Category Archives: CONTRIBUTING PIECES

Links to Delinda’s articles on the Web, including exclusive celebrity athlete interviews and coverage of celebrity athletes charity events.

Rock and Roll CAN Save the World

Had the pleasure of interviewing Sepp from Blurred Vision about music, peace, rock and roll, John Lennon, children and religion.

PLease visit LTTS here to read what frontman Sepp had to say about using rock and roll to save the world.

A highlight of the interview was speaking about the damaging aspect of religion and Bill Maher:

    Q: Aside from effectively using music to promote peace, you are also extremely well versed in politics… it would seem a natural fit for you to appear on ‘Real Time with Bill Maher’?
    I think it’s a perfect fit because we are the voice of today’s generation and Bill has always been the outspoken voice for many. I think one of the things we stand very much aligned with Bill is the fact that for our generation now, religion is losing its power. I think that’s a big thing because religion is really one of the weak points of humanity all over the world. With hunger and poverty I think there are those that use the concept of religion to feed off of those that are hungry or impoverished. So the more we educate the world, the more we feed the children of the world with good things, the less the chances are of them being preyed upon by those that use religion to brainwash minds and send them out to the battlefields to fight for whatever God they believe in or whatever holy figure they want people to die for. Hopefully we’ll be on Bill Maher very soon. We watch him every week, he’s spot on too.

As always,
Thanks for reading,
Delinda

Interview: MLB Pitcher Mike Adams Talks Operation Smile

Earlier this month I shared with you a video about a mighty-mighty fine MLB pitcher who appeared in an episode of Ricki Lake’s “Hidden Heroes” segment as an Ambassador for Operation Smile.

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After watching the clip of Mike Adams (Philadelphia Phillies) share his story of how he met and helped Joshua, a three-year-old boy born with a cleft lip find the right doctor to heal his smile, I knew I had to speak with him about his involvement with helping others.

And after years of shunning MLB, Adams has shown me there are a few good ones left in the League.

Please read my FULL INTERVIEW with him on Look to the Stars.

Many thanks to Lindsey Rowe and Robyn Mircoff from Op-Smile for getting the stud on the phone with me~and of course, gratitude to Mike Adams and his enormous heart.

As always,
Thanks for reading,
Delinda

How to Get a Celebrity to Your Event

How to Get a Celebrity to Your Event
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Almost everyday someone askes me: “How can I get a celebrity to attend my event?”

Not an easy question to answer, especially with the slumping economy …but from experience, here’s what I’ve learned…The most important thing is to be a registered nonprofit. Most, if not all, athletes and celebrities won’t touch you unless you’re registered. Unfair, maybe. But since 9/11 a plethora of fakers have popped up to ruin it for those who really are out to do good. There’s really no way around this unless, of course, your best friend is a baller and wants to back you. Which brings me to a massive black-eye in the celebrity charity world…athletes and their foundations. Although not exclusive to athletes, many feel the need to put their cousin or girlfriend in charge of their foundation…Oh god-where do I start? I once flew out of state to attend an event for which I was fully-credentialed for, and when I got there, the 20-year-old gum chewing Foundation PR bimbo handed me a general admission ticket and said ‘this is your credential’…after realizing all the lights weren’t on with this girl, I left with an incredibly bad taste left in my mouth about this particular ‘super-star’ athlete-why would he have someone on his payroll who couldn’t differentiate between a media pass and a general admission ticket? All I can say is leave it to the professionals people…I could spout off a list of celebrities/athletes who’s foundations, PR people, publicists and the celeb themselves couldn’t give a hoot about charity, yet put on an incredibly sincere public persona of a ‘giver’. But I won’t name names, they know who they are…it boils down to character and it’s fairly easy to determine who the good guys are after speaking with those in their camp. Birds of a feather remember?

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Once you’re registered as a non-profit, and begin looking for a celebrity to attach to the event, the hard work begins. And don’t be shy. Do your research-find out who the celebrities’ agent, publicist and mangers are. Call them. Email them. Can’t find that info on-line? You’re not trying hard enough! The Internet is your friend…research…find other charities your chosen celebrity might be affiliated with and call them if you need to. The most important thing is to not be shy. Be persistent but polite too. If you get a “no thanks” leave it at that and move onto the next. Can’t find out who represents that baseball player you’d like to attend your event? Simply call the team and ask who his rep is! If you’ve got the passion in your soul to help others, someone will step up and help.

More help for those looking for celebrities to attend their events, comes from celebrity events planning companies. Admittedly, I have NO idea of the cost associated with using one, but I can tell you from experience, this may be the best way to go. And the best of the best is Hollywood Knights International.

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After attending many, many events, I can say unequivocally, that Hollywood Knights International is one of the best run and most sincere “full-service celebrity events production and promotional firm.”

The company was founded by the Godfather of pairing celebrities with charities- David Mirisch. When David founded the company it was simply called David Mirisch Enterprises. And this was way back in 1973, long before anyone else was luring celebrities to the golf courses for charity. Eventually, David passed the reins to his son Michael, who took over the celebrity basketball team, renamed it Hollywood Knights and just like that, an institution was born.

Currently, the Hollywood Knights are making our troops happy during their annual USO Hawaii Tour, which runs March 16-22…prior to their leaving, I requested to interview them and as they scrambled to pack up gear for the USO Tour, they didn’t brush me off with a “Oh, we’ll talk when we get back” response, but rather-they were excited to share their love for giving-back with my readers.

The full interview can be read on LOOK TO THE STARS…but in part, I asked…

Michael: What was it like to take over as CEO? Growing up with such an incredible role model (David of course) must have been an amazing experience?

My father is an icon and pioneer in the celebrity fundraising business. He pretty much invented this genre and at 73, he’s still producing events. He is an incredible role model and it’s been a blessing and my good fortune to have him as a father first and foremost, and also a business mentor,” he told me, “He continues to inspire me every single day. I became CEO when I officially took the basketball team under my wing and infused it with young talent that packed the gyms out with screaming fans.”

Current celebrities playing for HKI basketball for the USO Tour include: Aaron Carter (House of Carters); Frankie Delgado (The Hills, Bromance, Keeping up with the Kardashians); Josh Henderson (90210, Desperate Housewives); James Kyson Lee (Heroes); James Lesure (Lipstick Jungle, Las Vegas); Cody Linley (Dancing With The Stars, Hannah Montana); Venom (American Gladiators); Wolf (American Gladiators); and Aaron Yoo (Friday the 13th, Disturbia).

Michael continues: “The majority of the celebrities with whom we work are charitable people in general, and want to give back to the community. It’s not something you can fake,” said Michael, “Most of our events are not paid personal appearances where the stars receive a fee, so when you see a celebrity at a Hollywood Knights event, they are lending their name to the cause itself. We are so grateful to the countless celebrities that have year after year taken the time out of their busy schedules to support our events and the charities that are involved.

Vicky Mirisch, Director of Marketing/Public Relations for HKI, explained to me the most rewarding aspect of being part of the organization…“That’s an easy question,” she said, “Raising money to help people all over the world through events that incorporate celebrities, fun, and giving back to the community. There is a feeling of incredible satisfaction after every event we produce because we know at the end of the day countless lives are going to change for the better. There is that quote from Emerson that states: “to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived, that is to have succeeded.” This quote hangs in our office and we read it every single day. It really sums it all up for us.”

Among the thousands of stars, musicians, and world-class athletes who have devoted their time and influence at Hollywood Knights International events: Frank Sinatra, Charlton Heston, Gregory Peck, Denzel Washington, Will Smith, Jessica Simpson, Ashlee Simpson, Mariska Hargitay, Coolio, David Arquette, Michael Landon, Merv Griffin, Muhammed Ali, Joe Dimaggio, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Evander Holyfield, Mark Harmon, Matthew Perry, Tara Reid, Fergie, Backstreet Boys, ‘Nsync, Woody Harrelson, Bruce Jenner, Pat Boone, Mario Lopez, Wilt Chamberlain, Gladys Knight, Sugar Ray Leonard, Olivia Newton-John, Pamela Anderson, Shaquille O’Neal, Tony Hawk, Wayne Gretsky, Jimmy Connors, Mike Tyson, Buzz Aldren, Kevin Sorbo, Boyz II Men, Joe Montegna, Haley-Joel Osment, Judd Hirsch and Cylk Cozart.

Here’s just a sampling of what the Hollywood Knights have planned for this year: The Foothill Aids Project Celebrity Bowling Classic (April 09); Kiwanis Club of Simi Valley Celebrity Golf Classic (May); Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation Celebrity Fishing Tournament (May); A.G.Spanos Golf Tournament (June); Cedars Sinai Sports Spectacular at the Century Plaza Hotel, California (June); Byron Scott Foundation Gala Dinner in Century City CA (August); The K.I.S. Foundation Celebrity Golf Tournament (Oct).

For more info and a list of all events, please visit:
HOLLYWOOD KNIGHTS INTERNATIONAL

Hopefully, I’ve helped some of you out just a little bit? Remember, register as a non-profit; research publicists, agents, managers and PR firms; be persistent yet polite; and most of all, follow your passion. Whether you chose to hire a promotional firm to garner a celebrity, or do all the leg work yourself, it’s a difficult-yet attainable-task and if you remain tenacious, you will eventually land a celebrity or athlete to endorse your event.

As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com

Finesse Mitchell Interview

WHY IS FINESSE MITCHELL SHOWING UP ON MY BLOG?

As some of you know, I also work with a site called Look to the Stars. Since I joined them over a year ago, I’ve been asked to conduct some great interviews as well as contribute some of our good-guy athletes to their growing database of celebrities doing good deeds. A few months back, I interviewed writer/director Amy Sewell about her new film ‘What’s Your Point Honey?’

    ‘The film puts a new face on political leadership by introducing seven possible contenders coming down the pipeline, while revealing inequalities that still exist today. Six years ago, with the support of the The White House Project, CosmoGirl! launched Project 2024, an initiative to get more young women involved in politics so that we could see a day when just as many women as men run for the highest office in the country – getting beyond gender to agenda.’

In my discussion with Amy, the idea was born that Look to the Stars start a ‘Honey’s We Love’ column where we interview men (Honeys) who stand for gender equality. Now, it takes a mighty-mighty-fine man to earn a Honeys title, so for me, it was a no brainer to get Finesse Mitchell on the Honeys list.


Finesse was a regular on SNL (2003-2006). He killed me then and he kills me now-without hesitation one of the best comedians we got around at the moment. He has a dating advice column for women in Essence magazine, has written a funny-yet informative- book called ‘Your Girlfriends Only Know So Much,’ has appeared in ‘Mad Money’, ‘Who’s Your Caddie’ and ‘The Comebacks.’ And after attending Chris Webbers Bada Bling (for the third year in a row) I noticed something remarkable about Finesse Mitchell (Aside from the fact that he is always at charity events).

I, like Finesse, love to sit back and people-watch. One thing that enticed me to nab him for a Honeys interview, was his interaction with his fiancée Jessica. Over the course of several days, I never once saw Finesse walk ahead of his girl. I never once saw him without her by-his-side. And when I say ‘by his side’ I mean both literally and as an equal. I’ve covered many events and seen way too many celebrities and/or athletes with wandering eyes, who treat their women like a ‘trophy wife’ or ‘arm-piece’ and walk ahead of them as if their women weren’t equal. This was not the case with Finesse. And after interviewing him, I know I was correct in my assessment of him.

Read the interview at Look to the Stars where Finesse explains his reason for the Essence column, what his guilty pleasures are, and what his ‘most treasured possession’ is.

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As always, thanks for reading.
Delinda Lombardo
delinda@athlebrities.com