We spoke in Chicago on the set of your show at Harpo. Not that I’d expect you to remember me, but I was the mom with 2 out of 3 gay kids. We talked about raising them in a household where I did everything I could to make sexual preference and gender identity not an issue.
I am a volunteer working with Operation Smile. So far my Spontaneous Smiley Project has raised funds to pay for 32 kids to get free surgery to repair their cleft lips and or palates. I also volunteer on medical missions with Operation Smile.
I am working to put together a benefit show for Operation Smile in the SF Bay Area for the spring of 2015. I have the venue. My friend Danny Scher, who was Bill Graham’s right hand man, has a lovely 225 seat amphitheatre in his back yard. Yep, some people really have their own amphitheatres, nestled in their own little redwood grove . . . He let’s friends use the space for benefits. I recently saw Maria Muldaur and Joan Baez there for a benefit for my pal Wavy Gravy’s performing arts kids’ Camp Winnarainbow.
I am putting together a benefit in this space for Operation Smile. I have a couple wineries interested in providing free wine. I have a brewery willing to donate beer and wait staff. I’m negotiating with a highbrow restaurant to provide dinner (fingers crossed) and a bakery to provide dessert.
For talent, we need someone who could draw 225 people, all willing to pay a ticket price of $240 (we’re setting ticket price to equal the cost of one surgery) or more (small group of ticket holders will pay more for the opportunity to meet the talent).
I have comedian Don Reed lined up to be the opener and Paolo Presta, internet talk show host and Oprah’s pal (http://www.aspoonfulofpaolo.com) to be our MC. Once Paolo’s in place, I’ll invite Oprah–heck you could invite Oprah. BTW, don’t blab about Paolo as I don’t have him confirmed yet.
And, like you hadn’t already caught on, I’m writing to see if there’s any chance you’d be our headliner. I’d hope not to have to pay you or cover your expenses. Maybe that makes me naïve, naïve and ballsy. But the more we can save, the more we can donate.
Smile. Be happy.
The Smiley Lady