When he died in November, Alex Trebek left behind legions of fans who knew and adored him as the quick-witted Jeopardy host! for 37 years. He also left behind 14 suits, 58 dress shirts, 300 ties and other clothing he wore on the show, which taped five episodes a day, twice a week.
His son, Matthew Trebek, as well as the producer of Jeopardy !, wondered what to do with the large wardrobe. Together, they decided to donate the clothes to formerly homeless and incarcerated men looking for a new start.
This is how Mr. Trebeks Jeopardy! wardrobe which also included 25 polo shirts, 14 jumpers, 9 sports coats, 9 pairs of dress shoes, 15 belts, 2 parkas and 3 pairs of dress pants arrived about two weeks ago at the Doe Fund, an organization with a goal New York City nonprofit that provides services, housing and employment opportunities for men who have been in prison or homeless.
The Doe Fund made perfect sense since these are guys who go through job interviews and need a second chance, said Matthew Trebek, 30, a New York restaurateur and co-owner of Lucilles and Oso, both at Harlem. It would be an honor for the type of work my father has done throughout his life.
The giveaway was in line with the appeal Mr. Trebek made on one of his last shows, when he asked viewers to thank viewers for the blessings they had received in their lives and urged them to help. building a smoother and nicer society. The youngest Mr Trebek said his father, who died at the age of 80, had supported a range of charities, including programs that helped the homeless in Los Angeles.
It fits perfectly with his interests, feelings and values, he said. I think he would have thought it was a great idea.
After the clothes arrived in New York from the Jeopardy! locker room in Culver City, Calif., Doe Fund employees examined the items that matched the suits, ties and shirts and then began giving them to the men who had completed a vocational course and were preparing for interviews. ‘mock hiring or corporate office jobs.
Once it was found out that the donation had been given, people started coming to the office whether they completed the program or not, said John Powell, associate director of career development and graduate services at the Doe Fund. They just came to the office because they wanted to see the costumes.
The Doe Fund, which was founded in 1985, operates a variety of programs, including one called Ready, Willing & Able, which has prepared over 28,000 men for sobriety, full-time employment and a permanent home. The fund offers courses in parenting, anger management, computers, and drug treatment, among others.
Mr Powell said that every time a man who’s been in jail finishes the program and gets a costume, you see him visibly bigger.
It’s a complete and utter transformation, he says.
But knowing that these suits, ties and shirts had been worn by the host of Jeopardy! gave the men an extra boost, he said.
It’s not just a cute costume, it’s a cute costume from the Alex Trebeks family, donated by Alex Trebek, Mr Powell said. Knowing that it was someone they saw on TV, heard about for years, is a certain degree of validation.
Harriet Karr-McDonald, president of the Doe Fund, said that in her experience, many men in the program are extremely nervous when preparing for jobs or job interviews because they don’t have never worked in the legal economy.
But if you dress for it, you fit in, and that’s why it really matters, she says. Everyone knows Jeopardy! and everyone knows Alex Trebek, and if a really important and famous person recognizes you and your worth as a human being and you actually wear their costume, that’s pretty exciting.
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