By Stephanie Dolan
Since 1988, Starbase Indy has welcomed Star Trek fans who enjoy a convention atmosphere but who prefer a smaller, more intimate gathering.
From Nov. 23-25 Indianapolis Marriot East will be home to this annual convention, a confab headed by three women who work hard at continuing to improve this event for the sake of the charities it helps to fund: Cat’s Haven, LungEvity for lung cancer research and the Jason Foundation for teen suicide.
Kim Huff, a web-work-at-home mom of two, Lil Sams of Eli Lilly Oncology and Judith Eudaly, retired from Eli Lilly Oncology, all meet on a monthly basis, working almost full-time eight months of each year (starting around March or April) to get this event off the ground, so to speak.
“It’s a lot of work, but it’s a lot of fun,” Huff said in a recent interview via Skype.
Even when they’ve tried to pull back, attempting to shave off duties or lessen the workload, these three inevitably get sucked back into the Star Trek wormhole. According to Sams, “There is no known cure. By 2009 it was definitively determined that the three of us are certifiable.”
Certifiable, perhaps, but also devoted to the fans who flock to their event each year.
In 2008, when they’d attempted to step back and allow others to take over the main responsibilities of Starbase Indy, the “new owners” fell through. There almost wasn’t a convention at all. At the last minute Huff, Sams and Eudaly stepped back in and worked around the clock to make sure the fans had the same out-of-this-world experience they’d come to expect from years past. That year, Starbase Indy became “Freecon.” No admission was charged, yet the trio somehow miraculously managed to get this enormous project completed to the rousing satisfaction of everyone who came through the door.
Then, the latest Star Trek movie was released, and there was no hope whatsoever of a reprieve.
This year, fans can expect so much more than just a Star Trek experience. Huff, Sams and Eudaly admit to being “science nuts,” and want each visitor to experience the science fact behind the science fiction.
This year there will be a Neil Armstrong tribute and a moon rock display.
“We’re into science and outer space. How can you get more spacey than a moon rock?” Huff said.
Previous conventions welcomed guests such as astronaut David Wolfe. According to Huff, he’s very “down to earth.”
Parents can expect plenty of educational programs for kids, and adults will have plenty of activities to enjoy each night once convention doors are closed.
There will also be a charity auction, and visitors should come expecting to bid on Apollo mission photos signed by David Wolfe.
Tickets are $40 online or $45 at the door.
Oh… and when a few eternal – and some may say unanswerable – questions were posed to each of these ‘Trekkies’, the following are their responses: Picard over Kirk, Data over Spock (2 – 1) and YES, Virginia, Pluto IS a planet.
For more information on this event, visit www.starbaseindy.com.