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SeriousFun Children’s Network Celebrates the Legacy of Paul Newman

Tuesday, March 3, 2015
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The most influential Hollywood stars gathered last night at Avery Fisher Hall to laugh, have fun, cry and celebrate the legacy of the late screen legend Paul Newman and his SeriousFun Children’s Network, a growing community of summer camps he founded in 1988 to serve children with serious illnesses.

Meryl Streep, David Letterman, Tom Hanks, Danny Devito and George Clooney all spoke and praised the late actor for his talent, kindness and dedication towards his program and improving children’s lives. Hanks fought back tears while reading a letter from the mother of a young camper fighting a rare genetic disorder and ended his speech explaining that the goal of a SeriousFun camp is to make each kid feel “empowered and capable.” Meanwhile, Clooney got the biggest laugh of the night when he accidentally stated that SeriousFun has served more than 518,000 children and families from more than 500 countries (instead of 50) since its inception. “That would be too many. There aren’t that many,” he joked about his mistake, before adding, “my wife’s the smart one!”

The evening’s two hour show also included performances by Carole King, who sang her hit “Child of Mine”; opera singer Renée Fleming, who belted out a show-stopping aria; Natalie Cole, who performed “This Will Be”; and Aloe Blacc, who loosened things up with “Wake Me Up.”

Kids from the camp also gave performances and joined the actors and musicians on stage during their speeches.

Other guests included: Clea Newman, Kurt Soderlund, Donald Gogel, Emily Wachtel, Ingrid Michaelson, Bob Forrester, Gayle King, Lou Adler and Paul Shaffer.



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