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Tag Archives: Oscars

Week 13-The Oscars, Day 7-The King’s Speech

I wanted to see The King’s Speech before the Academy Awards on Sunday night, but the Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Original Screenplay accolades it won motivated me to put up my money where my mouth is.  Luckily Scott’s interest in history was motivation enough for him to come see it with me.  We were two of the five people in the entire theater, which made it even more perfect.  It was one of the best movies I have seen in a very long time and definitely deserving of all the awards it has racked up over the past couple of months.  I’m thankful for my voice, and the courage that Bertie showed is living in each of us.

The Parish School has been working since 1983 to identify, educate, and empower children with language and learning disabilities.  TPS maximizes the success of each and every student by keeping class size low and making individualized treatment/education plans.  TPS is the only school of it’s kind in the Houston area serving kids from 18 months old to fifth grade.  If children with learning differences go unresolved they can suffer severe academic and self-esteem problems that can cause major problems for the rest of their lives.  TPS is taking little acorns and nurturing them into mighty oaks.  Bertie’s courage inspired a speech therapist and an entire nation during a time when they both needed it the most.  The Courage Center empowers people with all types of disabilities to realize their full potential every single day of their life.  CC was founded in 1928 and strives to provide as many services as possible to improve the quality of life and independence for those with a disability.  CC has inpatient rehab, aquatics and fitness programs, and vocational and community living courses that let people take that first and second step to independence.  “We are guided by the vision that one day, all people will live, work, learn and play in a community based on abilities, not disabilities.”  One of the best and most inspiring things I’ve heard all day.  Heck all week!

The Parish School Donation

Courage Center Donation

So here’s to you The King’s Speech!  You were entertaining, interesting, and inspirational all wrapped up in one.  You are one of those films that is truly timeless and never seems to get old no matter how many times you are watched.  We all have a voice and a right to be heard just like Bertie.  We may not all be the King of England but there’s no reason we can’t believe in ourselves enough to give back royally. 

Week 13-The Oscars, Day 6-The looks

I don’t know about you but I watch the Oscars just as much, if not more, for the looks the celebrities rock than the actual awards.  Calvin Klein, Chanel, Elie Saab, Van Cleef, Harry Winston, Cartier, Jimmy Choo, and Christian Louboutin are just a few of the names that turn heads on the red carpet.  I love seeing all the great designer gowns and the gorgeous make up that seals the deal for a best dressed look the next morning.  I had the best time at a girl’s night out Mary Kay party tonight with some great women, and am so thankful that make up and fashion can create new friendships.

The best of the best 2011

Mary Kay might have been your grandmother’s make up, it was mine, but not anymore!  They have revamped and pumped youthful, energetic, and fashionable into their line of skin care, fragrances, and make up.  I also learned tonight that Mary Kay is just as green as their Cadillacs are pink.  MK will plant one tree for every 10 flip tops and/or color refill cases that are recycled in 2011.  They have already planted 200,000 trees in Montana with the US Forest Service and the Arbor Day Foundation.  MK is also celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8 by setting a goal to volunteer 1 million hours of community service world wide.  There is no better combination than fashionable and responsible!  When an organization is named Fashion Delivers, you know they are going to follow through on their promise to give back to those in need.  FD mobilizes men’s and women’s apparel as well as home industries to donate new items to those who have suffered a disaster and are in need throughout the year.  FD has only been a charity since 2005 but they have donated over $60 million dollars worth of merchandise in those six short years.  That must be why The Wall Street Journal, US Weekly, and NBC have all written articles on Fashion Delivers last year alone.

Mary Kay-Arbor Day Foundation Donation

Fashion Delivers Donation

So here’s to the looks!  You take beautiful women and turn them into goddesses on the red carpet every year.  You may change from one year to the next but the classic little black dress, high heels, and red lips (all together or separate) stand the test of time.  The only thing I can think of that is classier and more timeless than the classic LBD is thanking your community by giving back.

Week 13-The Oscars, Day 5-Actor in a leading role

Yesterday we talked about the women behind all these great movies this past year, but today let’s give the boys a hand.  I mean their roles were no walk in the park.  A guy who cuts his own arm off, a one-eyed-gun-slinging Marshall, a King with a stammer, a Spanish criminal, and the guy who invented Facebook, are all tall order to fill but James, Jeff, Colin, Javier, and Jesse did it.  Men like to pretend like they’re all rough and tough but there’s really a big heart under all those muscles.  I’m thankful that these guys aren’t afraid to be their wonderful, giving, mushy selves.

Here's to you boys!

Mr. Colin Firth has made it known that he believe celebrities should use their star power to highlight worthy causes.  Oxfam International is one of those causes that Firth is a big believer in.  OI is a collaboration of 14 different organizations coming together to end poverty and injustice as a part of a bigger global movement for change.  OI focuses on key areas like agriculture, climate change, conflicts and emergencies, health and educations, and fair trade.  What’s so great about OI is that there is something for everyone to be interested and involved in.  They are working to make the world a better place for everyone.  I like the way you think Colin.  He may not be British like Mr. Firth but Jeff Bridges is no slouch in the charity department.  He founded the End Hunger Network in 1983 because he believed that no child deserved to go hungry.  Today there are still 16.7 million children who are at risk for hunger in America.  President Obama has challenged our country to wipe out child hunger by the year 2015.  Can we do it?  Of course we can!  When you have the star power of Mr. Bridges on your side only good things can happen.

Oxfam International Donation

End Hunger Network Donation

So here’s to you actor in a leading role!  Obviously you’re  handsome.  Obviously you’re talented.  Obviously you’re capable of big things.  The part that’s not quite so obvious is that big heart and giving spirit that is much more important than any physical attributes you possess.  I know as a man you’re taught to bottle up those silly feelings and only let them out once in a blue moon.  Let me remind you that giving is sexy, so very sexy.

Week 13-The Oscars, Day 4-Actress in a leading role

Let’s’ face it, behind every really good movie there is usually an awesome actress.  The women who are nominated this year are beautiful, talented, and extremely giving.  Natalie, Nicole, Michelle, Jennifer, and Annette are all in the running for a tiny little gold man and a lifetime of bragging rights.  Sometimes they are mothers, sometimes daughters, and other times ballet dancers, but I’m always thankful for them.  No matter who they end up playing in the movies, these women play an even bigger role off screen.  Giving back.

FINCA Ambassador Natalie Portman

There are two women who seem to be heading up the pack in this race for best actress.  Natalie Portman may be raking in dollars hand over fist but she’s the first to realize how lucky she is.  Natalie helped launch the Village Banking Campaign for the non-profit Foundation for International Community Assistance, FINCA.  FINCA works to provide financial assistance to low-income entrepreneurs so they can create jobs, build assets and improve their standard of living.  Since their inception in 1984 they have helped hundreds of thousands of people in over 21 different countries.  FINCA has been lending a helping hand in Haiti for over 20 years, long before the earthquake in 2010.  FINCA is in the business of helping other help themselves.

You can bid on this shirt!

Annette Bening is right there with Natalie at the top of the favorites list for this category.  She is also willing to give the shirt off her back to help out.  No really, she is a big supporter of Clothes Off Our Back, which is a non-profit who auctions off the clothes of the hottest celebrities around.  Annette is even giving one of her outfits from the Oscar nominated, The Kids Are Alright.  The auction is on until tomorrow so you still have time to get a little piece of Hollywood and help charities at the same time.  COOB uses the funds raised to give back to a couple of charities that we’ve talked about here like Feeding America and Malaria No More.  Over $7 million has been raised by COOB since 2002 with the help of over 700 celebrities and 300 designers.  Get a new outfit and give back?  Sign me up!

Foundation for International Community Assistance Donation

Clothes Off Our Back Donation

So here’s to you actress in a leading role!  Whoever ends up taking home this very prestigious title is more than deserving on and off screen.  Budding actresses everywhere watch these women perform and aspire to be just like them one day.  If they do grow up to be just like them then they’ll be really successful actresses, as well as incredibly giving human beings.

Week 13-The Oscars, Day 3-The Fighter

Marky Mark may not be a part of the funky bunk anymore but I don’t he’s losing any sleep over it.  Even though I haven’t actually seen The Fighter I’m thankful that such a great true story is nominated for best picture of the year.  And I’m also a little thankful that we get to see the great physical specimen that is Mark Wahlberg without his shirt on for long periods of time in the movie.  Plus I think we can all relate to our families being a little crazy at times.  I mean we love ’em, they are our kin, and they always mean well but you gotta cut the cord sometime.

Marky Mark and the charity bunch

When Mark isn’t making killer movies or producing award winning series he’s starting foundations to help youth everywhere.  No, seriously he is.  The Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation works to improve the life of inner city kids, and eliminate any barriers that keep them from succeeding.  MWYF works with other organizations like Boys & Girls Club of America to make the dreams of inner city children come true.  Mark was one of nine children and spent a lot of time at his local club during his childhood, and accredits a lot of his success to the time he spent in such a positive and nurturing environment.  A couple of years ago when they were making The Fighter they auctioned off a walk on non-speaking role in the movie for the charity The Felix Foundation.

Darryl McDaniels put the D in DMC

Co-founded by Darryl McDaniels (of RUN DMC) and Shelia Jaffe (casting director of The Sopranos and Entourage), FF provides enriching experiences and new opportunities for children who are growing up in the foster care system.  Both McDaniels and Jaffe were adopted and realized how they lucky were to be raised by such loving families.  “We were taken home.  We wanted to give back to those who didn’t get taken home…”  Since 2006 FF has sent over 500 kids to Camp Felix in upstate New York for a week or two of basketball, softball, arts, drama, and crafts.

The Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation Donation

The Felix Foundation Donation

So here’s to you The Fighter!  You took a true story about life, family, and loyalty and turned it into an Oscar nominated film.  You’ve been called the best sports movie of the decade, hard-hitting, powerful, and remarkable.  But when it comes down to it, The Fighter is just a movie about fighting for the people that you love.  I think these are a couple of great charities worth fighting for as well.

Week 13-The Oscars, Day 1-Costume Design

It’s Oscar week!  We’ve already watched the SAG awards, the Golden Globes, and the Grammys, but now it’s time for the whole enchilada.  Seriously, everyone waits all award season long to get to put on that perfect dress, grab their date, and pose for the paparazzi.  These are the pictures that run all year long in the tabloids, TV shows, and our minds.  We also always remember the costumes in a film, well at least I do.  They can really make a good film a spectacular film, and transport you from the comfort of your chair into the world on the screen.  I’m so thankful for the talent and attention to detail that goes into their award winning films.

Will Alice take home the Oscar?

I haven’t seen all the films that are nominated for Costume Design, but the ones I have seen were stellar.  True Grit is new age Western that stars Rooster Cogburn and LaBoeuf, I mean Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon.  Some of you may have heard that Matt Damon falls in that unique category of incredibly handsome, successfully, wealthy, down to earth, and charitable.  He founded Not On Our Watch along with Brad Pitt, George, Clooney, Don Cheadle and others.  NOOW uses all of its star power to shine a light on international crises and give voices to helpless victims across the globe.  NOOW focuses on mass atrocities and huge violations of human rights.  They work in places in such places as Darfur, Burma, and Zimbabwe, where the need is great but the global attention is minimal.  Damon also was just awarded the Joel Siegel Award last month because he understands the “true value of celebrity is as an enhanced platform to do good works for others.”  Alice in Wonderland is also up for a Oscar in the Costume Design category so it only seems appropriate to keep with the theme of men I’d love to marry, and turn our attention to Mr. Johnny Depp.  Helen & Douglas House is a non-profit based out of the United Kingdom that Depp is a big supporter of.  HDH provides respite and end of life care for children and young adults.  Helen House was the world’s first children’s hospice when it opened in November of 1982, and opened in 2004 Douglas House was the first hospice specifically for young adults.  A lot of terminally ill children need medical and emotional support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every single day of the year.  The support HDH provides is worth truly priceless to their families in their time of need.

Not On Our Watch Donation

Helen & Douglas House Donation

So here’s to you costume design!  You made us royalty in The Young Victoria, The Duchess, and Elizabeth: The Golden Age.  You helped us fall in love on the Titanic, be one with the force in the original Star Wars, and become a true Spartan in Gladiator.  Let’s face it, we all wear costumes everyday.  We’re dressed as teachers, nurses, lawyers, mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers.  Whatever role you’re playing in life, just be sure you always wear your giving shoes.

What are you waiting for? Put yours on!