Celebrities Set for UMES Gala
Hollywood stars have signed-on to appear March 3 at the 2012 University of Maryland Eastern Shore Gala, “Lights, Camera, Action!.”
The third year for a celebrity presence, the 2012 guests include: S. Epatha Merkerson, Larry King, Billy Davis Jr., and Marilyn McCoo, Melanie Griffith, Tippi Hedren and Jaclyn Smith.
“What an honor that these talented and community conscious celebrities are willing to give of their time to benefit our deserving students,” Dr. Veronique Diriker, Gala coordinator, said. “I’m sure our guests will delight in sharing the evening with them.”
S. Epatha Merkerson is best-known for 16 years on the NBC hit series, “Law and Order,” as Lt. Anita Van Buren. She appeared in more episodes than any other cast member during the series’ run, which ended last year. Merkerson also starred in the HBO film “Lackawanna Blues,” as Rachel Nanny Crosby. On stage, she starred in August Wilson’s “The Piano Lesson” and as Lola Delaney in “Come Back, Little Sheba.”
Larry King has spent 50 years in broadcasting. He hosted the nightly interview TV program “Larry King Live” on CNN for 25 years, ending the show last year. Among King’s many books are “The Best of Larry King Live: The Greatest Interviews” and “Anything Goes! What I’ve Learned from Pundits, Politicians, and Presidents.” He also spent 18 years writing a weekly column for “USA Today.”
Seven-time Grammy-winning duo Billy Davis Jr., and Marilyn McCoo were lead singers of “The 5th Dimension,” in the late 60’s and early 70’s. In a span of eight years, the group had 30 songs on the pop charts, including, “Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In,” “Up Up And Away,” and “Wedding Bell Blues.” Davis and McCoo established themselves as a duo after a decade with the group and recorded their first #1 hit, “You Don’t Have to Be A Star.” CBS signed them for a prime time TV series, “The Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr. Show.”
Melanie Griffith is known for her award-winning performance as Tess McGill in “Working Girl” with Harrison Ford, Sigourney Weaver, Alec Baldwin and Joan Cusack. The best performance of her career, some critics say, was the 1998 film “Another Day in Paradise.” Griffith met her future husband, Antonio Banderas, in the 1996 comedy “Two Much.” She starred in the TV miniseries “Buffalo Girls” and the HBO film “RKO 281.” Her Broadway debut was as Roxie in the musical “Chicago,” a 2003 box office success.
Tippi Hedren was a New York fashion model when Alfred Hitchcock’s cast her in the 1963 classic, “The Birds.” She then starred alongside Sean Connery in “Marnie,” and Marlon Brando and Sophia Loren in “The Countess From Hong Kong,” Charlie Chaplin’s last film. She has appeared in over 30 films, numerous television appearances and is known for her humanitarian and environmental causes. Most known is a non-profit big cat sanctuary, “The Roar Foundation’s Shambala Preserve” created as a setting for the film “Roar,” which Hedren co-produced and starred with her daughter, Melanie Griffith.
Jaclyn Smith was twice named one of the “Most Beautiful People in the World” by “Harpers Bazaar,” “US,” “TV Guide” and “People Magazine.” She first came into American homes as the Breck Girl in TV commercials and now has a collection of women’s apparel, accessories and home furnishings for Kmart stores. Smith has appeared in more than 50 films and TV shows. She is most known as Kelly Garrett on “Charlie’s Angles,” the only original female star to perform all five years the series aired. Smith also starred in the highly-rated TV film “Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy.”
Oscar tickets are $175 and VIP tickets are $500. Call Veronique Diriker at 410-651-8142 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to purchase tickets. There will be live and silent auctions such as vacation packages, art work, and beauty supplies.
VIP Tickets: $500 ($5,000/ table of 10)
IRS rules provide for a tax deduction of the amount you contribute less the estimated value of the benefit you receive. We estimate the value of the benefit received to be $120 per person. Therefore, you may be able to deduct any contribution in excess of that amount.
- Attendance at the VIP Party at the Captain’s Table Restaurant at the Marriott Courtyard in Ocean City on Friday evening, March 2
- Special Rates at the Marriott on Friday evening, March 2 ($79 for non-oceanfront and $89 for oceanfront. Call Caitlin Evans @ 410-289-5008 ext. 4908).
- Attendance at the Celebrity Honorary Degree Ceremony at UMES on March 3 at 5:00 pm
- Attendance at the VIP Party with celebrities and media during cocktail hour on March 3 at 6 pm
- Preferred Seating in the Ballroom on March 3 at 7 pm
- Gourmet dinner; dance; auction; photos from 7 pm to 11 pm. on March 3
- Souvenir photo
Oscar Tickets: $175 ($1,750/ table of 10)
IRS rules provide for a tax deduction of the amount you contribute less the estimated value of the benefit you receive. We estimate the value of the benefit received to be $90 per person. Therefore, you may be able to deduct any contribution in excess of that amount.
- Gourmet dinner; dance; auction from 7 pm to 11 pm. on March 3
- Be in the same room as the celebrities
- Souvenir photo
Tickets may be purchased by credit card (410-651-8142) or by check. Please make the check is payable to the UMES Foundation and mail to:
University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Division of Institutional Advancement
J.T. Williams Hall Room 1103
Princess Anne, MD 21853