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Organizations Resources

Hilarity for Charity Raises $400,000

seth rogen hilarity for charity
Seth Rogen and Lauren Miller at Hilarity for Charity 2013
IMG: Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

On Thursday, April 25th, Seth Rogen and the Backstreet Boys joined forces to fight Alzheimer’s disease. The “Hilarity for Charity” event featured the famed boy band, made up of members Nick Carter, A.J. McLean, Brian Littrel, Howie Dorough, and Kevin Richardson.

Rogen joined in for the performance of 1996 hit song “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back).” True to form, the song was choreographed with dance moves—which Rogen performed quite well. And he was happy to do so for such a worthwhile cause.

“In the ‘70s, things like cancer were very taboo to talk about,” he told the Hollywood Reporter. “Now it is on the forefront of things that are getting charitable attention. Bringing Alzheimer’s into the limelight is what we’re trying to do.”

Thursday’s event went a long way in doing that; it was jam-packed with well-known Hollywood faces Samuel L. Jackson, Kevin Hart, Ken Marino, Bo Burnham, and many more. With its tagline being “Alzheimer’s sucks, this variety show won’t,” the event aimed to raise both money and awareness among the younger generations.

“There’s a thief out there,” Rogen’s Crowdrise fundraiser page for Hilarity for Charity reads. “And it’s robbing people’s memories. It’s robbing their ability to talk. It’s robbing their ability to eat, walk, get dressed, shower, or recognize their loved ones. It’s robbing people of their ability to be humans. It’s called Alzheimer’s, and it’s a real mother f@#ker and we’ve got to do something about it. And we’ve got to do something now.”

Rogen attended with his wife, Lauren Miller. Through Crowdrise, he raised over $33,000 on his own. The money will be donated through the Alzheimer’s Association to families struggling with Alzheimer’s related problems and to researching a way to prevent, cure or slow its progression.

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Organizations Resources

Prom Goes On for Sandy Victims

prom
IMG: via Shutterstock.com

For victims of Superstorm Sandy, which hit New York City and much of the east coast in October 2012, saving up money for a prom dress is likely an unrealistic goal. Many families had their homes and lives shattered when the brutal storm hit, leaving them with nothing but their lives and the clothes on their backs. Homes and possessions were not among those spared, and rebuilding from the ground up has made life hard for many.

But for teenagers trying to move forward, prom isn’t something that is likely to be forgotten. Though they may be struggling through a personal hardship at home, that doesn’t take away the fact that for many, attending prom is a rite of passage. Girls who are juniors or seniors may have dreamed for the past few years about getting the perfect dress and having the time of their lives before they head off to college or work. But for the tens of thousands of families who are just trying to get their lives back together, being able to afford a prom dress isn’t likely to be something they can do.

That’s what the nonprofit group Where to Turn has decided to do something about. The group collected over a thousand prom dresses this year—and they plan to pass them all out to teens who had homes and cars destroyed during the storm. The dresses were collected not just from generous givers (individuals and businesses) in the New York area, but were also sent in from around the country.

And now that prom season is here, the group has started getting the dresses to those who need them. They held a free dress expo on Saturday, April 6th at a Staten Island high school. About 125 teenagers came to the event, perusing the gowns and choosing one to take home. There were also about 250 pairs of donated shoes and $5,000 in donated hair items from Conair. The dresses (all 1,000) had all been dry cleaned for free by a Staten Island dry cleaning company.

“Right now, people are rebuilding and they don’t have enough money to take care of the normal day-to-day things… things that, you know, kids really shouldn’t miss out on,” said Dennis McKeon, who is the Executive Director at Where to Turn. With hundreds more dresses to give away, McKeon says the group is working on organizing other free dress expos in hard hit areas like Queens and the Rockaways.

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Profiles

Jim C. Hines Fights Aicardi and Sexism

Jim C Hines
IMG: Craig Hebert / jimchines.com

Last year, Sci-Fi/Fantasy author Jim C. Hines decided he was fed up with the way women were depicted on the covers of books. He wanted to comment on it, but he also wanted to do so in a playful way that would catch people’s attention. So naturally, he decided to imitate the poses himself. What he got out of it was back pain—and a strong response from readers who either agreed with his sentiment or enjoyed the photos.

Rather than leave it at that, Jim C. Hines wanted to push the envelope a bit further. Next, he had his wife take photos of him posing again—but this time the males on covers. What he discovered was that males typically hold the position of dominance over a woman if they are both present—and if they are not, they still hold a “macho” pose. No strange contortions, no residual back pain for Hines at the end of the shoot.

In December, Jim C. Hines also decided to host a charity drive to raise money for Aicardi Syndrome. Aicardi Syndrome is a rare but vicious genetic disorder that can cause brain malformations, delays in development, seizures and more. Life expectancy is between 8 and 16 years old. Jim C. Hines has friends whose children suffer from Aicardi Syndrome—including one whose daughter recently passed away due to complications of it.

Hines told readers that in exchange for donations, he’d duplicate more book covers—at their request. If he raised his goal of $5,000 or more, he promised he’d gather together four other authors to duplicate the cover of Young Flandry at ConFusion: John Scalzi, Pat Rothfuss, Charles Stross, and Mary Robinette Kowal.

Needless to say, Hines met his goal and kept his promise. He raised a total of $15,405 for the Aicardi Syndrome Foundation, which funds research for treatment and helps family members of those afflicted stay connected with researchers. At the end of the day, Hines did some great work to be proud of. Not only did he bring the spotlight to sexist book covers and the portrayal of female characters, but he also raised a pretty penny to help in the fight against Aicardi Syndrome.