Famous couple joins million-dollar donors

Sunday, September 30, 2001

LOS ANGELES -- Arnold Schwarzenegger and wife Maria Shriver have donated $1 million to the Twin Towers Fund to aid victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Schwarzenegger also accepted an invitation from New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani to join the fund's board of directors.

"We were inspired by the incredible team of rescue workers, firefighters, police officers and emergency service officials who are the true action heroes in this tragedy," Schwarzenegger said.

Money raised by the fund is earmarked for families of emergency crews killed when the World Trade Center towers collapsed following the crashes of two hijacked planes. Schwarzenegger will oversee distribution of the money.

The action star's latest, "Collateral Damage," was pulled by Warner Bros. from its Oct. 5 release date out of concern the movie, about a firefighter seeking revenge against terrorists who killed his family, would be too disturbing.

Salsa makers reunite for documentary

LOS ANGELES -- The musicians credited with giving birth to salsa music will reunite to perform songs they wrote to capture the hopes and struggles of young Latinos in this country during the 1970s.

Johnny Pacheco, Larry Harlow and Ray Barretto are known for launching salsa at a New York nightclub called Cheetah on Aug. 26, 1971.

The concert was recorded and filmed for a documentary called "Our Latin Thing." It sparked a period of intense creativity fueled by the civil rights movement and the drive for cultural identity.

"We were singing songs of protest, love, politics, humanity," says Harlow.

Members of the so-called Fania All Stars planned their rare reunion appearance at the Hollywood Bowl during the Hollywood Salsa and Latin Jazz Festival on Saturday.

Actress Elfman opens

Scientology church

SAN FRANCISCO -- Actress Jenna Elfman is establishing a Church of Scientology mission in her hometown.

Elfman, the star of ABC's "Dharma and Greg," announced plans to open the Church of Scientology Mission of San Francisco SoMa, the local term for the area south of Market Street.

Other celebrities who have opened Scientology chapters include Lisa Marie Presley and Isaac Hayes in their hometown of Memphis, Tenn., and Kirstie Alley in Wichita, Kan.

The Los Angeles-based church was established in 1954 by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard.

Pray for all who suffer, says Indigo Girls' singer

ATLANTA -- Musical groups Arrested Development and the Indigo Girls were among the performers at a 12-hour benefit Saturday to raise money for victims of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.

Talk show host Montel Williams was also to appear at the event, along with Sister Hazel, Edwin McCain, and Shawn Mullins.

Emily Saliers, half of the Decatur, Ga.-based Indigo Girls, asked audience members to pray for victims, their families, grieving Americans "and also for the people of Afghanistan, people all over the world, people who suffer."

Organizers of the outdoor concert, held at Centennial Olympic Park, hoped to raise $1 million.

Mellencamp turns 50 with three-day tribute

SEYMOUR, Ind. -- John Mellencamp will celebrate his 50th birthday on Oct. 7, and fans plan to mark the occasion at a three-day tribute in the singer's southern Indiana homeland.

An outdoor concert at the Southern Indiana Center for the Arts in Seymour will be the climax of the celebration beginning Oct. 5 in Bloomington, said organizer Kevin Plummer.

More than 20 bands are expected to participate in the concert, including some members of Mellencamp's band, Plummer said. Mellencamp is not scheduled to perform.

Proceeds will go to Farm Aid, the Southern Indiana Center for the Arts and the New York Red Cross disaster fund.

Brockovich stays away from air travel

PEMBROKE, N.C. -- Erin Brockovich says the terrorist attacks in the United States have left her wary of flying.

Brockovich changed her travel plans following the Sept. 11 attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. She arrived at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke in a rented RV.

She told an audience of some 1,200 people Thursday that the attacks made her re-examine the importance of family and love for others.

"Sometimes we feel we are exempt from trauma or trials and tribulations," Brockovich said. "We will not lie down and die. We will prevail simply because we have to."

Her legal crusade against Pacific Gas & Electric Co. was the subject of last year's hit movie "Erin Brockovich."

Julia Roberts won an Oscar for her portrayal of Brockovich in the film, directed by Steven Soderbergh.

Ventura joins soap

"Young and Restless

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- In the briefest of appearances, Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura paid a return visit to the daytime soap opera "The Young and the Restless."

In an episode that aired Thursday -- taped during the governor's August vacation in Southern California -- Ventura knocks on the door of the show's villain and declares: "I'm taking over the day shift now."

Apparently his role was to provide security at the villain's house. The governor, wearing a dark T-shirt and cap, was on camera for about 10 seconds.

Ventura was not paid for the cameo, his spokesman John Wodele said.

It was the governor's second walk-on on the popular CBS soap.

Last year, Ventura played himself in several scenes with Eric Braeden, who plays the show's slick villain, Victor Newman.

He was paid $700 for that appearance.

Braeden and Ventura have since become friends. Braeden was at Ventura's 50th birthday party in St. Paul this summer, and the two men had dinner during Ventura's recent trip to California.

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