- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 2, 2011

‘Extreme Makeover’ fundraiser to salute military families

“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” will salute military families in a Veterans Day fundraising special featuring stars including Jewel, Whoopi Goldberg and Robin Williams, the Associated Press reports.

The hourlong ABC special, airing at 8 p.m. Nov. 11, will focus on issues faced by veterans and highlight the skills they can bring to the workforce and their communities, ABC and the charitable Entertainment Industry Foundation said Wednesday.

Jewel, who is co-hosting the special with Ty Pennington of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” also will sing.

“We want everyone to pitch in,” she said in a statement. “We don’t want the veterans to feel forgotten. Through their struggles, illness, post-traumatic stress disorder and a tough economy, we’re here to let them know they’re still supported.”

Celebrities will ask viewers to donate by phone and online to groups that support military veterans. Those scheduled to take part include George Lopez, J.R. Martinez, Rachael Ray, Sherri Shepherd and Major League Baseball players Daniel Murphy, Shane Victorino and Clay Buchholz.

“It’s important that the people who are watching and the people who may not have a lot themselves hear the clarion call. And even if they give $5, they have done something to help,” said Miss Goldberg, who added that as the longtime co-host of Comic Relief she has seen how generous people can be.

“Kids went in their pockets, people broke their piggy banks, and they gave what they could to make someone else’s life better. What’s better than that? That’s America,” said the actress and co-host of “The View.”

Contributions from the special, subtitled, “Rise and Honor,” will go to the Fisher House Foundation, Hire Heroes USA, Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, USO, Volunteers of America and Welcome Back Veterans.

J.R. Martinez tapped as Rose Parade grand marshal

The grand marshal for Pasadena’s 123rd Tournament of Roses is a certain crowd pleaser.

Leading the Jan. 2 procession of floats will be J.R. Martinez, the “Dancing With the Stars” contestant, “All My Children” daytime soap-opera star and Iraq War veteran who was seriously burned when his Humvee hit a land mine, the Associated Press reports.

Mr. Martinez also will toss the coin before the kickoff of the 98th Rose Bowl game, in honor of all wounded military personnel.

The Tournament of Roses Association’s announcement Tuesday said Mr. Martinez is a perfect fit for the parade theme, “Just Imagine.”

Mr. Martinez said he’s grateful for the opportunity to share his message of hope and possibility.

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