When beloved Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek lost his battle to pancreatic cancer last November, he left behind more than family, friends, and a legion of adoring fans; he also left behind an amazing legacy of compassion and philanthropy.
During his lifetime, the Canadian-born TV personality invested his passion, time, and money in a number of worthy causes. Continuing the tradition, Trebek’s family has donated a portion of his personal wardrobe—much of it worn on-air—to The Doe Fund.
Established in 1990, The Doe Fund has provided jobs, vocational training, education, and social services to more than 28,000 “underserved Americans” coping with addiction, homelessness, and a history of incarceration.
The idea for the clothing drop came from Trebek’s son, Matthew. Together, he and Jeopardy! costume coordinator Steven Zimbelman chose 14 suits, 58 dress shirts, 300 neckties, 25 polo shirts, 14 sweaters, nine sport coats, nine pairs of dress shoes, 15 belts, two parkas, and three pairs of dress slacks to be donated to The Doe Fund’s Ready, Willing & Able program that provides interview outfits for those hoping to rejoin the workforce.
“We are so grateful for Jeopardy! and the Trebek family’s commitment to lifting up the most vulnerable among us,” Doe Fund president Harriet McDonald told CNN. “The men in our career training programs are always in need of professional attire, so they can shine in their job interviews and work with confidence once they’re hired. This donation alleviates the obstacle of not having appropriate clothing.”
“During his last day on set, Alex extolled the virtues of everyone opening up their hands and their hearts to those who are suffering,” Jeopardy! Executive Producer Mike Richards said in a press release. “Donating his wardrobe to those who are working to rebuild their lives is the perfect way to begin to honor that last request.”
Alex Trebek once stated, “Don’t tell me what you believe in. I’ll observe how you behave and I will make my own determination.”
For loyal fans who followed him for 38 seasons, that determination is clear.