Name Dropping For A Good Cause

What do these celebrities have in common?
They’ve all given their time and talent to “A Night at Sardi’s,” an annual benefit in Beverly Hills that has raised millions of dollars for the Alzheimer’s Association. The fundraiser – celebrities perform musical numbers from famous Broadway shows – is the brainchild of my friend Laurie Burrows Grad.
As beautiful inside as she is outside, Laurie lost her father, Broadway musical scribe Abe Burrows (he wrote “Guys and Dolls,” for example, and won the Pulitzer Prize for “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying”), to Alzheimer’s. She works tirelessly to recruit celebrities for her benefit, including Peter Gallagher from “The O.C.”


What does “A Night at Sardi’s” have to do with baseball or me?
Take a look at this year’s invitation.
Right. The show is “Damn Yankees.”
When the invitation arrived in the mail and I saw those familiar pinstripes, I called Laurie and said, “My book about the Yankees is coming out around the same time as your benefit. Is there any way I can help the cause?”
She asked if my publisher would donate copies that could be given away to the performers as gifts, and Rodale said yes!
Today I went down to LA and signed all the books. No, none of them counted as a sale. I didn’t earn any royalties. I won’t even be at the event to meet any of the boldfaced names in their gowns and tuxedoes. 
But here’s what I did get: a feeling that in some really small way I might have done a good thing today.
Oh, and I also got this: lunch at Barney’s in Beverly Hills. Laurie paid. A win-win.


  1. redbirdchatter

    Maybe you need a “Will sign books for lunch at Barney’s” sign. 🙂 It’s amazing how little we know about the things we enjoy. I love “Guys and Dolls” a bushel and a peck, but I couldn’t have named the person behind the creation until now. Alzheimer’s is a nasty disease…you did a very good thing!

  2. Jane Heller

    Sorry to hear it, Jeff. Horrors is right. But the AA is working very hard to raise money, so help is on the way.

  3. Jane Heller

    Definitely a good idea to hit Happy Hour before reading, Jeff. Books are always better when one is bleary eyed and not quite firing on all cylinders. Enjoy!

  4. Jane Heller

    Well, yes and no, King. I was very sad to learn yesterday that my publisher downsized two of my favorite people and now they’re out of jobs. They were both very instrumental in helping me launch the book, so I’m mightily bummed on their behalf.

  5. raysrenegade

    I would expect no less from you.

    With the class you have on the pages, I would think you also have that savvy for the charities. That was an awesome idea of your, and glad to see that your publisher is as great a humanitarian as you are Lady Jane.

    Who knows, maybe they will send you a invitation with everyone’s signature on it for your collection. People sometime forget charities when the economy bends a bit. Great to see the “She-Fan” can do her part to help the cause.

    rays Renegade

  6. Jane Heller

    You’re right, Renegade. The charities and non-profits are really hurting in this economy. But the show must go on and we’ve got to do the best we can.

  7. AJRoxMyWhiteSox

    Thanks for doing something great, Jane. My grandmother is in the relatively early stages of it, and due to her other health problems, she’ll probably progress through it quickly. Tomorrow’s her 74th birthday, so hopefully she’ll have a good day. 🙂 And thank you to your friend for helping with the Association. The more help they can get, the better!

  8. rrrt

    Best wishes for a successful fundraiser! Apparently I am paying too much attention to baseball, and not enough to popular culture, because I didn’t know who two of the first three photos were until I scrolled down to the tags. Jason Alexander I recognized from “Seinfeld”.
    Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts

  9. Jane Heller

    LOL, Sue. I guess I should have put captions under the pix. Out here in California it’s hard not to recognize the actors. They’re everywhere.

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