Friday, December 24, 2004

Curtis and Peskys team up for fundraiser

Express Staff Writer

Jamie Lee Curtis beams as she signs her new book at nexStage Theatre Monday afternoon. Photo by Willy Cook

Entertaining and charming, actress and author Jamie Lee Curtis made a happy appearance in Ketchum on behalf of the Lee Pesky Learning Center. Curtis signed her new children's book, "It's Hard to be Five," Monday, Dec. 20 at the nexStage Theatre in Ketchum. A ticketed reception preceded the signing. The Pesky Center, which is based in Boise, is a non-profit, educational organization specializing in helping individuals with learning disabilities.

"Jamie was very gracious and so awesome and talked to every person who stood in line with her book," Gary Hunt, owner of sponsoring bookshop Iconoclast, said. "They were there for their children and grandchildren, or for whatever special reason gave them connection. Kids asked if her head was okay since in the movie, 'Christmas with the Kranks' her head was bashed in a few times.

"It was so nice to have the whole of nexStage, and be able to accommodate all the people," Hunt said. "We sold at least a few hundred books."

The Pesky Center made approximately $3,700 from ticket sales as well as proceeds from the sale of the Center's book, "Every Child Ready to Read," which Alan Pesky signed.

"NexStage was terrific. They went out of their way to make it a very personal event," Pesky Center Executive Director Hildy Ayer said. "Jamie Lee Curtis was absolutely magnificent. She was very real and made every child feel special as she talked to them. She clearly took a really personal interest in what she was doing."

According to Ayer, the Pesky's daughter and son-in-law, Heidi and Rick Worcester, and their children Eliza, Sam and Hope were part of the event and arrived from their home in Connecticut in time to participate. Wendy Pesky's brother Peter and Margie Stern, who have a second home in Sun Valley also attended the family affair.

Ayer concluded: "It's a very caring community. Happy Holidays to Ketchum and Sun Valley."

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