It all started 8 years ago when I was trying to impress an old girlfriend. We had both volunteered for a charity camp organization called The Painted Turtle. One of the boys she knew from their camps had a serious illness but was also a huge fan of 24. She randomly asked me if I knew someone who knew Kiefer Sutherland. In an attempt to get her back, I mentioned I knew someone and I offered to make a call. Well little did she know my contact was pretty remote, but working in TV production I knew the general direction to go. I contacted the show's PR department and enthusiastically shared the story of Colyn Woods. Of course they wanted to help and I requested a set visit so he could see the cast and crew in action. They just needed to allow access on a certain date and then let us coordinate everything with the family. So we put a visit together to see the 24 production set and they didn't disappoint. Kiefer and the crew made Colyn feel like a star and it was an experience he would never forget. Colyn passed away in 2010 after a lifetime battle against Mitochondrial Disease.
Knowing that I contributed to Colyn's Hollywood Wish has always stayed with me. I wasn't much of a charity guy before that, but I simply picked up the phone and let the rest unfold in a very organic way. I didn't know that such a little gesture could have such a huge impact on someone's life. Shortly after I became a Big Brother. I also started working part-time with mental health patients doing psychological rehabilitation through social activities at Insight Enrichment Group.
For 20 years the entertainment industry has been my passion, having worked as a television producer, actor and graphic artist. I've worked with some incredibly talented, kind and generous people. After getting my friend from Minnesota a "Super Fan" tour of Days of Our Lives, I realized my passion to see these visits come to life. When I booked a part on How I Met Your Mother, I made the request to get my "Little Brother" a visit to set to see his favorite show. They graciously obliged and sure enough Neal Patrick Harris and Cobie Smulders walked right up to him after we shot our scene and seeing the smile on his face was by far the best part of the day.
Together we can raise much needed funding for important organizations. The concept is nothing new but I'd like to dedicate my efforts to Colyn and his family and I'm excited to ask the entertainment industry to support me with fulfilling Hollywood Wishes through the power of community...the community that I know and love.
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