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Season of Giving

AMC Theatres Lend a Big Hand to African Moms, Children

Charitable giving doesn’t get much easier than this.

Starting tomorrow, June 1, and running through June 10, AMC Theatres will donate 40 cents of every movie ticket sold to The Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS. It’s part of a month-long campaign with the makers of (RED) cameras that also includes promotions at Bed Bath Beyond, FAB.com and on the equipment bags of top tennis players competing at the French Open:

Lifesaving medicine which can prevent transmission of HIV from moms to their babies can cost as little as 40 cents a day. “A huge thanks to our partners for transforming summer fun times into a smart and easy way to support the incredible work of the Global Fund,” says (RED) CEO Deborah Dugan.

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Lauren Berger Writes New Book for Young People Entering "Real World"

Lauren Berger Welcome to the Real WorldCareer Expert, Lauren Berger, releases her second book, Welcome to the Real World: Finding Your Place, Perfecting Your Work, and Turning Your Job Into Your Dream Career (Harper Business), on April 22nd. In this book, Berger shares everything she wishes someone told her after graduation. Her book is the essential guide to anyone starting their first, second, or third job. She encourages readers to be fearless, step outside of their comfort zones, and go after what they want.

KABC Radio Host Peter Tilden Rides to Fight MS

Although KABC 790 AM host Peter Tilden will be at the center of it, he’s wrangled some major TV-side reinforcements.

Acting as grand marshal for this Sunday’s motorcycle ride raising money for the MS Hope Foundation is Sons of Anarchy star Ron Perlman. And once the group makes its way from Gladstone’s in Malibu to The Canyon club in Agoura Hills, they will be entertained by John Corbett (NCIS) with his band and Grammy-winning Hawaiian steel guitarist Ken Emerson.

Tickets for the 10 a.m. ride and noon Canyon celebration are $25 if purchased beforehand and $35 the day of. There are two earlier 8 a.m. starting points – Glendale Harley on San Fernando Road in Glendale and California Harley Dealership on the PCH in Harbor City.

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Kris Kristofferson and Friend Help Out Homeboy Industries

Kris Kristofferson has been friends with singer-songwriter John Flynn for a long time. But when the two step on stage together next month in Malibu, it will mark the first time the pair has officially performed together.

The June 23 7:30 p.m. concert at Pepperdine University’s Smothers Theater will benefit Homeboy Industries. Tickets are priced at $45, $75 and a VIP package of $250. That last option, for those able to afford it, includes a post-concert reception with the artists and Homeboy guiding spirit Father Greg Boyle. Flynn’s discovery of Homeboy’s mission connects to another Kristofferson family member:

Flynn first heard about Homeboy Industries when he and Kristofferson’s daughter Kelly swapped their favorite books and he received Father Boyle’s book Tattoos on the Heart. The Pennsylvania singer-songwriter is a longtime leader of New Beginnings, a support group at the state prison in his area, and the “real stories” in Tattoos were a poignant reminder for Flynn of his experiences working with men in the prison system.

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Internet Community Rallies Around Cancer-Stricken Movie Blogger Edward Douglas

Actress Karen Black’s recent cry for crowdfunding help was because her health insurance, though pretty solid, did not cover experimental cancer treatment in Europe. In the case of comingsoon.net writer Edward Douglas, there is simply no health insurance at all.

Douglas, a fixture at Hollywood press junkets and most recently on assignment at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, was diagnosed last week with acute leukemia. Today, he has been expressing his heartfelt thanks on Twitter for a giveforward.com campaign started on his behalf. In a very short amount of time, more than $25,000 has been pledged to pay for his cancer treatments.

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Wife of Lakers Broadcaster John Ireland Pays It Forward

The tweet, sent out late this afternoon via @LAIreland, transcends the realm of professional sports:

And on this Good Friday, the news waiting at the above shortened link is indeed very Good for all those who, like us, didn’t in fact already know. Leasa Ireland, wife of ESPN AM 710 host and Lakers radio play-by-play man John, is cancer-free after an arduous, year-plus-long battle. She writes:

I was overwhelmed and blessed with amazing support from family and friends near and far. I am also extremely fortunate to have a good healthcare plan (well, pretty good), and to live in a city where great doctors and quality care are readily available.

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Wave of Media Coverage Powers Actress Karen Black Past Crowdsourced Cancer Goal

It was a truly inspiring thing to watch Monday.

As one media outlet after another picked up the story of actress Karen Black and husband Stephen Eckelberry turning to GoFundMe to raise money for her non-insurance covered European cancer treatment, the amount pledged sped past $17,000 on its way, at press time, to more than double that. In the midst of it all, Eckelberry shared a heartfelt message of gratitude while donors like Paul Warren ($20.00) explained their connection to the actress:

I had the great pleasure of meeting Karen in the 80′s when she was performing on Broadway in Come Back to the Five and Dime Jimmy Dean. I was a young actor at that time and Ms. Black was very kind and supportive. Ms. Black you are a unique talent and person. I hope this new treatment will help. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

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Matt Damon Goofs with a 90-Year-Old Hollywood Legend

Only a very few select actors can claim to belong to the Hollywood breed that is at once genuinely nice, well-adjusted with family, boffo at the theatrical box office, killer on the small screen and self-deprecating throughout. Tom Hanks once ruled this roost and now, well, the perch arguably belongs to Matt Damon.

Hot on the heels of Damon’s time-capsule-worthy hijacking of Jimmy Kimmel Live, the actor today shows how to turn a charity-pitch into something unique and notable. From the unlikely starting point of a “toilet strike,” watch this message on behalf of water.org via Stan Lee’s World of Heroes YouTube channel:

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Will Ferrell’s Eight-Year-Old Son Set for Solo Piano Performance

Tomorrow night’s event is invitation-only, but chances are you’ll be seeing some really cool clips of it on Tuesday evening local newscasts.

Piano teacher Margie Balter (pictured), well-known for helping anchor the authenticity of film performances such as Holly Hunter in The Piano, is hosting a special charity event at the Gibson Baldwin Showroom in Beverly Hills. A number of her current students will be playing pieces from her latest album “Music from my Heart,” with part of the proceeds from the sale of CDs and playbooks going to the Playing For Change Foundation and the first International Playing For Change Day concert in September.

One of Balter’s most promising students is Magnus, the eight-year-old son of Will and Viveca Ferrell. A rep for the event sent FishbowlLA the composition that he will be playing (“Zanzi”), and it definitely speaks volumes to the stage this young Hollywood progeny is at.

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2012 Kickstarter Highlights Included Top-Funded Journalism Project Yet

Kickstarter has put together an awe-inspiring look at the people, projects and places that kept the crowd-sourcing platform humming last year to the tune of $606.76 donated per minute.

As far as journalism was concerned, 2012 highlights included Kickstarter’s “most funded” such project to date – design and architecture focused podcast 99% Invisible, produced out of San Francisco’s East Bay. The program asked for $42,000 and wound up receiving $170,477. From creator Roman Mars‘ summer update #6:

Before this campaign began, I was feeling pretty confident that we’d make the goal and the show would have a successful Season 3. I had no idea the level of support and excitement that each of you would bring to this effort and turn it into the most funded journalism Kickstarter ever. Thank you so much for being a part of it.

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Posthumously, Billy Wilder Authors a Much More Joyous Sunset Blvd. Tale

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is located at 4650 Sunset Boulevard, eight and a half miles east of Norma Desmond‘s fictitious, haunted lair. Billy Wilder‘s timeless Tinseltown tale was made for around $1.75 million and now, all these years later, the filmmaker together with his late wife Audrey has reached out from beyond the grave. Six-fold.

From the hospital announcement:

Stars of the silver screen have had a huge impact on our hearts and minds for decades and at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles we are grateful when Hollywood stars partner with us to benefit the health of our patients.

This year, our hospital received a very special Christmas gift when the trust of Billy and Audrey Wilder sent an $11 million gift to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles that will support the work of our division of Neurosurgery, the Neuro-oncology program and the division of Rheumatology while still leaving money left over to provide for the under and unreimbursed care for children we provide each year.

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