Saving The Lives Of Our Own - Keeping the Promise

Saving the Lives of Our Own

The star studded event at Renberg Theatre in Hollywood, produced by Neo Ensemble Theatre and Saving the Lives of our Own, orchestrated by Edward Lozzi Associates, was more of a fundraiser.   It was an acknowledgment and an urgent cry to spread the word to Save the Lives of Our Own. 

Saving Lives: Nichelle Nichols

 In 1928, Mary Pickford, already a movie legend and then a producer, realized that someone had to take care of those who had provided entertainment for us. She created the Motion Picture Hospital and Long Term Care Facility, promising the community that someone would always be there for them. 

Saving Lives: Kathy Joosten

 For many years this was true.   But now the 43 patrons left at the home – always one of the premiere nursing homes -- are being told they must find other accommodations.   None of the available places have the pleasing attitude nor the reputation of care that the Motion Picture Home does.   In fact, John Schneider told the story of his friend from Dukes of Hazzard who came to the home just before his death and said before he died that those twelve days were among the happiest of his life.  

 Citing  a financial problem, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Dr. Tillman, of the home’s board,  announced the closing of the long term care facility at the Motion Picture Hospital in Woodland Hills.   Despite the fact that many stars have offered money to assist, Katzenberg has refused their funds.  

Saving Lives: John Schneider

The coalition was started by Daniel Quinn, Nancy Biederman, Andy Suser, with active members Richard Stellar, Melody Sherwood, Sandy Sussman, Nila Neukum, and Katherine and Dean Butler, began two years ago when the announcement was first made.   “We have struggled ever since to keep the home open and to come up with viable solutions that would keep everyone happy. 

Saving Lives: Richard Dreyfuss

 “Every contract I signed,” said Richard Dreyfuss, “1-2% was voluntarily given to the home to help keep the promise.”   He believes now that the deduction should be made mandatory on every agreement.   “No one has veto power over the lives of the people there.” Referring to the video, showing some of the residents how they were then and how they are now, he pointed out, “They are us.   We are them.   We are their voice.”  

Called in by Katzenberg to “explain”, Diane Ladd found out that the last home Dr. Tillman had been in, he turned into a clinic! (Just as they are trying to do now)   She realized that there were 17 acres of the home’s land that was not being used.   She offered help build a new home and was told she must obtain a feasibility study first.   Undaunted, she undertook the task and was assisted by Innova who, when they saw what the project was, dropped their price considerably.   It would take 120 million to build the new home, she found out.   Katzenberg finally agreed to talk more about releasing the land to Ladd's group if they could come up with 20 million.  

A promise was made, and the promise needs to be kept.   We are the only ones who can keep this promise to care for those of us who provided so much in the past. 

Saving Lives: Dawn Wells

 Hosted by Dawn Wells, the stars performed original material written for this evening. They did so in song, dance and in skits.   Those were Lorenzo Lamas, Gloria Loring, Michael Miranda, Dagney Key, Shirley Jones, Marty Ingels, Kathryn Joosten, David St. James , James Intveld, Jerry Douglas, John Schneider, Carol Herman, Cate Caplin and Gary Franco, Nic Novicki, Rene Taylor and Joseph Bologna.  Music accompaniment was from David Bickford and the announcer was James Geralden. 

Saving Lives: Kate Linder

Voices (letters from) of the residents were read by Bill Smitrovich, Kate Linder, Nichelle Nichols, Connie Stevens, and Hank Garrett.   While Richard Dreyfuss gave us thoughts on the home and it’s potential closing.  

Saving Lives: Shirley Jones and Marty Ingels

Other stars in attendance were Stephanie Powers, Cheri Oteri, Esai Morales, Anthony Michael Hall, Ben Heryl, George Barris, cast members of The Event, Young and the Restless, Bold and Beautiful, Mary Jo Cattlet, Tanya Newbold, Abigail Mason, Mark Valinsky, Thomas Ian Griffith, Mary Page Keller, Vincent DePaul, Devin Brouchu and other members of the Neo Ensemble Theatre. 

Other sponsors were The Freeman Company, Sally Ann Catering, and Bottle Rock Wine and Bar. 

 While pricing for the event was only $20, many paid much more for the privilege of Saving the Lives of our Own.  

 For more information about the organization or donating, please go to www.savingthelivesofourown.org.  

 


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