Goodbye’s are not easy. Especially from your favorite people. And in the Arrow fandom, Oliver, Felicity, and Diggle are our FAVORITE. From hitting people with vans and just driving away, to drinking margaritas after a job well done, we will always love this iconic trio, known to us as “Original Team Arrow,” and OTA.
That’s why a group of fans rallied together after the announcement that season 8 would be its last. But, what have they accomplished? And more accurately, what have we accomplished as a fandom?
The Goodbye OTA Project is a movement towards sending the show off with style, and more importantly, with some love. The project has raised a considerable amount of money, which is still continually growing. Firstly, their efforts has funded a ‘Goodbye OTA’ billboard in Times Square, along with additional donations towards multiple charities.
The Green Arrow himself, Stephen Amell, has also gotten involved, having promised to match 10K in donations. 5K to the charity of our choosing, which is Cure Childhood Cancer, as well as 5K going to a member close to the Arrow family who is unfortunately also suffering from this terrible disease.
From the donations that the project has accumulated, 5K will be given to the KLS Foundation, 5K to buildOn, and the rest goes towards billboard expenses, and future plans. However, as of now, what ever extra funds that gets donated to the project, that money will go towards helping the family of the Arrow crew member.
We talked to the fans behind the project about future plans, OTA, and more! Check it out:
PURE FANDOM: What is The Goodbye OTA Project?
OTA PROJECT: The Goodbye OTA project put simply is a way to say goodbye to a trio of characters who have had an incredible impact on us. Also, this fandom has always loved giving back and what better way than to give back while honoring this incredible show and these outstanding relationships.
What gave you the idea to start the project?
This project was born a day after the announcement that season 8 would be the last, so I guess you can say the idea came from pure melancholy. It was really spontaneous and organized within two days. It was thought as a way to ease the pain of having to say goodbye to our favorite characters in a few months and give the fandom something to look forward to.
How much money have you raised?
To date we have raised over $14,500.00.
What charities has the project been involved in?
- Cure Childhood Cancer – They specialize in the research and development of treatment of cancer with their ultimate goal being ending cancer all together. They also support the families of children with cancer by providing them with financial and emotional support. Cancer is a cause very close to Stephen Amell’s heart and we suspected the fandom would sympathize with it from the beginning. It wasn’t surprising to us that the fandom picked Cure as one of the charities.
- buildOn – This organization works on building schools in some of the most economically poorest countries to bring education to everyone. They also work with urban youth in the United States to help them improve their communities through community service. School changed Felicity’s life and we hope we are helping change some lives too by donating to BuildOn.
- The Kleine Levin Syndrome Foundation – They want to provide help to not only those who are diagnosed with KLS but also find it important to exchange information with the medical community who may not be aware of KLS. Their main focus is seeking a cure for this rather unknown condition. They also hope to bring more awareness so more people can know about KLS. We are very excited about being able to donate to the KLS Foundation and we would like to encourage people to check it out and seek information about the syndrome, since it’s a condition that’s not well known.
When can we expect to see the billboard in Times Square go up?
There have been some developments we were not expecting during this project, happy surprises you could say. What initially was supposed to be one billboard became two and we’re trying to determine the best dates to get both up and running. We want the fandom to have a chance to go to New York to see it personally, and the second billboard will help with that. That being said, we are currently thinking one at the beginning of May and one at the end of May. It’s not set in stone yet at this time, though.
UPDATE: Since talking to The Goodbye OTA Project, they have announced that the billboard in Times Square, featuring all of the friendly faces of OTA, has got a date! On May 6, 2019, a Times Square billboard would be up for 24 hours! Mark your calendars!
Do you have anything else planned?
We have a few other projects that we are working on. We plan on sending Stephen, Emily and David personalized gift baskets. As well as planning a rewatch of the show all summer leading up to the Season 8 premiere. We have several smaller projects just to engage with the fandom including celebrating artists, writers and creators who share just as much passion about OTA as we do.
Also, we have something planned for the crew and writers, to let them know we appreciate all the hard work they’ve put into the show for all of these years. We want them to know we are as grateful for their work as we are for the work of the three people playing our favorite characters in front of the cameras, because we know the show wouldn’t exist without them.
What’s one of your favorite OTA moments?
We have so many it’s hard to narrow it down, but the moment in 2×21 “City of Blood” when OTA turns back to Laurel and Oliver says “This started with the three of us” down in the foundry seems to be a general consensus.
Another one, is in 5×20 when Diggle, Oliver and Felicity form that human chain in the elevator. What we saw was their complete trust and unwavering faith in each other. That moment resonated more than any other for me.
A favorite OTA quote that really just says it all is when Diggle says “you, me, Felicity, we make each other better.”
Anything you want to say to the fandom?
THANK YOU! Thank you so very much. Without them and their generosity this project would have never even left the ground. We always think this fandom cannot surprise us but they always do. It’s truly remarkable and incredible how the fandom always comes together in times like these and their generosity never ceases to amaze us. The last seven years have been an incredible ride filled with ups and downs but what ties us all together is the love we have for Oliver, Felicity and Diggle.
Anything else you want to add?
We would just like to thank everyone that came forward for this project, be it the fandom through the donations and excitement about what we’re doing to the people that offered behind the scenes support. We wouldn’t be able to do this without any of them. Also, we would like to ask everyone to keep an eye on our account, @GoodbyeOta, for any updates on the project moving forward.
Here’s the links to donate:
Please consider donating towards these amazing causes. Look at what we can do as fans. It’s pretty spectacular. Or dare I say heroic?
Arrow returns April 15 at 9 PM on The CW!