DENVER (CBS4) – It’s not quite a Klingon invasion of Earth, but a group of ‘Star Trek’ fans is taking over part of the Denver Tech Center Marriott this weekend. It’s part of Starfest, a weekend-long science fiction convention that has drawn fans from across the region for the past four decades.
“We’re just a group of people who like Star Trek and Klingons and sci-fi,” John Miller, a.k.a Lord VamPyr, head of the regional group, said. “We’re collecting slightly used glasses and we’re going to donate these to the Lions Club. This is our first day of collecting and our box is already full, so we’re looking forward to collecting many more over the weekend.”
KlingonFest is a gathering of a group of dedicated fans of the ‘Star Trek’ characters. Throughout the year, they hold drives for various charitable causes. This weekend, they’re asking for eyeglasses to donate to the Lions Club, who will then donate them to children in need in the Denver Metro Area and in foreign countries.
“Klingons are an alien species from Star Trek who hold honor and glory above all else,” Miller said. “We’re honored to be able to help those who need this to be able to see.”
“Charity work has always been important to me,” another member of the group said. “There are so many worthy causes and not enough people helping out so people who think ‘oh they’re just a fan club, they do this and they keep to a basement?’ Wrong.”
The group also runs drives for Toys for Tots, the Denver Zoo, the Ronald McDonald House, and others around the metro area.
The group also helps out their own who need help.
Another member, who goes by Captain Kauch, said that the group donated a motorized wheelchair to him when he started dealing with health issues.
“The chair was given to me by another house member. She and her father had this chair sitting around the garage, and because of my health issues, she offered to donate the chair to me without asking for anything,” Kauch said. “Without the house, I wouldn’t have had this.”
“I grew up poor. To give back to the community after receiving when I was younger is only right as a human,” Kauch said. “Because it’s something I enjoy, it’s not just a personal passion, it’s a labor of love.”
Fans headed to Starfest this weekend can donate gently used eyeglasses to House VamPyr. All proceeds from that and an auction for a Klingon command chair prop will go to the Lions Club. Starfest runs from April 26 through the 28 at the Marriott at the Denver Tech Center.