This past weekend saw Creation Entertainment’s Official Star Trek Convention sweep through Las Vegas like a force of nature. Celebrities and fans alike flocked to Sin City in what was one of the largest celebrations of Trek Fandom in the world. It was four days of autographs, barter, and good old-fashioned camaraderie. I am proud to say Trek Radio received a slight extension of festivities as we were honored to cover a very special event on Sunday night, after the close of the convention proper.
Robert Picardo, everybody’s favorite Doctor from Star Trek Voyager and First Contact, hosted a charity auction at Tommy Rocker’s Southside Grill with all proceeds benefiting the San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity. Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child should have a decent, safe, and affordable place to live. To date, Habitat for Humanity has built more than 500,000 houses, sheltering 2.5 million people worldwide.
Up for auction was memorabilia donated from the likes of Robert Picardo, Ethan Phillips, and John de Lancie. Signature lots included signed call sheets, scripts, photographs, framed posters, and even a piece of the now defunct Star Trek: The Experience.
Now, in life, nothing is ever easy and as Murphy would have it about 40 minutes into the event and shortly after Robert Picardo had taken the stage and begun the bidding another force of nature made its presence known in the form of a massive Monsoon which ripped through the area. Yes, we are talking unrelenting rain in the desert. An act of Q so large it knocked out power to several city blocks. We were left in the dark.
Yet, the show must go on.
Flashlights and cell phones soon illuminated the stage and the good doctor persevered, continuing to raise money for a good cause despite the darkness and encroaching heat. There were visits from the Alien Comic and even a magician was waiting in the wings, but the real magic came from a Star Trek legend we didn’t even know was in attendance.
Chris Doohan had donated a vial of set-used dilithium to the auction (We would expect nothing less from the son of a Chief Engineer). Robert Picardo had just begun to hold the dilithium fragments up to the makeshift spotlights when with a click and a whir the power was restored! Dilithium is potent stuff. Thank you Scotty. From that point on the auction resumed as normal and thousands of dollars were raised for a noble cause.