On Thursday night, Ray and I attended the Founders Day Celebration at the Westport Country Playhouse in Westport, CT...to celebrate the man who started the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. Today would have been his 88th birthday! Since I have been involved with Camp and fundraising for them, I sometimes FORGET that the awesome man who had the vision to build a place where sick children can go to have fun, forget their illnesses for awhile, and just "kick back and raise a little hell!" was also an amazing actor! Wow, HOW could one forget that? Well, he wanted to be remembered for Camp and not his movies..blue eyes..or salad dressing!
Westport Country Playhouse
For the Founders Day celebration, the movie Cool Hand Luke was shown at the very theatre where Paul and his beautiful wife, Joanne Woodward performed themselves many times....and where Joanne was the artistic director for many years.
This event was so wonderful! We saw so many of our Camp friends! Yes...those are EGGS on his head! If you've ever seen Cool Hand Luke.....you'll get it!! If not....well, it's just an awesome hat!!
If you have seen the movie, you will also get this bottle opener! A cute souvenir from the event!
Pretty scary, huh?? LOL! NO..we were NOT drunk!!
Again, this was such a fun event, but it was very meaningful! I spoke to so many people who said they were there to honor Mr. Newman and the wonderful things he had done....and NONE of them said they were there because of his acting! Each person had their own story about how he had helped support different causes and not just the Camp....Girl Scouts, cancer charities, etc. Melissa Newman (Paul and Joanne's daughter) spoke at the beginning of the event, along with a beautiful young woman who went to camp as a child with leukemia and is now going to become a doctor....a career she chose because of Camp! Ray LaMontagne, a close friend of Paul's spoke about the importance of Camp and he also had a few funny facts about Paul....like how he finally admitted that he never actually ate all fifty eggs while filming Cool Hand Luke!!
My friends from Team Hole in the Wall kept asking me the same question....."How is your training for Boston going??".........I guess it's REALLY time to kick it up a notch?!! ANYTHING for Camp, the KIDS and to keep Mr. Newman's dream going strong!!
I know that there are a lot of different beliefs about what happens when we die....but I happen to believe that Paul is up there looking down on us.....a cold beer in his hand and a smile on his face..... because of all of the people working so hard to keep this amazing legacy of his going for a long time to come!
Gonna have a Birthday toast for PLN later....with a glass of Newman's Own wine, while watching one of his movies!! CHEERS!