Alex Trebek’s Charitable Gift Leaves Rescue Mission Leader in Tears

(Yahoo Entertainment) Alex Trebek’s personal health struggles haven’t halted his generosity to those less fortunate.

The Jeopardy! host, who has been fighting stage IV pancreatic cancer, has donated $100,000 to the Los Angeles-based Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission, a non-profit that works to “to prevent, reduce and eliminate poverty, hunger and homelessness.”

Ken Craft, the president and CEO of the charity, tells Yahoo Entertainment that Trebek had quietly and without fanfare been making donations to the group for several years…

“I was sitting at my desk in January and I get a phone call and the gentleman on the other line said, ‘Ken, this is Alex Trebek,’” Craft recalled. The game show host said he had been keeping tabs on what the organization was doing and requested a tour of the North Hollywood shelter, one of the new facilities.

Craft showed him the facility, which will house 84 people, and all its amenities. And then they drove to a second facility that’s in the works — and toured that as well. The men parted after Trebek said he wasn’t feeling so well, around the time he was having trouble with his chemo medications, but said he would be in touch in a few weeks.

And several weeks later, Trebek called again, inquiring about the financials of the charity — from Craft’s salary ($105,000) to the overall budget…

“He had printed out our financials,” Craft recalled, “and said, ‘If I’m reading this correctly, you make about 40 percent of your revenue from your thrift store. Is that correct?’ I said, ‘Yes it is.’ He said, ‘I like that. You’re earning money.’ He pointed out some other things. Then he said, ‘By the way, the reason why I asked you how much you make is because I supported another charity at one point and after the fact, I learned that the CEO was making $450,000. I just don’t think that’s a good use of non-profit finances….’”

Trebek then presented Craft with an envelope — inside a check for $100,000 — and said he hoped it would help with the expansion. Craft said it “moved me emotionally” and “with tears in my eyes” he thanked him, including — after getting permission — with a hug.

[Read more…]


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