Annual Events and Fundraisers

Every January, coinciding with the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Celebrity Centre hosts the World Literacy Crusade Gospel benefit, featuring world-class gospel singers. The event is also an annual tribute to Dr. King. Proceeds help literacy programs which restore pride and self-respect to inner city youth and adults, and contribute to stemming the tide of crime and drug abuse.

      Headlining the 1997 fundraiser, held on January 18 and attended by celebrities, community leaders and hundreds of other supporters of the World Literacy Crusade, was eight-time Grammy Award winner Shirley Caesar, known as the first lady of Gospel music. On display was an historical pictorial entitled “Memories of Martin,” documenting the noted humanitarian’s life.

      Members of Celebrity Centre established the Hollywood Education and Literacy Project (HELP), which opened its doors on March 13, 1997, with honorary Hollywood Mayor Johnny Grant helping to cut the ribbon. Dedicated to helping youth learn and to eradicating illiteracy in the Hollywood area, HELP works closely with the Hollywood Police Activities League and the LAPD Hollywood Division’s Jeopardy Program, bringing vital tutorial services to the community free of charge, utilizing a corps of more than 100 volunteers. (See “H.E.L.P. – And Hope - in Hollywood”.)

      Celebrity Centre sponsors the Kids on Stage for a Better World, a troupe of dancers and singers aged 3 to 19 who have performed hundreds of events throughout the city at schools, senior citizens’ centers, shopping malls and other venues. The Kids bring messages that embody the highest ideals of our society and the hopes of its people. They address issues that include improving the environment, stamping out drugs and crime, and building friendship and trust among people of all ethnic and racial backgrounds.

      Tens of thousands of people come to Celebrity Centre each year to attend shows, plays, workshops and seminars on a broad range of subjects. Many celebrities who are Scientologists volunteer their time to help other up-and-coming artists succeed and routinely provide classes to the community.

      Popular seminars have included “How to Break into Voice-overs” with actress Noelle North, “Film Composing” with Mark Isham, “Making It In The Music Business” with bassist Billy Sheehan, “Breaking Into Commercials Now” with actor Jim Meskimen and “How to Sing Anything You Want and Feel Comfortable on Stage” with recording artist Gloria Rusch. Actor George Randall regularly conducts cold-reading acting classes for adults and acting classes for children, while in any given month numerous other career advancement programs are scheduled.

A New Spirit in Los Angeles, continued...

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