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Bozeman Charity Celebrates First Contact Day With Fundraiser

Reach Inc.'s anniversary coincides with both the date and location of Cochrane's historic warp flight

It's not quite as old as Star Trek itself, but a charity which helps adults with developmental disabilities lead independent lives, will celebrate its 42nd anniversary on April 4. And it will do it in a way Zefram Cochrane himself would be proud.

Reach Inc., which currently works with more than 110 adults in its program, will raise money this week by celebrating the Vulcans first contact with humans. That event, if you remember from 1996's "Star Trek: First Contact," took place on April 5, 2063, in Bozeman, Montana — the very place Reach also is based.

Merging the fundraiser with Star Trek made total sense, community relations and development director Dee Metrick told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Plus, "one of the themes of Star Trek is an optimistic view of the future," she added. "That connects to Reach Inc.'s view."

The idea of tapping into Trek came from Metrick's Trekkie brother-in-law, James Peach. He was a fan of "First Contact," which used Bozeman as Cochrane's base in part because it was the hometown of film co-writer Brannon Braga.

The first Trek-themed party was last year, and it has since become a popular event, Metrick said. This weekend's party will have a number of activities including a costume contest, trivia, a shipbuilding contest, and even Trek-themed drinks.

"I was shocked how many people came in really good handmade costumes," Metrick told the newspaper.

In "First Contact," the Enterprise-E follows the Borg back to 21st century Earth where the cybernetic aliens hope to stop human advancement into space by disrupting the first warp flight of Cochrane, played in the film by James Cromwell. The setting is in the aftermath of World War III, and Cromwell has set up a research camp in the hills near Bozeman.

Cochrane is eventually joined on the flight by Cmdr. Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and Geordi LaForge (LeVar Burton).

"First Contact" would gross more than $92 million domestically, finishing second only to 1986's "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home," before adjusting for inflation.

Reach is not waiting for April 4 to celebrate. Its fundraiser is this weekend, beginning at 6 p.m. Tickets are $20, and Metrick expects more than 100 people to show up.

"It's a great way to expose people to our work," she said.

To learn more about the organization, visit ReachInc.org.

Source: Bozeman Daily Chronicle

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