Editor's note: This week's column was so long, we split it in two. Read the other half, about an eco-minded art exhibit with celebs in attendance.
Celebs got their game on at Lupus L.A.’s Get Lucky for Lupus poker tournament and live auction, hosted by model and Dancing with the Stars alumna Joanna Krupa, who once won $10,000 in a poker tourney to benefit an animal rescue group. Krupa, who has four dogs, is active in animal rights, buys organic produce at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, and uses energy-saving light bulbs, which she turns off when she leaves the room. She’s developing a reality show pilot about her life and told us she’s still dancing. “I’ve been rehearsing with Derek [Hough] for an event we’re doing in Louisiana.”
Tia Carrerre, recycling a vintage outfit she got 11 years ago, turned up to support awareness of lupus, as did Melissa Joan Hart. “I have a lot of friends who are affected by this disease. It’s very important to me,” she said of the autoimmune disorder, noting that she was heading to Washington, D.C., to deliver the keynote address at the Autoimmune Diseases Summit, subbing for her friend Kellie Martin, whose sister died from lupus.
“I’m trying to get my shopping in the green zone,” Hart told MNN. At SweetHarts, the confection shop she owns in Sherman Oaks, Calif., “We’re trying to get rid of paper towels in the bathroom and get some biodegradable, recyclable cartons for frozen yogurt, but it’s expensive so it’s hard to make that transition.”
Hart is gearing up to return to TV this summer in the ABC Family sitcom Melissa & Joey with Joey Lawrence as the nanny she hires. “We’re both trying to raise my sister’s teenage kids together and we can’t stand each other. It’s going to be a Moonlighting kind of relationship in a Who’s the Boss setting. Chaos will ensue.”
Appearing on Dancing With the Stars last year “got me a lot of attention and got me back in the public eye,” said Hart, who believes it raised her profile in Hollywood and gave viewers something else to see her in besides Sabrina reruns. “It helped me go from Sabrina to mommy to Melissa and let me be a woman instead of a little girl.”
Dancing with the Stars pro dancer Tony Dovolani (pictured right), who didn’t yet know he’d be paired with Kate Gosselin this season, said that all he wants in his partner is “hard work. It will only disappoint me if someone comes in with the wrong attitude.” An avid poker player who has a steady Thursday game at home in Connecticut and once won $12,000 in a tournament, told us his wife “is very into recycling. And we’re trying to convert our cars to flex fuel or hybrids.”
Cougar Town’s Ian Gomez, who has also played in home games with his wife, actress Nia Vardalos, tells us that his family recycles and has stopped buying bottled water. “We use the big jugs and fill glasses.” While “somewhat similar” to his TV character, “a loving husband and a good father,” Gomez points out one difference: “Andy is quite henpecked.” The key to a good marriage? “You’ve got to got to communicate, air your gripes and your feelings. It’s hard for men. Men don’t like to talk about stuff, but it’s one of those things you learn over time.”
Tune In: Premiering on Planet Green on March 6, Pirate for the Sea profiles Captain Paul Watson, environmental activist and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society founder and his efforts in organizing campaigns to protest the killing of seals, whales and dolphins. Biologist Gudrun Pflueger researches endangered wolves in the Canadian wilderness in the documentary Running with Wolves, which will debut on the Smithsonian Channel on March 7 at 8 p.m. It’s a sequel to A Woman Among Wolves, which will encore before the premiere.
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