I am blessed to be able to do what I do for a living. Entertainers can’t entertain without the fans and that’s one of the reasons I make it a point to give something back whenever I am able, as so many performers did recently at a fundraiser put on by The Showbiz Society for fellow performer, Denise Clemente.
There is definitely a long tradition of philanthropy in the entertainment industry. When disaster strikes, the stars know it’s their duty to help out. Jerry Lewis’ telethon comes to mind, as does the benefits that are organized when hurricanes and other natural disasters strike. Then there’s entertaining the troops. The list of examples of celebrities giving back is inexhaustible.
Frank Sinatra gave a lot. When a New York Daily News editorial pinned him as “one of the least admirable figures in public life,” they weren’t likely ready for the backlash from supporters pointing to all the often-anonymous deeds he had done. The incalculable amount of money raised exceeds a billion dollars and that doesn’t include what he gave to peers down on their luck. The known list of charities he gave money to would add more than 150 words to this article.
Sinatra family accountant, Sonny Golden has been quoted as saying “I can’t calculate how many checks I sent out in the 30-plus years I worked for him, it had to total hundreds of thousands of dollars,” when asked about Frank’s giving nature. He went on to add, “There was no one who was more generous to charities or the needy than Frank Sinatra. Nobody!”
When he painted, a hobby in which he became quite accomplished, he would give away his works to those that admired them instead of selling.
These are all part of what makes me a proud supporter of charity events such as the Salvation Army Christmas Toys for Tots, Fox 5 “Take 5 for Kids” Suitcase Drive, the Help Them Walk Again Foundation, and Make a Difference Day. When you are able, give. It really makes a difference.