Friday , March 18, 2016 - 6:27 AM11 comments
LAYTON — Since 1996, the USS Ticonderoga, a local Star Trek Fan Club, has been bringing sci-fi fans from the Ogden-Layton area together.
On Saturday, March 19, the club celebrates 20 years, over which it has created friendships and even marriages.
“It’s an excuse to get together with Star Trek fans and other sci-fi fans and just meet people,” Rear-Admiral Carl Stark said. “I would have never gone paintballing by myself. We quite literally go where we haven’t gone before.”
The group meets once a month to catch-up, cosplay, make art, discuss their favorite sci-fi franchises and other activities. The club is free to join and family-friendly. They also participate in a number of community service projects.
In the past, the group has raised money for HOPE Kids, Operation Paperback and the Children’s Justice Center, and it will have a booth at this year’s Salt Lake Comic-Con FanX on March 24 to collect donations for a no-kill animal shelter, Stark said.
For longtime members of the club, like Stark, life-long friendships and love have sprouted from their fandom.
Stark met his wife Erica around the founding of the club and have since started a family together, all thanks to the group.
“It’s a huge family really. You can go to an event or meeting and you’re guaranteed to meet someone with the same interests as you,” Captain Erica Stark said. “A lot of us have been treated as anti-social, basement types, but this is a place you can go and have a conversation with people like you.”
“We understand it's a show and it’s all in good fun. But it just has some tenants that really speak to people. These crazy alien characters reflect on your life and make you relate,” Erica Stark said.
The club is centered around Star Trek, but Doctor Who fans, Star Wars fans and any other sci-fi fans are welcome to join and geek out together.
The group is meeting at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Golden Corral at 624 N. Heritage Park Boulevard in Layton to celebrate the anniversary. Stark says there will be cosplay, art and good times. People interested in joining or finding out more are welcome to attend or go to the group’s next meeting on April 13 at the Weber County Library’s Southwest Branch in Roy.
The group meets at the library on the second Wednesday of every month.
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