Beam Us Up and Make a Wish for this Holiday Season

Sandy Hook ShootingLast year I wrote about how I managed to bring my wife, Kathy Collins, and her parents back together and how that also brought her children back together with their grandparents. I’m still so happy that Kathy’s parents have now become my own parents. It was a fitting holiday story.

In the shadow of Sandy Hook, it is going to be difficult for me to write an inspirational message without most of us thinking of how the parents and relatives of those children feel about facing their holiday in the shadow of this senseless killing.

So this year I will try to write something that I hope will reach everyone.

There are those people who can either take or leave the science fiction legacy of Star Trek. The one thing even the nay-sayers have to admit is that there is something about it that has caused a lot of people around the world to like it enough to cause a nearly 47 year legacy. Paramount is about to release   another motion picture about the early days of Captain Kirk and even though the old time “Trekkers” like me don’t like this new Trek incarnation, at least there is something keeping it going.

The most popular incarnation of Star Trek in the minds of fans has been and always will be Star Trek: The Next Generation.LCARS computer panel

Two men have a dream they’re making a reality. It’s called The Star Trek Bridge Restoration Project. Huston Huddleston and Brian Uiga, along with the original geniuses who designed the bridge for the television series, including Michael Okuda, who was responsible for the design of the distinctive “LCARS Computer System”, which is the touchscreen bars you can see in the picture to the right, are in the process of rebuilding and restoring the original bridge set and it won’t just be dummy panels like the actors were given. Huston and gadget and computer expert Brian Uiga are installing working touchscreens in every panel on the bridge so that people can actually man the stations and battle the Romulans, travel at warp 9.6 and orbit an uncharted planet and survey it from the bridge science station.




These two gentlemen’s first thought was to hook up with the Make a Wish foundation that tries to grant a dying child’s last wish. Many of those children dream of Make-a-Wishexploring the stars. Many more of them dream of the future when a kindly mother-type like Dr. Beverly Crusher can give them a simple injection and they will live a full life.

Perhaps Huddleston and Uiga can’t give these children a futuristic cure but they can give these children the chance to command or navigate or perhaps handle the phaser and photon torpedoes on a mission to rescue Ambassador Spock across the Romulan Neutral Zone!

Having been a fan since I first watched Star Trek on a 21” Zenith black & white television from the 1950s and I now own the DVD copies of everything Star Trek from the original series, through the animated1957-Zenith-Z2221RZ one to Star Trek Voyager and all the motion pictures, imagination and the hope that one day humanity might evolve to the point of understanding that they portray in Star Trek.

A few years ago I did meet a child who was dying of leukemia and happened to be a Star Trek fan. Her name was Kelly and she was 8 years old and lived in Lake City, Florida near where I did.

I asked Kelly one time that if she had one wish, what would it be?

“I wish that the starship Enterprise were real and that it would come back in time, beam me up and Dr. Crusher would just cure my leukemia so mommy wouldn’t cry so much all the time. I’d also like to meet Wesley Crusher because he’s cute and I want to fly the Enterprise just once!”

When I tripped across The Star Trek Bridge Restoration project, my conversation with little Kelly came back to me vividly because Huddleston and Uiga are making that dream come true for some other children but it’s too late for Kelly. She passed away on December 12, 2007. I remember the date because it was the day before my birthday.

I normally avoid making recommendations for people to give donations but in this case, the depth of this project is more than the Make a Wish Foundation. Huddleston and Uiga say that the bridge can also be programmed to teach people about astronomy or be used as a learning tool for children in general.

So for all those children who might be about to die and wish to experience a real Federation starship adventure, I urge everyone to make a donation to the Star Trek Bridge Restoration Project.

Stephanie DonaldMay all of you have a blessed holiday whether you celebrate Chanukah, Yule, Christmas, Las Posadas, or Kwanzaa.

May everyone have a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

By Stephanie Donald

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