50th “Star Trek” Voyage

Amber Huff ~ Staff Writer

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A celebration for “Star Trek”’s 50th Anniversary will be held at Riverview Artspace in downtown Lynchburg from Sept. 2 until Sept. 11.

The event is sponsored by USS Heimdal, a non-profit organization from Lynchburg, to raise money for Heimdal Science Fiction’s space program. The program will send a middle school student from the surrounding area to space camp.

According to their website, USS Heimdal has sent several students to space camp since 1999 when they first started the program. Winners of the program in the last two years have come from Monelison and Amherst Middle Schools.

Linda Smith, USS Heimdal’s commanding officer, said “We cover the fees of the registration, of the camp itself, of a flight suit for the student and help a little with travel costs as well. The students are picked through an essay selection. We contact local middle schools and provide them with packets of information. The schools then select students out of their gifted math and science classes. After essays are submitted, we take identification off of them, read them, and we all vote on them.”

Students have the ability to choose other camps offered through the space camp program.

“An aviation challenge camp and a robotics camp is also available to the students to pick from instead of the traditional space camp when they submit their essay; however, the students have always elected to go to space camp,” Smith said.

This year is the first year that the USS Heimdal has done a screening at Riverview to raise money, and the event overlaps with the original air date of “Star Trek” on television 50 years ago.

“Beforehand,” said Smith, “we did things like bake sales and car washes to raise funds, but now we also have an annual auction, which was held this past Saturday …  as well as the event at Riverview this year. The people at Riverview have been so nice in helping us put together this event.”

According to Riverview’s website, the “Star Trek” celebration will have a free exhibit that opens on Friday, Sept. 2 and will last until Sept. 11. During this time, there will be screenings of all 12 of the “Star Trek” films. The exhibit will be held in Riverview’s G9 conference room and will have a variety of “Star Trek” paraphernalia on display, including uniforms. There will be open discussions that individuals will be able to attend as well as a concluding celebration on the last day.

“There will be a small celebration on the eighth” Smith said, which is the original air date, “and there are arrangements being made to have a food truck there so people will be able to purchase food.”

Tickets for the films can be purchased at the door with pricing at $8 for single movies and $15 for double features, according to the event’s Facebook page. Passes for six movies can be purchased for $40 to be used throughout the week. All proceeds from the ticket sales will be used for the space camp program.