A Squirrel Hill man’s Facebook fundraiser for anti-gun groups received some star-studded recognition Wednesday from one of social media’s most prolific users.
George Takei, best known for his role as Hikaru Sulu on the original “Star Trek” TV show, on Wednesday posted a Tribune-Review story about Ron Gaydos on his Facebook page. Takei, an outspoken activist in support of social justice, has 9.5 million Facebook followers.
“Here’s something just about anyone can do…,” Takei wrote on the page. “After a recent rally in Pittsburgh, in which hundreds of armed pro-gun activists descended on city hall, a local business owner got so disgusted he raised more than $3,000 for gun control groups (including Ceasefire PA) on Facebook!”
Gaydos, owner of Scenius Strategies, an economic development consulting firm with offices in Squirrel Hill and Allentown, said he has no idea how Takei found the news story.
“A Pittsburgh friend posted it on my time line,” Gaydos said Thursday. “I went, ‘Wow, look at that, George Takei.’
I put down on his post itself, ‘Hey how did you find this,’ but I haven’t heard back.”
Gaydos started the fundraiser as a dig at protesters who rallied Jan. 7 against Pittsburgh’s proposed gun ban outside the City-County Building, Downtown. Mayor Bill Peduto and City Council proposed the ban on semi-automatic rifles and certain ammunition and firearms accessories following a mass shooting at Tree of Life synagogue on Oct. 27.
Gaydos, who lives three blocks from the synagogue, said he received several hundred in donations since Takei’s Facebook post, but hasn’t noticed a marked uptick.
He has so far exceeded his $2,500 goal with donations totaling $3,441 from 91 people. The fundraiser ends Saturday. The money will be distributed equally to CeaseFirePA, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and the Women’s March on Pittsburgh.
“I think a couple more hundred came in after yesterday’s post, but I haven’t had all the crazy increase happen,” Gaydos said. “Sometimes it’s something that takes a couple days for the notice and the momentum to build up.”
Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bob at 412-765-2312, [email protected] or via Twitter @bobbauder.