Article Amherst, OH – March 22 usually sparks Star Trek fans to note “Happy Birthday William Shatner” on websites all around the world. But this year there’s more Trek news and excitement than usual on the momentous occasion of the birth of the actor who originally played Captain James T. Kirk.
It was announced today that the embattled TrekUnited (www.trekunited.com) website and associated assets had been purchased by the International Federation of Trekkers for an undisclosed amount. The popular Star Trek fan forum site has seen good times and difficult ones in its six year span, but once original owner Tim Brazeal announced he wanted to sell the site, a group of investors jumped at the chance to work out a deal.
Along with IFT, investors Jennifer Ramsey (Ramsey’s Replicas: www.jenniferramsey.com) and Doug McEntyre (Star Trek Cruise: www.startrekcruise.com) teamed up to save the site and give it renewed life.
The International Federation of Trekkers (IFT) was first organized in 1984 in Cleveland, Ohio. Now a worldwide nonprofit corporation, IFT’s purpose, is “To promote the humanitarian philosophies and ideals portrayed in the Star Trek mythos in a realistic fashion, conducive to the continued existence and responsible advancement of human kind. To provide and support education in the areas of human rights, racial and sexual equality, environmental causes, and space exploration. To promote a more positive impression of Star Trek enthusiasts as intelligent, socially conscious, active individuals who are aware of and concerned about the real world today. To promote a positive outlook of the future by partaking in public service and charitable campaigns around the world, helping those in need in the hopes of making the world a better place. To support those who enjoy Star Trek through networking, organization of events, news services and fan representation.”
The members of TrekUnited were assured that things wouldn’t change much with the new ownership. “I want to say up front that although TU is a part of The Federation, we won’t be making any sweeping changes,” said Haslage. “Our goal is to support, promote and help the great things TrekUnited does to serve all Trek fans. Tom, Bill and all of the moderators and staff will stay. Nothing will change. This will remain the TU you all enjoy and we hope to make it even better with your help.”
Also announced today was the naming of Star Trek DS9’s Chase Masterson (who played Leeta on the show; www.chasemasterson.com) as the new Face of the Federation. “Chase’s gracious, enthusiastic and positive, outgoing personality made her the perfect choice to be the face of our organization,” notes Russ Haslage, who formed IFT along with the help of Gene Roddenberry in 1983.
“Trek fans have always inspired me in their willingness and ability to view the world through a lens made of extraordinary values, to share their hope for the future and their concern for the present, and to transform their concern into action,” said Masterson. “It is an honor to be in a position to help expand that great energy within an organization co-founded by Gene Roddenberry himself, and to help find creative ways to use it in order to make this planet a better place.”
A fan favorite, Chase Masterson can be seen in syndicated episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space 9 as everyone’s favorite dabo girl, Leeta, who worked at Quark’s Bar aboard the Federation space station and married Rom, who became the Grand Nagus of the Ferengi. Chase is also known for starring in numerous genre films, including the award-winning, sci-fi noir “Yesterday Was a Lie,” http://www.YesterdayWasaLie.com, now available for order on DVD.
IFT’s current website can be visited at www.iftcommand.com. Starting June 1, the new Federation site featuring Masterson can be seen at www.trekfederation.com as IFT unveils its new brand, new looks and renewed focus. IFT’s newest family member, TrekUnited, can be visited at www.trekunited.com.