Cancer-stricken "Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek has donated $100,000 to a North Hollywood, California, homeless shelter, the facility's director says.
"Recently I was sitting in my office and I received a phone call from Alex Trebek," wrote Ken Craft, president and CEO of Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission, on his Facebook account Saturday and on the Mission's social-media accounts Sunday. "He said he would like a tour of our new shelter being built. I gave him a tour of the NoHo shelter and the navigation center."
The faith-based nonprofit, whose mission statement notes "does not discriminate based on religion, gender, age, ethnicity or sexual orientation," was founded in 2009 and operates a variety of shelters and programs in the San Fernando Valley and surrounding areas.
"Two weeks after that," Craft continued, "he asked if I would come to his house. I went to his house and he said he wants to contribute to the homeless crisis and he handed me a check for $100,000. I gave him a hug and asked if I could have a picture, he said you’ll have to come to @jeopardy, so my wife and I went to Jeopardy and got a picture with Alex a couple weeks ago," which Craft posted.
"What an incredibly kind, gracious and generous man," he added, "We continue to pray for his health and healing. Thank you Alex and Jean Trebek!" he concluded, referring to Trebek's Huntington-raised wife, Jean Currivan Trebek, a graduate of Harborfields High School. Neither of the Trebeks have commented publicly.
Hope of the Valley receives less than 40% of its funding from direct individual contributions and is funded primarily "from paid services or government grants," according to Charity Navigator.
Since making his Stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis public last March, longtime "Jeopardy!" host Trebek, 79, has become an advocate for research and awareness of the disease. On Oct. 30, the World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition released a public-service announcement he filmed, listing symptoms of the hard-to-recognize disorder.
According to the National Cancer Institute, overall five-year survival rates for pancreatic cancer in the United States are 9.3%. The five-year survival rate for Stage 4, in which the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, is 3%.