Alex Borchardt ain’t afraid of no ghosts.
As a matter of fact, he’s fascinated by them.
The 33-year-old Langley resident is unwavering in his belief that the spirit world exists.
“I believe that no energy can be stopped or contained so therefore, when we die our energy merely moves on,” Borchardt said. “So I can clearly see that if a spirit or presence had some unfinished business, maybe they’d want to stick around for a while.”
Along with being a believer, Borchardt is part of a second generation wave of fans of the Ghostbusters film and animated TV series.
It wasn’t the first two Ghostbusters films that drew Borchardt in – he was a year old when the original starring Dan Akroyd and Bill Murray exploded onto the scene in 1984.
What turned Borchardt into a Ghostbusters devotee was the animated series Extreme Ghostbusters, a follow up to the original animated series The Real Ghostbusters.
One of the Extreme Ghostbusters’ characters, Garrett Miller, is in a wheelchair, just like Borchardt, who lost his right leg at the hip after being run over by a train car in former hometown of Sarnia, Ont., when he was six years old.
“Since I am a Ghostbuster in a wheelchair myself, I found the perfect homage right there,” Borchardt said.
It took a few years for Borchardt to learn about the Ghostbusters of British Columbia (GBBC).
“About three years ago, now, the Ghostbusters [of B.C.] had set up a big booth at one of the fan expos,” Borchardt related. “I had seen the guys around quite a bit and I didn’t know exactly how much fundraising they did.”
During the fan expo, Borchardt approached the group to ask what he could do to help, and ended up selling raffle tickets on behalf of the GBBC, with proceeds benefiting B.C. Children’s Hospital.
Later, at the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo, the GBBC set up a green screen program where visitors could be put into Ghostbusters scenes, with donations going to the Alberta Children’s Hospital.
“At that time we raised around $3,300 with them,” Borchardt said.
This Sunday, July 17, Borchardt will once again join fellow GBBC members at Langley’s Toy Traders, 19880 Langley Bypass, for a charity fundraiser with a very worthy Canadian cause attached to it.
During the event which runs from noon to 4 p.m., visitors can have their photo taken with GBBC members, as a Ghostbuster, or even in Ecto (the vehicle that the Ghostbusters used to travel throughout New York City), all by donation, with 100 per cent of the proceeds going to the Red Cross to support families affected by the Alberta wildfires.
The fierce Fort McMurray fire in May forced almost 90,000 residents from their homes, and destroyed about 1,800 houses as well as buildings containing about 600 apartments or condo units.
The timing of this fundraiser works well because a third Ghostbusters movie arrives in Canadian theatres on Friday. Borchardt said the GBBC event in his hometown promises to be tons of fun.
“If there’s any small kids, we try to make sure we make them honorary Ghostbusters,” he said.
Borchardt will be dressed in full Ghostbusters garb for Sunday’s fundraiser. The centre-piece of the outfit is a flight suit that can be found at most military stores.
As time passed, Borchardt attached accessories including his name tag and the Ghostbuster logo to his suit, and after being recognized as a full-fledged GBBC member, received an official patch from the organization.
He also attached Ghostbusters logos to the wheels of his chair.
The costume designs vary depending on each person’s taste, Borchardt said: “There are so many different designs. Most of us go with the standard tan or khaki suit with the black logos from the first movie. But there are a lot of people who do the second movies suits which are more done in the more black and grey tones. And some people go all out and do the cartoon versions which are green and bright pink, and pale blue. You know, really, really awesome colours.”