Every night, fans remember longtime game show host Alex Trebek while watching Jeopardy!. Now, more will feel his incredible impact through a new center aiming to help people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles.
Before his death in November 2020 following a battle with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, Alex and his wife, Jean, reportedly donated $500,000 to the non-profit organization Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission. Their donations went toward the transformation of a 23,000 square foot roller rink into a housing facility for those in need in the San Fernando Valley. What's more, after Sean Kavanaugh won Jeopardy!’s 2021 Tournament of Champions in May, the show matched the grand prize of $250,000 and donated it to the important cause.
Although the project was set to break ground on May 15, with a predicted December opening date, construction just began recently. Jeopardy!’s official Instagram shared the exciting news on September 1 while airing reruns of the Tournament of Champions.
“With the $250K donation from Jeopardy!, @hopeofthevalley Trebek Center began construction on Aug. 16th, scheduled for completion early 2022," the post read. "The site will have 107 bedrooms and a full array of social services to assist those living at the center.”
Fans of Jeopardy! and Alex rejoiced in the comments section after learning that the Trebek Center is officially underway. “This is wonderful, Jeopardy! Family! I think Alex would be very happy to hear of the construction’s beginning ❤️,” one person wrote. “Alex’s act of love lives on! He’s smiling down on all [of] us from heaven! What a great legacy, Jeopardy and @hopeofthevalley! 👏🙌❤️🙏,” another added. “Alex would be so proud,” a different fan said.
According to TMZ, Alex and Jean’s initial donation helped raise an additional $2 million from other donors and $6 million from the city. Originally, the location was going to be called the Hope Central or Hope Center. But after Alex died, the organization got permission to honor the late TV personality.
Once it is built, the Trebek Center will offer “social services including mental health services, job training and placement and substance abuse counseling.”
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