator, Jason Voorhees (Friday the 13 the )

Chris has been a Star Wars fan since he was a little boy. Growing up his dad would often quote “Do or Do Not” to motivate him. Chris says, “That quote stuck with me so much that it was a no-brainer to pick as my senior quote in my high-school yearbook”

“When I founded The North Ridge, I found I could use my love of Star Wars to help others and spread the love of the fandom.”

Chris chose Vader because he is one of the most iconic villains in cinematic history. He related to the character on a personal level. Vader lives in constant pain stuck in a suit of heavy machines to survive. Chris was born with a birth defect that affected how he walked, moved and even slept. Chris said, “He has had his own Vader rebuild moment with titanium and ceramic to remedy my issues”.

After going through his own personal struggles, Chris knew it was time to perfect his Vader cosplay. He started off using a fan-made Vader suit and slowly gathered parts and pieces to create the perfect Vader. Chris said, “It took him 7 years to finally build the costume he wanted” It is the Darth Vader the audience sees at various charity events, and of course, Star Wars Night at the Bisons.

Come meet Darth Vader, I mean Chris, at this year’s Bison’s Star Wars Night on Saturday, May 25th!

May the Force always be with you!

Stay tuned for next month’s member spotlight!


Star Wars Night

The tenth anniversary Star Wars Night featured the largest cast ever in “Star Wars: Convergence” by Bryan Patrick Stoyle. Parts were filmed  and choreographed in various locations.

Nickel City Con 2017

6th Annual Vision Walk

Celebration Orlando, Florida 2017

Nickel City Con 2016

Nickel City Con, August 13-14, 2016 at the Buffalo Convention Center, Buffalo, NY


A New Hope: BIMG_20150530_115637601reast Cancer Survivors Walk and Celebration
Niagara Falls Reservoir State Park