Our Story


The MultiVerse FunRaiser evolved from a previous online convention that was held during the 2020 pandemic.

Founder Kelly was sad that she wouldn’t be able to attend the annual Superman Celebration in Metropolis, Illinois.

In a stroke of genius (or madness, depending on how you look at it), she decided to hold a virtual event for that convention’s regular attendees that June, and anyone else who wanted to join.

Also missing all of the cosplay charity work she had been doing before the pandemic, she began adding charitable aspects into the virtual convention.

The attendees enjoyed themselves so much, that she did another virtual convention that January too. They called it the Virtual Superfriend Celebration, or Virtual Superfriend Convention.

As time went on, the event came to encompass more and more interests than just the Superman and DC fandom, so Kelly teamed up with her podcast team, The Cereal Box Network, and brought in more volunteers.

Realizing that they were only gaining steam, and noticing that they had grown the audience so much further than the regular attendees of just one convention, they launched the new organization: The MultiVerse FunRaiser.

The Name

While the first few conventions these three worked on were very Superman and DC Comics-oriented, they knew that they were leaving a lot of geeky and pop culture ground uncovered.

So to emphasize the fact that all areas of geek culture, and all “universes” even, are welcome at our event, we chose a name with “multiverse” in it.

Then, we chose “FunRaiser” to show that we aren’t just raising money, we’re raising fun. This is a weekend-long event, for a good cause, but having fun along the way.

The Board

Kelly Guentner – Founder, Executive Chairwoman, Program Director

Kelly is an author, podcaster, cosplayer, and an amazing event organizer. She has been specifically involved in cosplay-related charities such as Costumers with a Cause for years. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, two children, and two bunny rabbits.

Crayle Vanest – Co-Chair, Fundraising Director, Digital Manager

Crayle is a podcaster, fiction editor, cosplayer, marketer, and owner of Pokeballs by Crayle. She worked for a few different non-profits for several years before leaving for the private sector, but never lost her drive to stay involved in charitable endeavors. She lives in Indiana with her dog and husband.

John B. Pyka – Title Sponsor

For over 20 years John B. Pyka (Johnny) has set himself apart as a multi-discipline Entertainer and Storyteller: Published Author, Comic Artist, Podcaster, Paranormal Storyteller, Singer, Magician and Harley Quinn Cosplayer! He shares fun and amazing adventures with the world, one audience at a time, one story at a time! Johnny is a lifelong comic reader and collector, a Star Wars “freakasaurus”, Pro Wrestling fan, and Movie fanantic. “Star Wars movies and Avengers comics made me who I am today” says Pyka and his audiences have dubbed him the “Prophet of Pop Culture!”


The MultiVerse FunRaiser has an amazing group of volunteers!

Ryan Permison

Ryan Permison is the host and producer of And I Quote, a live weekly show where he interviews content creators of all kinds. It is part of his YouTube channel Nerd Culture. Ryan discusses different Pop Culture topics in other video’s. He enjoys collaborating with other creators and appearing on other shows.

Find all of Ryan’s shows here.

Clyde Hall

I’m Clyde Hall, life-long comic book fan and Elder Statesman of Geekery with interests
including comic books, vintage toys, horror movies, role-playing games, pulp fiction, and cryptozoology. I’m a comic book reviewer for online sites Comics Beat & Comic Book
Spectrum, and a contributing fiction writer at Stormgate Press. Recipient of the 2023 Pulp Factory Award for Best Short Story.

Get Clyde’s writing here.

Hollis Thompson

Hollis Thompson is the artistic director of the Biblical Drama Institute in the Texarkana area and an English faculty member at the University of Arkansas Hope and Texarkana, where he teaches composition and literature. His main interests include Biblical literature, medieval literature, and superheroes.
Hollis’ writing has been published in scholarly journals and he is also an award-winning playwright.
He is currently working on an academic book about the intersection of Biblical studies and superhero culture.

Find Hollis biblical drama work here.