Cindy Crawford Partners With St. Jude’s to Give Away 28 Brand New Dream Homes

Cindy CrawfordCindy Crawford is partnering with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to give away 28 “dream homes” around the nation through the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway. The homes are valued between $300,000 and $700,000. Tickets for a chance to win sell for $100 each; the proceeds will go to St. Jude to provide medical care to sick children at no cost to their families.

Cindy Crawford lost her younger brother to acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common form of childhood cancer, when she was just shy of 10 years old. He was almost 4 years old.

It is worthy to note that when Cindy Crawford’s brother passed away the survival rate for ALL was around only 50 percent. Today, it’s 94 percent.

Only limited number of tickets are sold in each markets. Ticket holders also have the chance to win jewelry, electronics, and furniture store gift certificates.

Money raised through ticket sales will go to support St. Jude’s mission: finding cures and saving lives.

Find out if there is a St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway in your city. Visit

Jewel Inspires Hope

JewelLast week I interviewed platinum recording artist Jewel about her life, her love of the arts, her music, and her love of learning.

Here’s my interview with Jewel. Note: The podcast has some unclear audio, but it is worth listening to Jewel!

Music by

Baring It All – Glee’s Charlotte Ross Tells How Investing Small Can Have Big Payoffs

Charlotte RossCharlotte Ross, who plays Judy Fabray, the uptight mother of Quinn Fabray on the hit TV series “Glee,” is now playing another role.

She is the new spokesperson for Operation Blankets of Love, which is based in Granada Hills, Calif. The grassroots group started out by bringing blankets to animal shelters, which often have cold — and sometimes wet — floors. This small investment has had big payoffs. The warmth and comfort of the blankets make animals more playful, which in turn makes them more adoptable, Ross says. And that can mean the difference between life and death for these animals, she explains.

Ross is such an animal advocate that she has turned to the power of documentary to spread her message. She is currently in the midst of producing a documentary following individual stories of why pet owners have had to leave their pets at shelters. Some of the stories turn out well for the animals, and unfortunately, some won’t, she says.

Documentaries, while much cheaper to produce than feature films, are often costly. But Ross says they can be done on a shoestring budget. Ross worked on a documentary that cost $10,000. As with any product, genuine passion sells, and Ross’ passion attracted other investors who believed in her cause and who wanted to contribute their time. Fundraising for the project started with something any kid can do – a lemonade stand, which Ross, a single mother, and her child set up. Ross says the cost to produce her documentary will exceed $10,000 but is keeping the price down through soliciting volunteerism. Once the documentary is complete, she will seek funding for a strong release to give it some legs, she says.

Ross will be starring opposite Nicholas Cage in the upcoming feature “Drive Angry,” which will be released on February 11 nationwide. Ross describes the movie as a surreal journey that Nicholas Cage’s character goes on in which she plays a character with a hard life and “strange” values. The film leans on action and violence, she says. It was shot in 3D, and Ross reveals that “I did full frontal nudity for the first time in my career, which actually I’ve been not only kind of against but have passed on.” She took on this role because, with the tendency to get typecast as the girl-next-door, she tries to take on character roles that are as far from her own experiences as possible and get into their minds and souls. But full frontal nudity wasn’t easy for her and required a martini before shooting and workouts of 3 to 4 hours a day.

Mark Salling: Glee’s Noah “Puck” Puckerman on His New Puppy, New “Child Hunger Ends Here” Campaign, and New Season

Mark SallingMark Salling, who’s best known for his mean jock character Noah “Puck” Puckerman on Glee, has every reason to be excited. He just got a new puppy, an Australian cattle dog (which he named Noah), and there’s a lot in store for his character on Glee this season. He told me that he’s going to be confronted with some very adult issues, which may include having to deal with his out-of-wedlock daughter, Beth, again (who’s the result of a one-night stand with fellow Glee Club member Quinn Fabray, who was dating his best friend, Finn Hudson, at the time).

But things haven’t always gone so well for Mark. Before hitting it big, Mark spent 7 years pursuing a professional music career in LA. He was just about to throw in the towel and move back to his native Texas when he decided to make one last-ditch effort — sending out resumes and photos to 75 managers and agents. “I was at the very end,” he told me. He received only one response. However, that manager led him to an agent who got him an audition, which turned into five “agonizing auditions” for a pilot show that was billed as a high school musical for primetime TV. As it turns out, Glee is about the will and fortitude of the underdog, and Mark’s perseverance paid off with a role that changed the course of his life.

Now Mark is trying to change the course of the lives of other underdogs: hungry children. He’s a spokesperson for ConAgra Food’s Child Hunger Ends Here campaign. He cites his home state of Texas as second only to Arkansas in the number of children who go hungry, a number nearing 17 million nationwide. The solution is easy, he said. Get your school involved. Each ConAgra Foods UPC code saved buys one meal for a child.

That’s something really worth singing about.

ESPN’s Erin Andrews Helping Small Charity Score Big With Fan Support

After an exciting game between Notre Dame and Michigan, ESPN Sportscaster Erin Andrews got on a plane and headed to New York City where she spent the tenth anniversary of 9-11. She’s not afraid of much, but this was different, and she admits it was frightening to go to New York on September 11th. It was an emotional and nerve-wracking day, she said. Even watching the commercials on TV made her cry.

But the timing couldn’t have been better, because Andrews is working with to raise money for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). This program helps children (and others) who have lost a loved one while they were serving in the military. The waitlist, she found, was 500 people long. Andrews wanted to do what she could to shorten it. What better way than a Girls Night Out, where proceeds from the purchase of tickets to selected sports games would go to TAPS.

Andrews, who’s from the South, said that Southern women know more than many men do about sports. She’s a big college football fan.

Watch the Skypecast of my entire interview with Erin Andrews to find out why her friends call her Mother Theresa, how she got interested in sports when she was just 5 years old, and more about what she’s doing.

Sign up for our newsletter.

Ben Stein
Charlotte Ross
Ludacris, Photo Credit: AP/Wide World Photos
Laila Ali, Photo Credit: Peter Langone
Brett Michaels, Photo Credit: Nancy Mazzei
Carl Reiner, Photo Credit: AP Photo/Ric Francis
Jane Seymour
Stuart Damon, Photo Credit: Ken Matthews
John O’Hurley
Jim Cramer
George Wallace
Annika Sorenstam
Bill Rancic, Photo Credit: America Now
Kevin Sorbo
Larry Guli, Photo Credit: Shandon Youngclaus
Christian McBride, Photo Credit: Chi Modu
Adam Mesh

The Other Side of the Window by S.Z. Berg


Rated 5 stars at both and Amazon!

What would you do if you knew the truth, but no one would believe you?

"[Y]ou will be hooked until the last page." William D. Curnutt "Pastor Dan" (Wichita, KS, United States)

"Savannah [will become] that scared, struggling, terrified part of you ... it won't much feel like reading, but like living it yourself, and intensely." L.E.Olteano - Butterfly-o-meter Books

"[H]er story will stay with you and make you look at those around you with a little more compassion and understanding, and maybe even a little more paranoia!" Amanda Alberson

"[T]he story will haunt you long after! " J. Sprague

William Edwards and the Wizardly Glasses


William Edwards was not good at anything, or so he was told. When he doesn’t bring home a soccer trophy (when they’re given out just for showing up), his banker parents (who bought him off the Internet) think he’s an investment that’s just not paying off. Oh, they are a frightful pair, indeed, even throwing mustard parties, with plenty of gluten, when William is allergic to mustard — and has celiac, so he can’t eat wheat!

But everything changes for William when a knowing old lady gives him a pair of big green glasses with rose-colored lenses. His classmates tease him, because he looks like a frog. But they turn out to be wizardly glasses, and William is transported to Winkleberry, a school for children with wizzies (magical powers). There he meets a smart young girl, Bora, and another boy, Zandall, who help William learn about his wizzies and accidentally lead him to a time travel machine. But before William can travel back in time to save his real parents, who are being held captive in 1929 by a zygot (a monster that inhabits the homes of mean people), William must protect the gene pool in his fake parents’ back yard from mutation!