What a difference two days and a 150 generous Trekkers can make!

As I told you all on Monday, the TREKCETERA Star Trek Museum near Calgary, Alberta in Canada was in danger of disappearing forever.  Owners Devan J. Daniels and Michael Carl Mangold needed $10,000 in order to restructure a loan that was taken out to fund their move from the small town of Vulcan to more-touristy town of Drumheller.  The relocation is already resulting in triple the foot traffic, but the loan payments were still too high for even the revenue from increased admissions to cover it.

Reece Watkins heard about their troubles late last week and quickly put together a GoFundMe crowd-sourcing campaign.  Over the weekend, Reece worked feverishly to mobilize fans—including myself and Alec Peters—to help spread the word far and wide to as many Trekkers.  The money was needed this week, so the campaign couldn’t afford a “slow” ramp up.  In fact, the deadline was just 24 hours!

Well, guess what?  They made it!  And here’s what happened…

About midday yesterday, the campaign goal was cut in half, as the museum owners were able to procure $5,000 of the money needed themselves.  By the end of the day, the campaign had reached $5,521 and was ended, having successfully reached its goal.

This morning, Mike Bawden (who happens to serve as the PR Director for Axanar…although there is no official connection between Axanar Productions and the Trekcetera Museum other than simply lending support by spreading word of the campaign) sent $5,200 to the Canadian bank account of Devan and Michael.  That’s the total amount raised minus the fees for GoFundMe.

The reason that Mike Bawden got involved is that his company has the infrastructure in place to handle international financial transactions and could make the transfer quickly, floating a “loan” to the museum for the week-or-so until GoFundMe releases the funds raised.  (By the way, I asked Mike if this money was taxable income and if he would have to cover those costs personally out of pocket.  His response, “Don’t worry about it, Jon.  That’s not really anyone’s business but mine.”  Fair enough.  I don’t discuss my tax returns publicly either…and neither Mike nor I plans to run for president anytime soon.  Mayor, maybe, but not president.)

As an interesting side note, CBS apparently contacted the museum owners yesterday and told them to shut down the campaign.  This struck me personally as odd for two reasons:

  1. The museum wasn’t running the campaign.  It had been organized by a fan seeking support from other fans—“Friends of Trekcetera” was what the campaign page said.  And according to Reece Watkins, whose name did appear on the page as an organizer, at no point during the campaign was he ever contacted by CBS.
  2. Why would CBS want to shut this campaign down?  Wouldn’t this sort of grass-roots fan participation and enthusiasm for Star Trek be GOOD for the franchise?  And hey, it keeps an official licensee from going out of business, and that just means more revenue for CBS.

So no, I just don’t get the logic of CBS trying to shut down the campaign.

Anyway, the point became moot last night, as the GoFundMe was ended (once it reached its goal) the same day CBS contacted the museum telling them to shut it down.  So everybody wins, right?

(By the way, I’ve reached out to John Van Citters of CBS Licensing with some questions about this, and I’ll let you folks know if/when I hear anything back.  I only just e-mailed him a short while ago, which is why I don’t have his comments available yet for this blog entry.)

Congratulations to Devan J. Daniels and Michael Carl Mangold. May your Star Trek Museum live long and prosper!

In the meantime, though, a big THANK YOU to everyone who pitched in to assist with this lightning-fast campaign… whether it was a donation or just helping to spread the word.  $5,500 in just 48 hours!  It’s amazing what Trek fans can accomplish when they care about something!

15 thoughts on “HOORAY! The TREKCETERA Star Trek Museum is SAVED!”

  1. I smell an “Axa-hater” at work behind CBS C&D. Solely because an Axanar supporter was behind the campaign

      1. Love Axanar or hate it the signs are becoming clear that CBS is becoming power hungry .

        What will CBS do next ?

  2. I was about to ask what CBS would be doing to help a franchise partner and now you tell us that thet actually tried to kill it !!!
    CBS are really nuts doing very bad business practice and even worse communication. What will JVC find as argument to explain CBS are the good guys there and Trekcetera the ugly ones ?
    The message is now clear: if a licensee is in trouble, CBS won’t help and even push down to finish him off. What a disgusting way to trade.
    And you wonder why Discovery is so dark ? Well, this is the reflect of what the producers are.

  3. Now here this?, this will take you all back to all of the star trek clubs and star fleet, the person who is running CBS network he and others did not like star trek at all. But they got a hold of one group of people know did win there case from Parmount studio and CBS network for going after people who like star trek. But they wanted them to close down all on the internet of star trek and star fleet.org everyone in all part of star trek told everyone that had a website or webpage to stay on line. The person who was at CBS was going to have a big fight with everyone who love star trek. And now they are trying to do it all over again with everyone who love star trek And fan films this is why if any one like to see CBS and Parmount studio go down hill just let them. We the person who love star trek we can close both companys down by don’t do what they say ok. This is free enterprise. They have no right of telling all us us what to do. When it comes to star trek. I do just hope this will help you all who read this. But if any of you have a hard time looking for this go back to the 1999 to 2006? I think. It have ben a long time it was with vic com, and now it is with vicacom now?.

  4. General Trek audience doesnt care about the Trek museum and won’t really care if CBS blocked the funds.

    Discovery is a hit worldwide.

    1. CBS could not legally block the funds. Actually, I don’t think they could block them illegally either. It was a private campaign that didn’t involve CBS directly at all. The funds have already been transferred, as well. All CBS could do–although the optics would be horrendous for them in the media–would be to terminate the museum’s license. I can’t imagine they’d be that foolish. Maybe I’ll be proven wrong and the Hollywood Reporter will have a juicy story to tell…

      Oh, and how do you know that Discovery is a hit worldwide? Did CBS publish actual numbers somewhere? If they didn’t, that might be a clue that it isn’t, y’know, a hit. 🙂

  5. I am glad the TREK museum is saved!!!

    This is where CBS pisses me off. I want to know what Captain Lorca’s hiding yet at the same time they pull garbage like this. What’s their problem???

        1. Actually, I think I’d just prefer some Sarucha sauce. It’s spicy, but it goes great on blueberries!

          Of course, if you’re making gumbo, always start with a good Saroux.

          And don’t forget the Sarut vegetables.

  6. First, I’m glad they pulled through.

    Secondly, as for CBS yet again “picking on the group of fans just trying to save a little museum”…

    I think if it was indeed a random sample group coming to the rescue aid of this museum, it wouldn’t have raised any eyebrows at CBS.

    It wasn’t a random sample group of “just fans”. Let’s look at who it was…

    The campaign was spearheaded and operated by Mike Bawden, Alec’s Official PR Rep, and Reece Watkins, one of Alec’s main devoted Lieutenants/General Purpose Use guys. The promotion of the campaign was done by Jonathan Lane, Alec’s Minister of Information, and Alec Peters, the Legend Himself.

    All four of those individuals were deposed on the defendant’s side in their recent copyright infringement suit against Alec Peters, the Actual Defendant. A suit that concluded with a ban of Mr. Peters from using crowd funding as a medium to generate revenue on the back of the Star Trek brand name. This is not an honor just any four random fans can claim. And suddenly, they’re ALL Gung Ho On Board with a *SUDDEN IMMEDIATE 24 HOUR DEADLINE NO TIME TO ASK QUESTIONS NEED IT RIGHT NOW* Crowd Fund, that is involved with the Star Trek Brand?

    Which is why I don’t blame CBS for smelling a little possible Stank going on. I’d be scratching my head like, “This Peters guy we just sued has his main people crowd funding a Star Trek Thing and he’s pimping it from the sidelines? What’s his possible angle?”

    I’ll bet Real Money if it WAS a random group of Fan Friends not connected to this matter, they probably wouldn’t have gotten a Nastygram about taking their campaign down.


    1. Well, just to be clear: neither Reece, Mike, nor I were ever deposed. (What are you, like, Carlos Predraza? You can’t just make stuff up, dude!)

      Speaking of which, when did I ever get the title of “Minister of Information”? If anything, that’s more Mike’s job…although still not a title. What exactly does a Minister of Information actually do, by the way? I used to serve as Chief of Communications for STARFLEET, The International Star Trek Fan Association. That meant I did their bi-monthly newsletter. I don’t do Alec’s newsletter. He kinda handles all the Axanar informational blogs himself.

      Hey, maybe ALEC is Alec’s Minister of Information! 🙂

      Anyway, had CBS bothered to ask anyone, Alec knew these guys because they’re prop and costume collectors just like he is. When he and Reece heard about their dire straights and the immediacy, Reece offered to help set up a GoFundMe campaign and Alec offered to spread the word to Axanar donors (who are known to be a proactive bunch when it comes to helping their fellow fans). Alec and Reece contacted me to see if I’d put a call-to-action on Fan Film Factor, as well…since that reaches a few hundred to a thousand people on a typical day. We three told our friends to tell their friends…and so on…and so on. And it worked! Mike came in at the end to handle the transfer of funds to a Canadian bank and floated the $5.2K loan for a few days until the money clears GoFundMe.

      If CBS were suspicious, there were so many people they could have contacted to figure out what was going on: Alec, Mike, or maybe even the guy who was running it: Reece! Wouldn’t that have been a novel idea? Alec isn’t about to pull a fast one on CBS. He has a legal settlement and very explicit do’s and don’ts that he has to follow. CBS knows this. Alec has been playing fairly with them since January (one might argue all along since even before the lawsuit).

      Anyway, just more bad optics for CBS.

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