Photos, left to right: Bob May (1939-2009); our Charity Auction Donation Room in 2015; Lalla Ward raising money for the Denville Hall trust in 2017.
It’s not just about fun and games… every year, we also like to spend some quality time raising money for a good cause.
The Bob May Memorial Charity Auction, Gallifrey One’s annual charity event, has raised nearly $200,000 for charity over the years for some very worthy causes, including the Foundation for the Study of Infant Death, the Downs Syndrome Association, the American Red Cross, the Dyslexia Scholarship Fund, the Hurricane Mitch Disaster Relief Fund, the War Child Charity, the Afghan Women’s Mission, the Pediatric AIDS Foundation, the Juvenile Diabetes Association, the Starlight/Starbright Foundation, the American Heart Association, Actors and Others For Animals, the American Cancer Society, Direct Relief International, Pet Orphans of Southern California, Students Run LA, the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer, the Aimee Hoff Memorial Scholarship Fund, the Wounded Warrior Project, the LUMOS Foundation and the Denville Hall actors home.
In February 2018, we were thrilled to raise over $19,300 for the Pop Culture Hero Coalition, the charity run by our long-time guest Chase Masterson. In doing so, we raised more money than we ever had before at a single convention!
Our 2019 Charity: The LASFS Building Fund
This February, we are marking the unprecedented thirtieth anniversary of Gallifrey One. We’re going to be commemorating that event within our program, and we continue to work on some great names to be added to our guest list. But we’ve also decided that this year, in honor of our 30 years as the world’s largest and longest-running annual Doctor Who event, we would like to do something different, something unique… to take the opportunity to give something back to the local fan community that helped define and make us what we are.
Though we have received support from far and wide, from the online Doctor Who fan community as well as fan clubs and organizations across the country and around the world, Gallifrey One also owes a very special debt of gratitude to one equally special and historic fan organization: the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society, known as LASFS.
LASFS is the world’s oldest science fiction fan organization, established in 1934 by some very familiar names in SF fandom: people like Forrest J. Ackerman and Ray Bradbury. Esteemed SF & fantasy creators, illustrators and promiment personalities have been vital parts of LASFS meetings over the years, such as Harlan Ellison, David Gerrold, Larry Niven, A.E. van Vogt, Bill Rotsler, Ray Harryhausen, Bjo Trimble, Alan Dean Foster, Norman Spinrad, John de Chancie and Jerry Pournelle. (At left: LASFS members, circa 1939.)
Over the years, the LASFS library has become one of the largest science fiction lending libraries in the world. Its annual Loscon convention, held every Thanksgiving weekend at the Marriott LAX Hotel (the same hotel as Gallifrey One), just celebrated its own milestone: its 45th anniversary. LASFS has been recognized for its service to fandom and its community, including its famed Recommended Reading List circulated to schools around the country. And its meeting space for many decades has been a crossroads of fandom… a place for many fans to find new friends, new family, and new social groups, to call their home away from home. (At right, below: the LASFS Library at the former Van Nuys clubhouse.)
Many of this convention’s founders and early attendees were members of LASFS, attending the meeting and social events every Thursday night, rain or shine, at its long-time clubhouse on Burbank Boulevard in North Hollywood. Many more came to the convention through joining our local Doctor Who fan organization, the Time Meddlers of Los Angeles, for which the LASFS Clubhouse was the monthly meeting place for two decades. Freehafer Hall and Building 4SJ, the twin buildings of the LASFS, would become a second home to many of us. From the borrowed art show pegboards and office supplies out of the old storage shed (affectionally nicknamed “Monstro“) to long nights in the APA-L room running the pages of the Gallifrey One program book on their old Gestetner mimeograph machine, from Time Meddlers and L.A. Doctor Who Viewing Society video gatherings at the clubhouse to convention video projects, work parties and TARDIS load-outs… there are so many stories, so many memories, that tie Gallifrey One and LASFS together.
Several years ago, LASFS needed to leave its Burbank facilities due to the size of, and costs of maintaining, the two elderly buildings. LASFS moved to a new property in Van Nuys, which they fully renovated, but the property became unfeasible for longer term use due to significant changes in the neighborhood. Since leaving Van Nuys, LASFS has been using various temporary locations for its regular meetings, never once abandoning the “Thousands of Thursdays” mantra that its members know so well – but a migration that has disrupted the club nonetheless. The LASFS Building Fund was established to help the non-profit organization find a new and permanent home. (At left: a LASFS meeting circa 2016).
It is therefore with great pleasure that Gallifrey One has decided to celebrate our 30th anniversary, as a token of affection and gratitude to LASFS for its central place in our history, by dedicating the proceeds of our 2019 Bob May Memorial Charity Auction to helping the LASFS Building Fund. It is our fondest hope that through the Building Fund, the LASFS Clubhouse may once again be a home away from home for a new generation of fans, like so many of us before, to help them find their place in the world.
About the Bob May Memorial Charity Auction
Gallifrey One’s annual charity auction, which takes place Sunday afternoon at each year’s convention, is named in honor of our friend Bob May. Best known for playing the Robot on the 1960s television series Lost in Space, Bob was also part of our convention family — for over a decade, he was a mainstay at our convention as a programming guest, dealer, raconteur, and beloved auctioneer at our charity event. Since Bob’s passing in 2009, and with the gracious and continuing support of Bob’s family, the event has been perpetually dedicated to his memory, and the proceeds donated in his name.
100% of the proceeds of the Bob May Charity Auction goes directly to the year’s target charity.
For this year (and for subsequent years), we’re going to be doing this a bit differently… not only will we have the usual Bob May Memorial Charity Auction on the Sunday of Gallifrey One: 30 Years in the TARDIS at noon, but we’ll also be unveiling full details in January about a new Silent Bid auction. This will allow our attendees to see some of what’s available on Friday & Saturday and place bids on select items before the auction (possibly even allowing some items to be purchased before it goes to the auction itself).
We Need You!
The Gallifrey One Bob May Charity Auction relies entirely upon donations of merchandise to auction for a good cause!
What are we looking for? In short: donations of science fiction, fantasy, comics, horror or genre related material, most especially Doctor Who and its spinoffs. This includes items from many different genres: a few examples include Torchwood, Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Supernatural, Game of Thrones, The Expanse, Stranger Things, Westworld, The Prisoner, Blake’s 7, Outlander Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Stargate, Battlestar Galactica, Caprica, Red Dwarf and the myriad comics-related TV shows and films; as well as anything related to science fiction film and television, SF/fantasy literature, comic books, or collectibles. Anything that has a tangential relationship to the SF/fantasy/horror genre which is in at least very good condition. Autographed photos, commemorative items, one-time prints, illustrations, etc. are also welcome. If you find it to be a valuable collectible, chances are good that others will, too. Just be sure: this is not a disposal service for items you wish to throw away!
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.