Ecollywood: Celebs gather to help foster kids
Our red carpet reporter got the scoop at the annual event.
Wed, Oct 06, 2010 at 03:31 PM
HOST WITH THE MOST: Willie Garson was the emcee for the event. (Credit: John M. Heller)
Editor's note: This week's Ecollywood column was so long, we split it into two. Read the other half, about Diane Lane, Will Arnett, and much more.
Celebs on hand at the Alliance for Children’s Rights’ third annual Dinner for Friends benefiting the organization’s Nextstep Program to aid youth aging out of the foster care system included event emcee Willie Garson (White Collar, Sex and the City) who adopted his son Nathan with the Alliance’s help last January. “They walked me through the whole thing. It would have been impossible without them,” said Garson, who teaches his son planet-friendly practices. “We have recycling bins everywhere. We’re farmer’s market shoppers. We don’t waste any food. And if Nathan gets a toy, he has to give away a toy he doesn’t use.”
Nathan will join him in the second episode of the second half of White Collar’s second season, due to premiere in January; seen in a flashback, he’ll play a street kid partnered with Mozzie (who is very much alive, last month’s cliffhanger notwithstanding) in a Fagin-Oliver Twist type relationship. Until shooting resumes for season 3 in March, Garson is blogging at SmartNotCheap.com as the precursor to a book of the same title he’s writing with Sarah Jessica Parker. “It’s about waste and how to save money, live wisely without wanting for anything and developing wealth,” he explained.
Rachelle Begley, without husband Ed, who threw his back out while fixing a light, attended the event in support of disenfranchised kids “who deserve every right and advantage that any of us have. We need to give them the best chance,” she said. She and Ed, who’s heading to Hawaii to film an episode of the ABC midseason medical show Off the Map, are about to built a LEED platinum-certified green home. “We’re giving the house that’s there to Habitat for Humanity, they’ll come and disassemble it. I have the plans, I have the designs, I have it all. It’s ready to go. But permits and everything take forever,” sighed Begley, figuring that it will take longer than the estimated 14 months to complete.
Funnyman Fred Willard (pictured above) told us he’s followed good friend Ed Begley’s green examples -- to a point. “Ed amazes me. He’ll get on his bike and ride for miles. My limit is about a mile. But I’ve always been pretty eco-friendly. We recycle, wait a while to turn on the air conditioning or the heat, turn off the sprinklers if it rains.” Willard recently shot guest a guest role on the upcoming TNT series Franklin & Bash and a recurring part in the future TV Land sitcom Retired at 35, playing a retirement residence board of directors member.
“I always bring bags with me to the grocery store. I drive a Toyota Highlander hybrid. I do the same things I’ve heard since I was a kid, like turn off the water, turn off the lights when you leave the room,” said Tia Carrere (pictured below), carrying five-year-old daughter Bianca and expressing her desire to help kids less fortunate than her own. A recurring cast member on Syfy’s Warehouse 13, Carrere will be seen in the movie You May Not Kiss the Bride, which she shot in her native Hawaii, and just released a new album called Huana ke Aloha, which translates as “love overflows abundantly.”
Grammy-winning singer Christopher Cross, the recent Glee guest star who hasn’t released an album of new music in 12 years, will put out Dr. Faith, his ninth, in January. “It’s pretty different, guitar-ish, more like a Crowded House or Coldplay record. The songs are pretty diverse, lyrically about a lot of different things, some about my growth and the life I’ve lived,” described the divorced father of three. “The title song is about therapy. ‘I’m Too Old For This’ is a political rant.” Cross, who tours about 100 days a year, will go to Japan this fall and play concerts here in the U.S. next year. “My audience is baby boomers and as long as they can get there in their walkers, I’ll show up.”
Although the requirements of touring means he can’t match the carbon footprint reduction of his friend Ed Begley, Cross is happy to “do even a part of what he does,” and toward that end walks, bikes and drives a Lexus hybrid. An early adopter, “I had one of the first Priuses in town,” he noted, “and paid $4000 over sticker to get it.”