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Helping the Next Generation: Jackson-based Star Trek Club Donates to The McCoy House

JACKSON, Miss.—In the 1990s, a young Ryan Case would bond with his father, Ralph Case, as the family gathered in the living room to watch reruns of “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” Ryan’s woodsy, outdoor-faring father became a fan of the franchise during its original series, which debuted in 1966, and continued his love affair with Starfleet’s adventures when the second live-action television series broadcasted in the late 1980s.

Ryan Case enjoyed learning about different alien species depicted in the franchise and how they responded when interacting with other people. As opposed to some science-fiction media of the time, “Star Trek” leaned more toward weaving social commentary into its stories over incorporating heavily choreographed action, he explained.

“The thing I like the most about (Star Trek) is that it makes humanity aspire towards that vision of man working together for the betterment of everybody,” Case told the Mississippi Free Press. “There’s no conflict in accepting people for who they are.”

“And then that other idea of just exploration, what’s out there, I’ve always been curious,” he added. “We’ll probably never get the answers, but—the things that we do—I would like to have that be a stepping stone for the next generation to be able to maybe one day get those answers.”

The U.S.S. Haise chapter of the Starfleet International Star Trek Fan Association Inc. donated more than $300 in gift cards to The McCoy House of Jackson, a women’s addiction recovery center. Photo courtesy Ryan Case

Case’s appreciation for the show would eventually lead him to the Starfleet International Star Trek Fan Association Inc., becoming a member of the U.S.S. Haise chapter in Jackson, Miss. The international fan club is nonprofit with chapters across the globe. Bethany Theilman started the Jackson chapter in 1995 when she moved to Mississippi from Kentucky and realized that no “ships” actively operated here.

“She wanted to continue the work that she was doing in Kentucky,” Case explained. “We try to act as a social club. Certainly we get together, have a good time, meet up for dinners, things like that. We also raise money

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