Donations rescue TrekFest in Riverside

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After a brief period of uncertainty, Riverside’s TrekFest will go on as scheduled June 24 and 25.

The weekend-long festival celebrates the city’s self-proclaimed position as the “future birthplace” of “Star Trek”’s Capt. James T. Kirk. Problems arose recently when the Riverside City Council voted not to fund the $10,000 needed to put on the event this year.

Sponsor Riverside Area Community Club put out a call for donations, and this week, the Mindbridge Foundation’s board of directors voted unanimously to give the final $5,000 necessary to ensure the festival would go on.

Based in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, the non-profit helps to organize science fiction, anime, animation and gaming conventions in Eastern Iowa.

“We’ve been listening to the media and learned that the (Riverside Area Community Club) was short $10,000,” Mindbridge representative Dennis Lynch said. “Our role is to promote science fiction and give back, and TrekFest is a wonderful thing that is deserving of that support.”

Organizers said TrekFest plays an integral role in generating additional revenue for local businesses and funding for various needs in Riverside throughout the year, including academic scholarships for local youth.

“Like it or not, I think it’s a great thing that Riverside has that designation as the ‘future birthplace of Captain Kirk,’” former mayor Bill Poch said. “The community needs to embrace it and support TrekFest. It is money well spent — profits are turned back into the community 100 percent.”

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