"Leading Ladies Lend a Hand (bag) to Help Hospice"
June 6th, 2012
Thanks to TMZ, 24 hour cable news,
and the internet, celebrities are only assured publicity if they go into rehab,
get arrested, or have an affair. If they do all three at once, they can be in
the spotlight for weeks on end. The sad fact is that the media generally doesn't
care when a celebrity does something good, unless it's for a high profile
charity in New York or L.A. That's why I'm proud to give a public shout-out to
four of my Hollywood buddies who are working behind the scenes to help some very
special kids in northwest North Carolina and southern
Next week, Mountain Valley Hospice
and Palliative Care will host a Ladies Night Out ,"Handbags for Hospice" auction
to raise money for its "Kids Path" program, and it was my job to come up with
some autographed celebrity purses which we could sell at the big event. I asked Shirley Jones, Suzanne Somers, Marg Helgenberger, and Dana Delany to donate handbags, and without hesitation,
they all said yes.
Ms. Jones autographed her handbag
while in the hospital recovering from knee replacement surgery. What a trooper!
My wife Pam and I had visited Shirley and her husband Marty Ingels at their home
in Encino some years ago, and we have stayed in close contact since then.
Shirley, of course, is famous for playing the matriarch in "The Partridge
Family", and for her off screen role as Mother to David and Shawn Cassidy. She
is also an Oscar winning actress, and star of countless
I got to know Suzanne Somers two
years ago while I was moderating a Salute to TV Dads at the Academy of
Television Arts & Sciences. One of my TV Dad panelists was "Dallas" star
Patrick Duffy who also played Ms. Somers' hubby on "Step by Step". Suzanne
agreed to stop by and honor Patrick that night, and we have remained friends
ever since. She is perhaps best known for her role in "Three's Company", but I
will always think of Suzanne as one of the most courageous and forward thinking
people in the public eye, and a passionate advocate for women's health. She has
written twenty books, and has her own line of beauty and nutritional products,
as well as a collection of designer handbags, one of which she sent to us for
the Hospice auction.
Back in 2011, "CSI" star Marg
Helgenberger was one of the panelists for an event I moderated on TV
Crimefighters. Marg is very unassuming and unaffected by the trappings of
Hollywood, where she has worked for thirty years in both films and television,
including on "China Beach", a war time drama starring Dana Delany.
I first met Dana at the EMMY
Governor's Ball, where she was having a minor wardrobe malfunction. Dana took
the mini crisis in stride, and with a smile on her face. Years later the "Body
of Proof" star helped me with background research on her friend Marg for the TV
Crimefighters event. The two ladies really came through for Hospice kids. Marg
sent us an elegant Gucci bag, and Dana contributed two beautiful
Dana, Marg, Suzanne, and Shirley are
four great ladies, and because of their quiet generosity, next week's "Handbags
for Hospice" auction will be a very special event. Proceeds will go to support
"Kids Path", a specialized program for children facing the challenges of coping
with a chronic or terminal illness. It also provides support for children and youth who may be experiencing
grief associated with the death of a loved one.
"Handbags for Hospice" takes place
Thursday evening June 14, from 6pm until 8pm at Cross Creek Country Club in Mt.
Airy. Admission is $40 which includes wine and heavy hors d'oeuvres. Other
auction items include handbags which have been donated by local celebrities such
as WXII's Kimberly Van Scoy and WFMY's Tanya Rivera. A number of area stores
have also donated brand new purses.
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