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Ruta Lee and Debbie Reynolds

The Thalians 50th Anniversary

Working the red carpet with the energy, effervescence, and style that have come to epitomize their stellar careers, Ruta Lee and Debbie Reynolds played the roles of perfect hosts/dynamic duo for the 50th anniversary celebration for the Thalians charity.

The Thalians organization, named after the Greek goddess of comedy, Thalia, is anything but a laughing matter. For half a century, the charity, which was chartered in 1995 by actors dedicated to giving back to the community, has championed the cause of helping children with mental illness using the strength of its legendary Hollywood supporters. The 50th anniversary celebration was no different in its approach: entertaining while raising money and awareness for better mental health services.

POWER had a chance to meet and talk with a number of the celebrities who came out to support the cause and enjoy performances from Clint Black, Dom DeLuise, Joey McIntyre and Alex Trebek, among others. The West Wing's Allison Janney, famous astronaut Buzz Aldrin, and Rick and Kathy Hilton were among a string of notable visitors who added to the glamour of the occasion. When we jokingly asked Mr. Aldrin if he was interested in "space tourism," he kindly acknowledged that his current vacation plans only include trips to more earth-bound destinations.

The event was held this year at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles. Frances Allen-Friedman and Shelly Hann co-chaired, while Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver were named Honorary Chairs. After dinner, Debbie and Ruta Lee helped honor a number of past and present Thalians supporters, including Peter Ustinov, Harold Lloyd, Jimmy Durante, Frank Sinatra, Ed Sullivan, Busby Berkeley, Gene Kelly, and Lucille Ball.

But it was when the performers began that the evening took on that "Thalian charm." Attendees kicked back and enjoyed the sounds of Clint Black and others while being secure in the knowledge that they were each helping to further the Thalian cause. POWER wishes another prosperous 50 years to this truly worthy charity and talent-rich organization.

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