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-
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-
"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.