Last, but not least, I wanted to talk about Robert Picardo’s involvement in charity work. The actor is a great proponent of charity and he is very much involved in his local chapter of Habitat for Humanity.
I attended the charity auction on the sunday evening after the convention. It was a lovely event filled with wonderful entertainment, and was hosted by Mr. Picardo himself. The actor was selling personal memorabilia in order to raise money for the San Gabriel Valley chapter of Habitat. Over 5000$ were successfully raised during the entertainment-filled evening.
Here is the final part of this exclusive interview:
IT: You seem to be very much involved in charities: The Aids Pediatric Foundation . . .
RP: The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation… I’ve raised money for them with my CDs probably for, I guess it’s ten years now, and other things – auctions of cast things. I have a long relationship with charity and I believe in them a great deal. More recently, in the last five years, Habitat for Humanity, my local chapter, which is the San Gabriel Valley Chapter. We’re having our third annual charity dinner; it’s actually our fourth event because the first one was a brunch, but it’s our third dinner. Pat Arthur, who runs my website, has been instrumental in setting that up and she’s very popular with my local chapter of Habitat for her planning and her follow-through with these events. So we have that Sunday night. We schedule it so that as soon as the convention closes here, that the fans who’d like to come and are already in town can find their way over there.
Also, I’ve raised money for a bunch of other worthy nonprofit organizations. The Planetary Society, which I’m a big supporter of. I’m on their advisory board, and I recommend all of your readers who are interested in real science, as well, not just science-fiction, or if they’d like to know the real status of our space program and what we’re doing now and see some extraordinary images from current exploration, they just have to go to planetarysociety.org. And also the Pasadena playhouse, which is the state theatre of California and also happens to be in my neighbourhood. I support them. Also, I usually do auctions for Catholic charities and different things.
I have a young nephew named Drew Koenig. He’s actually my first cousin Anthony’s eldest grandson. He’s five years old. He was diagnosed with brain cancer. He’s a real trooper, this kid. He’s really been through it since last November when he had the tumour taken out, and he’s had a very extensive course of chemotherapy and radiation. And now the family ran up some huge bills paying for that so there have been a number of events for him and for other families that they met with children with cancer. We had one of those at the Baltimore Convention Shoreleave. I’m going to try more regularly to have auctions of things to benefit him so I encourage your readers to go to http://www.robertpicardo.com/ and there will be a link to Drew Koenig: the Drew Koenig Fund, which is to help him and his family out with his treatment.
We have tremendous opportunities, working in a Science Fiction franchise, to be mercenary; to come and get things for ourselves, to get free trips, to make extra money and all that. But it’s always nice, I think, to balance commerce and self-interest with a good deed. So I’ve always tried to use these conventions as opportunities to do something for someone else, as well; and because Star Trek fans are not only very loyal, they’re also great supporters of charity. I suppose because they have, you know, being Star Trek fans by definition, they’re envisioning a brighter future. And I think people like that are pre-disposed to help make it happen by committing some of their resources to make things better for other people, especially other people in need. So Star Trek fans are very loyal supporters and if you say, ''hey, this is important to me, ''they kind of go – if they’re interested in you as an actor they go, ''Well, let’s see what’s important to him! Okay, that sounds worthwhile,'' and they follow suit. So it’s been a very nice kind of symbiosis [laughs] between my loyal fans and saying, ''hey guys, have a look at this! Do you think this is important too?'' And they’ve responded beautifully over the years, so I’m very grateful for that.
IT: Thank you so very much for your time!
RP: Thank you!