Beltran Grateful For Galaxy Ball Support

By Caillan
November 20, 2001 - 12:39 PM

For the last four years Robert Beltran has organised his Galaxy Ball to help those with Down Syndrome, and the actor says he's been extremely thankful for all the support from generous Trek fans.

"The Star Trek franchise strikes a chord with a lot of people all over the world," Beltran told USA Today. "Many of them are generous, responsible people. I am very grateful to the people who take part in the Galaxy Ball. They use their interest and love of Star Trek to help people with Down."

The actor initially feared that this year's event wouldn't attract as many special guests. "Since we finished Voyager, we opened the Ball for celebrities to raise money for different charities. I was concerned I wouldn't be able to get as many of my fellow cast members to be a part of it because there's no telling where they would be."

However, with Trek celebrities such as Patrick Stewart (Jean-Luc Picard), Brent Spiner (Data) and Rene Auberjonois (Odo) participating in addition to the usual Voyager castmembers, that wasn't going to be a problem.

"I think this is an extraordinary opportunity to give back to the community," said Auberjonois, who supports the charity Medecins Sans Frontieres. "When I started doing Star Trek, I realized that rather than going to conventions and selling pictures of myself for myself, it is an ideal way to raise money for a charity."

Beltran, whose younger brother has Down Syndrome, was pleased to be able to use his Trek connections to help others with the condition. "Through the Galaxy Ball I have met many kids and adults with Down Syndrome," he said. "Many of them are capable of living productive lives. I would like to give people who have children with Down Syndrome, hope and faith that their children can grow up to be wonderful, valuable citizens in our country."

This year's Galaxy Ball raised a total of $50,000, half of which will go to the Down Syndrome Association of Los Angeles. Other charities earmarked for funds include the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, and Medecins Sans Frontieres.

The original article can be found here at USA Today.

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