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All Articles Written By Florence C. Paola
7-13-20 THE DAY I MET ACTRESS KELLY PRESTON
Like everyone else around the world the shocking news of Actress Kelly Preston's death has truly saddened me. My heart goes out to her family; husband John Travolta; and her two beautiful children Ella & Benjamin. I would like to think that Kelly is now with her beloved oldest son Jett, received in his arms together in heaven.
The reason I wanted to write this article was to share my experience meeting Kelly way back in the 80’s! I was still a young teen and Kelly had just finished taping the pilot for a CBS soap opera called CAPITOL at the start of her budding career.
I had been taking summer acting classes at The Soap Set Acting Studio and we were given passes to a Pre Soap Opera Awards meet & greet and that is where I met Kelly.
She was a beautiful and vibrant light. They always say you can see when someone has that "it" factor which is that thing that makes them stand out, and Kelly Preston had “it”. There was also a warm, glowing light around her with an infectious smile. As I was walking around I noticed many Soap Opera Stars from many of the soaps that were popular at the time. As a major fan, I was in heaven and it was truly a night to remember.
After saying hello to some of the Actors from my favorite shows I walked up to Kelly who greeted me with that amazing smile and an extended hand. She said “hello, I'm Kelly", and asked how I was doing. I didn't recognize her from any of the shows that I religiously watched but she was just so friendly and kind! She made me feel like I belonged, and even asked if I was enjoying myself.
I told her I was taking acting classes and enjoyed watching Soaps. An early dream of mine was to act on a Soap Opera. She told me to keep studying and practicing and to pursue my goals and dreams. I never forgot that or the beautiful young lady with the vibrant smile who gave me that advice.
I left that party feeling great about myself and I didn't feel like a mere fan. She made me feel like an equal and I felt that some day I could be amongst the stars. She showed me great respect. I left that night feeling any and all things were possible.
Thank you for that Kelly. I will never forget that feeling or the young woman who made me feel that way.
God bless you and rest in peace.
6-19-20 COUNTRY MUSIC ICON BLAKE SHELTON
The day Country Music Icon Blake Shelton changed our very own Frankie Williams life with only one tweet! He took the endless heartbreak of a grieving mother and turned it into something so special and truly healing.
This Country Star responded to our friend Frankie's tweet by not only purchasing it himself but asking his 20 million followers on Twitter to buy her book The Merdragon as well. This wonderful children's story is dedicated in loving memory to her beautiful daughter that passed away.
The response was amazing! His fans responded by ordering the book, huuuundreds of copies of it that night!!
Blake Shelton is generous and kind hearted and what he did for our friend Frankie was such a selfless act..we will never forget it.
This story touched so many and was covered by over 30 publications across the country.
A huge shout out to @TMZ for covering the story so thoroughly!
Special thank you to @TalentRecap for their write up on this story and thank you for mentioning The @JimJaxMedia Network in their article about the one and only @BlakeShelton and how he helped our Author Frankie Williams book sales sore!!
8-27-19 IN THE SPOTLIGHT: MARIE OSMOND & THE CHILDREN'S MIRACLE NETWORK HOSPITALS
"Music is Medicine"
I was asked recently why I write articles that focus on celebrities and their foundations and charities...especially those that are centered around children's health, education & overall well being and the answer was simple. As a person who has worked in the Education field for many years, Early Childhood Education to be exact, these causes have always been especially close to my heart.
This is why I have chosen to focus on someone who has dedicated her whole life to children. This woman is an amazing talent and a champion of children's causes..she's a wife, mother, entertainer, business woman, entrepreneur and philanthropist. I have found she is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside and that woman is...Marie Osmond. Her foundation is The Children's Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH) and Marie has made it her mission to help children everywhere!!
The Children's Miracle Network Hospitals was founded in 1983 by Marie Osmond along with The Osmond Family, Actor John Schneider, Joe Lake and Mick Shannon. It's a nonprofit organization that raises funds for children's hospitals, on going medical research and they give attention to overall community awareness in both The United States and Canada.
The Children's Miracle Network Hospitals puts on a telethon every single year, on the first weekend in June. The telethon is known as A Celebration of Real Miracles and it is hosted by Marie and John Schneider. The telethon is televised in several markets through out the country. To date, they have raised billions of dollars that are distributed through out the hospitals in the Network.
If you would like more information on this very special foundation please visit either cmnhospitals.org or you can go to childrensmiraclenetworkhospitals.org you can also get information from Marie's website marieosmond.com and on social media on Twitter @CMNHospitals and @marieosmond
From the website:
There are plenty of ways to donate to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Options include everything from online donations to donating your SkyMiles.
By Check. Write your check out to CMN Hospitals and put ATTN: if there is a specific hospital, corporate partner or fundraising program you'd like the check attributed to. To find your local CMN Hospital.
Mail checks to CMN Hospitals 205 West 700 South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84102
Go to website to see what partners for your local CMN Hospital are doing in your community to help kids.
Give your Delta SkyMiles. -
with Subject line: SkyWish Donation: Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
7-25-19 IN THE SPOTLIGHT: SPORTS BROADCASTER & GALVANIZE FOUNDER LAURA OKMIN🎙
EMPOWER TEACH CREATE
You know I am always looking for good causes, companies & foundations that support and nurture women to write about on my website and share with all of you. Well on Monday, July 22nd I had the pleasure of interviewing TV Sports Broadcaster Laura Okmin about her wonderful company GALvanize that she founded over 10 years ago, and I find to be one of the most amazing companies out there that fully support women and their future endeavours.
Through her company Laura offers coaching, bootcamps & workshops for women to elevate them to the next level both personally and professionally. GALvanize offers women (of all ages) 2 day bootcamps that prepare them for an exciting career in Broadcasting, either in front of the camera or behind the scenes.
Day 1 is all about the woman, as an individual...knowing her own story. As Laura shared with me "Its all about learning your own story before you can tell anyone else’s!" Which is an integral part of this bootcamp. Self discovery, confidence building and team work are the main focus on Day 1 of the bootcamp. These women, also create intimate bonds with one another, some that continue to be mentoring relationships and true friendships that last way beyond these bootcamps.
Day 2 is all about the NFL teams they partner with. On the second day, the ladies get to work with NFL players, some in front of the camera exercising their interview skills and learning the tools that they will need to succeed in this very competitive business Laura has been a part of, successfully, for over 25 years. She explains it as "the women getting to work in front of the camera, after we have worked with them and prepared them for this, rather than just throwing them out there."
I think its truly wonderful that someone like Laura Okmin, who knows this business and has experienced the hurdles, knows how much hard work and persistence it takes to succeed can offer this to women and assist them in making their dreams a reality!!
If you would like more information on Laura Okmin and GALvanize please visit:
You can also follow her on Twitter @LauraOkmin and @GALvanizeLife and on Instagram at lauraokmin.
7-11-19 HOWIE MANDEL: THE HARDEST WORKING MAN IN SHOW BUSINESS
Okay all you FANdels this was a loooooong time coming (at the moment I'm trying to do my best "Bobby's voice" a true fan knows who that is :)
Well, he's one of my all time favorite Entertainers with an impressive resume that spans over 40 years...St. Elsewhere...Deal or No Deal...Bobby's World and my all time favorite...America's Got Talent just to name a few!! He is also hands down the hardest working man in Show Business and an extreeeemely funny man, Comedian Howie Mandel!
I don't think there is anything this Canadian born Entertainer has done that I haven't been a major fan of. He's an incredible Stand-up Comic and has sold out major arenas all over the world!
He is currently holding the title for having the longest tenure as a judge on Americas Got Talent, replacing The Knight Rider David Hasselhoff. He has been a judge now for ten consecutive seasons, in which he has made mention of that major milestone on social media. When asked why NBC keeps him on the hit TV Show his answer is simple "I'm affordable!" In my humble opinion, i feel the popular Comedian is asked back year after year for one simple reason...he makes the show!! I honestly can't imagine America's Got Talent without Howie Mandel.
The thing I love most about Howie Mandel is that he is hands down the most down to earth Entertainer in Show Business. Along with his amazing talent and work ethic he is a wonderful family man and philanthropist.
Check out Howie on America's Got Talent Tuesday Nights on NBC!
If you would like to connect with Howie Mandel on Twitter please follow him at @howiemandel or you can follow him on Facebook..you wont be disappointed!
5-10-19 ICONIC ROCK BAND HEART & THE LOVE ALIVE TOUR
There is nothing more exciting than one of your all time favorite rock bands going out on tour..a summer tour to be exact and the band I'm talking about, none other than the Iconic duo and 2013 inductees into The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame....Ann & Nancy Wilson of Heart!
With Ann's hauntingly melodic vocals and Nancy's steady kick ass guitar riffs, the Wilson sisters will be out on the road this summer supporting their very much anticipated "Love Alive" tour.
I must say, I love the name of this tour.....
The name of the tour comes from a sentimental place, its a song off of 1977's Little Queen album.
Its so exciting for all the fans that the tour is starting soon....
The 39 date, North American tour is set to start on July 9th in St. Louis and go until September 9th in Los Angeles.This will be the first time Heart has toured in three years.
I'm thrilled by the supporting acts for The Love Alive Tour....
Some of the supporting acts include the very talented Joan Jett and The Blackhearts, songstress Brandi Carlile, the soulful Elle King and of course the amazing Sheryl Crowe!!
This tour is going to be the hottest tour of the summer..don't miss out! It's a chance to relive a night packed with amazing ‘70s and '80s rock & roll music. Above is the list of Heart’s 2019 Love Alive Tour dates in many cities & towns near you!
The band will partner with REVERB for this summer tour, to lessin the environmental footprint. For more information, visit REVERB.org.
Tickets are on sale so please do not hesitate to go see this legendary band!
For more information on the Love Alive tour please go to their Facebook page and get any and all updates on the tour!.
3-4-19 IN THE SPOTLIGHT WITH STORAGE WARS NEW YORK'S JOHN LUKE
When people ask me what is the best part of hosting a Podcast, I immediately tell them its all about our guests..the fun and interesting people we get to connect with and along with my Co host Jim Jax, I recently got to do just that on our Podcast The Forum.
On a very cold, winter night in February I had the pleasure of interviewing Reality TV Star John Luke from the very popular Storage Wars New York..a spin off from the mega hit Storage Wars on A & E John shared with us how he got the job and his experience being thrust into the limelight!!
I found John Luke to be the classicly cool New Yorker, a street-wise guy, with a great sense of humor and a heart of gold. Born & raised in Harlem, New York.. John Luke definitley has the "it" factor needed for Reality TV and that obviously was not lost on the Producers of Storage Wars NY or his millions of fans.
Spending years as an Auctioneer and traveling around the country you would think being on a television show named Storage Wars would be a given for John, or at least an opportunity he would be eager to jump at...well, not at all!!! Hesitant to take the job, John went for an interview, that turned out to be an impromptu audition with the shows Producers and as they say....the rest is history!!
To hear the entire interview with John Luke please click on the link below for The Forum episode where John Luke talks about his time on Storage Wars NY, charity work he's involved with...specifically Susan G Komen and what he is up to now.
The Forum: Interview with A & E Storage Wars New York Reality TV Star John Luke
https://www.spreaker.com/show/3272667 Susan G. Komen is an organization that is very close to John Luke's heart..please go to https://ww5.komen.org
2-11-19 IN THE SPOTLIGHT WITH JON BON JOVI'S SOUL FOUNDATION
By Florence Carmela
"Together, WE can make a difference…. One SOUL At A Time."
JBJ Soul Foundation
What can you say about a man who not only creates music that millions of people enjoy and spent the better part of their lives swooning over, except that Musician, Songwriter and Philanthropist Jon Bon Jovi, along with his wife of almost 30 years Dorothea, created an amazing Foundation that helps thousands of people through out The United States. The organization is The Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation and it is hands down one of the best Foundations out there!
The JBJ Soul Foundation assists and supports the efforts to shed light on the issues of hunger and homelessmess in our country and to produce community awareness as well. It is a non profit organization that does all this and much, much more. The Foundation has helped provide assistance and support in several states across the country for so many people who are struggling, including our veterans. Jon says that his wife Dorothea should get the credit since she is the one that has been doing most of the work to make their Foundation a success.
Their overall mission is to help those who are in need of food & shelter. They currently have two JBJ Soul Kitchens that provide nutritional, hot meals to people in need in his home state of New Jersey. The meals are paid for by a small donation (whatever can be provided by the customer) or by volunteering in the Community Restaurant, to pay it forward in a positive, productive way. Recently, both Soul Kitchens locations in New Jersey, in partnership with The Murphy Family Foundation has provided free meals to furloughed Federal Workers who were in need of a hot meal.
This is truly an amazing organization! If you are looking for a cause to get behind, lend your support or donate your time and money to I suggest you look towards the JBJ Soul Foundation, their partnerships and all the incredible projects they are currently working on.
If you would like more information on the JBJ Soul Foundation and Soul Kitchens go to
You can also follow them on Twitter @JBJSoulFound
11-10-18 IN THE SPOTLIGHT WITH HAROLD "LEFTY" WILLIAMS✨
SUPPORT A CHILD.
CHANGE A LIFE.
IMPACT THE WORLD.
One of the things I truly enjoy most about being an Interviewer is getting to talk to talented people on a regular basis; musicians, authors, comedians and athletes! But I think the thing I love MOST is when the person is also dedicated to important causes.... especially those involving children and Professional Athlete (and former Harlem Globetrotter) Harold Lefty Williams is one of those people!!
In 2008, Lefty and his wife Shyneefa started the DARE2DREAM campaign for children, a basketball camp for boys and girls of all ages (as young as 2 years old) to not only learn techniques of basketball but to learn life skills and strategies to help them as they grow and experience life. The foundation has strengthened the connection between children and their communities both locally and globally.
The DARE2DREAM website is chock full of information on programs, speaking engagements, volunteering & donations. If you are looking for a worthwhile cause, please go visit the website!!
For more information on programs from the DARE2DREAM FOUNDATION please go visit
SUPPORT THE CAUSE:
1 - 833 - 42 - LEFTY
You can donate to @HLWDARE2DREAM children’s charity. Please text 444-999 then type the words DARE2DREAM
Please subscribe to the DARE2DREAM YouTube Channel