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Patricia Bowen loved the original "Star Trek."  When "Star Trek: The

Motion Picture" premiered in December of 1979, Pat was inspired to try

to find other Trek fans.  She put an ad in "The Virginian-Pilot" and,

as a result, a group of fans met in a meeting room of a bank in

Virginia Beach in March of 1980.  Thus was born the oldest "Star Trek"

club in the southeastern Virginia region--Starfleet Atlantic.  Pat

"captained" the group for a number of years before moving to Maine and

turning the reins of the club over to her best pal, Joy Ashenfelder.

When Pat eventually moved back to Virginia, she insisted that Joy (now

Joy Dean) remain "in command."  Joy has led the group ever since.

Starfleet Atlantic consists of people who love "Star Trek" in one or

more of its varied incarnations, both TV shows and movies.  As it is

not affiliated with the official national organization of Starfleet,

the club's structure is very laidback.  Members love to discuss Trek

and other science fiction shows and movies, and discussions often

branch out into everything but politics and religion (the latter two

are off limits until after the meeting).  A club newsletter, usually

about 20 pages in length, is available monthly at meetings or one can

subscribe to it and receive it through the mail.

Besides hot discussions, club members participate in holiday parties

and an annual Science Fiction Yard Sale.  As a charity activity,

members collect manufacturers' coupons for members of the  American

military and their families at an overseas base, with total coupon

donations usually averaging over $50,000 each year.

Members of Starfleet Atlantic produced the popular Beach Trek

conventions for a few years in Virginia Beach, bringing in guests such

as Denise Crosby and Michael Dorn.

Anyone who loves "Star Trek" is welcome to join the club.  There are

no dues for membership.  Just show up!  A collection is taken at the

end of each meeting to help offset the cost of producing the club

newsletter but all donations are voluntary.