HPA Billings


News and Press

Here is where you can find our News, links to Witch Weekly articles, event coverage, and anouncements for the public, as well as members.

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An End to the Winter Hiatus

Posted by [email protected] on February 21, 2015 at 2:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Now that the weather's starting to take a turn to warmer temperatures and our members have all settled into their 2015 schedules, it's time for more HPA Billings/ M.A.N.D.R.A.K.E. events and campaigns!  Now that Not in Harry's Name has succeeded, we have more opportunity to start a new campaign.  While we're deciding what to surprise you with, we can let you in on a secret about our closest upcoming event!

Along with the larger organization and many national chapters, HPA Billings will be happy to participate in Accio Books this year!  Keep an eye out for our book drop boxes (locations will be updated as they're added) to donate your gently used books to those who can use them.  Also, our book drive and trivia night will be announced on this post once the details are decided upon in our first meeting of the New Year!

We're excited to see some new people at the events and hopefully you'll stop by one of our book drop locations! 

Random Acts of Kindness and Carol Grams

Posted by [email protected] on December 6, 2014 at 8:35 AM Comments comments (0)


Hello there! If you're here, that means you've probably received one of our RAK items! It seems the House Elves have teamed up with Santa's Elves, and they're going crazy around town, delivering little surprises for the citizens of Billings. Hopefully you're here to see how to pay it forward, or maybe you're wondering why these creatures are doing this.


I wish I could tell you. Our Care of Magical Creatures professor assures me it's quite normal for House Elves to spread Christmas cheer in this way, and we hope they'll inspire you to do the same this holiday season. Based on the index in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, I can give you a few ideas of the ways in which the House Elves are most likely to perform these charitable little acts, and maybe that will give you some ideas where to begin, as well.


1. Leaving change on soda, vending, and laundry machines


2. Leaving popcorn on a Redbox to help others have a full-blown movie night


3. Leaving a little extra for their servers at the end of the meal (Just kidding-- House Elves unfortunately don't get to go out for dinner, but they told me they wish they could do this one)


4. Helping a neighbour shovel


5. Bringing a meal to a neighbour or a friend


6. Donating blood or plasma


7. Letting someone go ahead of you at the store


8. Buying a coffee for the person behind you or leaving a gift card behind for the person next in line


9. Paying bus fares


10. Donating books to a library


As you can see, the House Elves are chock full of ideas on how to bring Christmas cheer. We hope you decide to join in and pay your act of kindness forward.  For one final suggestion, maybe you'd like some information on our Carol Grams:

Carol Grams

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

And what better way to celebrate it than by sending HPA Billings to serenade your loved ones with classic carols?  

How it works:

Contributors can order a package that includes a base of two songs to send to their friends or family, and our members will use your time requests to find a date and time where we can reach your party, knock on their door (or ring the doorbell) and carol away!  The orderer can even choose from the desired songs from our song list or request their own (which do need to be approved).  Furthermore, there's an option of including a gift bag with your order that will be given to the recipient at the end of the gram.

What's in the gift bag:  Our gift bags include something for everyone in a family-- there are ornament painting kits for two, peppermint or sugarplum bath fizzies for mum, bubbles with snowflake wands for the little ones, and hot cocoa for the whole family to enjoy, all wrapped up in fun winter-themed bags :)

Where do the funds for this fundraiser go?

Thanks to Purecharity, HPA Billings can accept donations to be sent to the benefitting organization, the NEA Foundation, a four star charity whose goal is to improve public education!  By using this website, the person ordering the carol gram can rest assured that their donation money is being sent directly to the NEA Foundation via a check from Purecharity.

Here's the website to help you find out more about the funding side of this fundraiser: https://www.purecharity.com/hpabillingsxmas

The order form can be filled out here.


Posted by [email protected] on November 17, 2014 at 6:45 PM Comments comments (0)

In honour of the release of Mockingjay part one (Hunger Games movie/book #3), the Harry Potter Alliance is calling on members of the community to share the story of their experiences with economic inequality. In order to add the voices of our Billings community to this discussion, we welcome people to participate in this event. We've created an easy-to-fill-out form that will help your voice be heard, as well as telling you other ways in which you can add to the conversation, if you so desire. We'd really like to hear from you so we can learn how to make the odds in everyone's favour.

Here's the URL to the form to fill out and for sharing with your friends: https://hpabillings.wufoo.com/forms/my-hunger-games/


Posted by [email protected] on October 28, 2014 at 7:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Update: Unfortunately, due to lack of interest, the Rice-a-Thon has been cancelled.  We hope to see you all at the premier, and hopefully we'll get a chance to meet you all soon for another event.

Regrettably, October was just TOO busy a month to compete with all the other great events going on in town.  Yay, Halloween! 

But we have some great plans in store for you for November!

On Saturday, November 15th (a week before the release of Mockingjay), we have a chance for members of the community to bring the Hunger Games to life by fighting real-world hunger!

And if that's not enough of an incentive, there's always the promise of a $100 cash prize to the winner!  

Want to know the details?? Of course you do!

Where: Billings Parmly Library computer room

When: Saturday, November 15th from 1 PM- 2:30 PM (different districts will compete at different times, but don't worry, we'll provide registrants with their time slots!  And we more than welcome you to be present for the whole event, especially since those who surpass the preliminary rounds will be competing in a final round against the best of the best tributes)

What: A competition to earn the most rice on freerice.com in a window of time (to earn the title of "tribute" and then later of "Victor"-- you know you want a title that awesome)

Why: a whole SLEW of reasons.  Obviously, everyone should be celebrating the long-awaited and much-anticipated (we know it's not just us over here at the HPA) release of Mockingjay.  And there's no better way to celebrate the Hunger Games than by tackling hunger!  Which brings us to point number two...YOU'LL BE COMBATING SOCIAL ISSUES like Katniss herself!  Competitors will be striving to earn as much rice as possible for the hungry of the world.  Finally, for those who don't find either of those to be reason enough...there is a $100 to the victor of our Rice-a-Thon.

Who: HPA Billings and you!

How: Competitors will be emailed with instructions so you'll find out details if you sign up!

The more, the merrier!  

To sign up, just click here

Don't forget to check out Odds in Our Favour, as well, to get in the Hunger Games spirit!

Also, for those who want more excitement and real-life Hunger Games-ness, we're working on adding more to our event to make it more interactive and Hunger Games-esque, but we wanted to get the word out ASAP so more of you get the chance to sign up!  We'll keep updating based on what we're able to make happen.  


Start of Term Feast Success!

Posted by [email protected] on October 28, 2014 at 7:20 PM Comments comments (0)

We had a great time manning our (wind-swept) table for the Start of Term feast!  HPA members William Bayer, Reyana Zuber (Acting Advisor to the Minister for Magic), and Shelby Burton (Minister for Magic) were given permission by Good Earth Market to collect donations for the Billings Food Bank.  Along with the employees, community members surpassed expectations and donated two large boxes of healthy food that were turned over to the food bank on 10/27.  We have some pictures of the fruits of our (and Billings's) labour, and we were so excited to see the charitability of the customers of Good Earth Market and its employees, as well.  We had some great variety such as organic ramen, tomatoes, cereal, and other such tasty (and nutritious!) snacks that we're excited to know are going to be great for the food bank patrons.  Kudos to the Billings community for making this possible, and we hope to see you at our next event!

Start of Term Feast Details

Posted by [email protected] on September 22, 2014 at 9:20 PM Comments comments (0)

First of all, I'd like to give our Acting Advisor to the Minister for Magic, Reyana Zuber, some credit for coming up with this idea for our kick off bash.  

On Saturday, September 27th, we'll set up a table outside Good Earth Market with permission from their manager, the gracious Mr. Joshua Jackson.  We'll be staffed by at least two of our current seven members and have the chance to meet with community members who want to learn more or would just like to donate to the food drive.  We'll have an informational flyer and sign-up sheet as well as chocolate frogs for anyone who stops by!

The theme was inspired by the feast students find upon their arrival at Hogwarts, which is why it's taking place in September.  With any luck, this will become part of a series of food drives with themes based on other Hogwarts feasts.  

We hope to have some people stop by and appreciate any donations of non-perishable goods.  The proceeds will be given to Billings Food Bank.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Superheroes of Montana

Posted by [email protected] on August 19, 2014 at 1:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Superheroes of Montana is the first entry on our affiliates list :)

As of writing this, they have an event coming up this Saturday (more details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/669061596509145/)so be sure to check it out!

Exciting Meeting Update!

Posted by [email protected] on July 22, 2014 at 9:45 PM Comments comments (0)

I just bought some chocolate coins for everyone to enjoy at the meeting!  I got some excellent-quality Galleons, Sickles, and Knuts that are 100% safe for (those without allergies) consumption :)  I also got a few other little surprises that everyone will get to enjoy, so I hope you all come!

PS, since I completely disapprove of wasting money to get people to show up for an event (when said money could have been spent on whatever cause is being promoted), these great treats were all bought on thehungersite.com, where proceeds benefitted the hungry with each item's sale contributing 50 cups of food to the hungry.  Just so you all don't think money's being wasted!  Your incentives are not money wasted, and everything you enjoy can be cherished knowing that, by you being there and by that item being given, there are a few fewer hungry people in the world.  Exciting stuff!


Posted by [email protected] on July 15, 2014 at 7:25 PM Comments comments (0)

We're happy to see you've found a curiosity for the HPA Billings communty chapter, also known as M.A.N.D.R.A.K.E. (or: Montana Activist Nerds for Development, Reform, Awareness, Knowledge, and Equality).  Our first order of business will be to hold an interest meeting.  Anyone interested in attending before joining the group will find the date, time, and location on our Contact Us page, as it is decided.  Here, potential members will learn a bit more about what this group aims to do, how members can participate, what our HPA campaigns as well as in-town campaigns might be, and can decide, therefore, to sign up and join or not.  For those who wish to join up as a trial before even attending the interest meeting, you can send an OWL to our chapter organizer via the Contact Us page of this website.  

All members will have access to our online community, where meetings and events will be discussed.

Furthermore, members can take on leadership roles within this group, which will be discussed at our first meeting.  For those who want to learn the possible roles of the chapter, you will find your information about the titles, responsibilities, and how to run at our first meeting.

We welcome you to our page and hope you check back regularly to find out all the amazing ways the HPA will be coming to Billings!  If you want to know more or would like to join, don't forget to send an Owl from the Contact Us page!

Update: The interest meeting has been set for Wednesday, July 30th at 6:30 PM in the Parmly Billings Library community room.

Not in Harry's Name

Posted by [email protected] on July 15, 2014 at 7:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Update: NIHN was a success!  Check out the letter we received from Warner Bros and this article by the Washington Post commemorating our win!

Thank you, everyone who added their names to the petition and spread the word.  Your passion has helped fans win a majour social justice victory!  Let's keep up the good work as we plan our upcoming campaigns.

From the desk of Shelby Burton, HPA Billings/ M.A.N.D.R.A.K.E. Minister for Magic:

Members of the Harry Potter fandom know the power of a name.  And we know that, in the wrong hands, that power can send the wrong message.  With our members, we want to stop the misuse of Harry's name used in conjunction with a company that potentially participates in unethical practices of child labour extortion.  The HPA is simply asking everyone to add their voice so that Warner Brothers will show us their report that will let us know the source of their cocoa and consequently show them that the fans are not all right with chocolate being made unethically, especially not under Harry's name.  If you want to send this message to Warner Brothers with the HPA, go here.  Anyone who believes in Fair Trade goods can do so.

For the official description:


"At the HPA, we are dedicated to making sure that products made using Harry Potter’s name are consistent with the moral character of the Harry Potter book series. Time and again, we see our heroes like Albus Dumbledore and Hermione Granger standing up against injustice and they continue to inspire us to do the same. That’s why we started this campaign after learning about the dark side of the chocolate industry.


Sadly, the cocoa plant is one of the most corrupt agricultural crops in the world because thousands of children in West Africa are forced to labor in the production of cocoa. We got even more bummed out by an independent report that give Harry Potter chocolate an “F” in human rights.


That’s why we’re committed to making sure that all chocolate used by Warner Bros. for Harry Potter merchandise doesn’t use child slavery, and is consistent with Warner Bros.’ own ethical sourcing guidelines. We’ve seen Warner Bros. ethical sourcing guidelines and you know what? They’re great. But here’s the problem. They won’t tell us the source of their cocoa.



We’re trying to keep it simple for them. We know they are a big company with theme parks to build. All we’re asking is that they Show Us the Report and prove that their chocolate isn’t being made using child slavery.


We’ve been working with Walk Free, the global movement to end modern slavery, and over 400,000 people have joined our inquiry.


Please add your voice to our Dumbledore’s Army by going to ShowUsTheReport.com


Where’s that report Warner Bros.?

(from http://thehpalliance.org/action/campaigns/nihn/)




HPA Chocolate FrogsIn the meantime, we’ve proven that Fair Trade Chocolate can be a reality. If we can do it, Warner Bros. can too. That’s right – we made our own chocolate frogs, using Fair Trade chocolate. Complete with a trading card, these chocolate frogs came three to a box (and they were quite delicious, too!). Using La Siembra brand chocolate, manufacturing by Lucky Chocolates and art work by Alec Longstreth, these chocolate frog boxes were perfect for Potter-themed gifting and snacking. Learn More! And keep an eye on our shop, as they may return in the future."