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    Posted November 2, 2006

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Stephen J. Falat Basket Project

Christine Ebersole and Mary Louise Wilson Kick Off Actors' Equity's 21st Annual Stephen J. Falat Basket Project

Holiday Gift Baskets Go To New York Area Hospitals, AIDS Hospices and Other Charities

Mary Louise Wilson, Christine Ebersole
Photo by: John Quilty

Christine Ebersole and Mary Louise Wilson, who are currently starring in GREY GARDENS on Broadway, have taken time out from their busy schedules to support the 21st Annual Stephen J. Falat Holiday Basket Project of Actors' Equity Association. Since 1985, volunteers organized by the Project Committee have delivered holiday gift baskets (large, colorful shopping bags) filled with clothing, CDs, candy, toiletries and more, to local New York hospitals and AIDS organizations, to brighten the holidays of people living with AIDS. All merchandise is new and has been donated by corporations as well as individuals.

This year, over 2500 baskets will be delivered to more than 20 hospitals, AIDS hospices, pediatric AIDS centers and HIV community services in the New York metropolitan area.

The mission started in 1985 when actor Stephen J. Falat visited a handful of patients at St. Luke's Hospital, donating Christmas baskets supplied through his own generosity. The next year, he organized the project through Actors' Equity Association and donated 150 baskets to other AIDS charities. The project now has dozens of volunteers and has grown to 2500 baskets.

Council Recording Secretary Diana Previtire is pitching in for Equity's Stephen Falat Basket Project, which donates holiday gift baskets to NYC-area hospitals and charities. In her spare time, Diana crocheted over 100 colorful, fuzzy scarves which will festoon the brimming baskets. The scarves are tagged "in loving memory of Patrick Dominic Quinn."

Volunteers are needed to help fill the baskets and deliver them around the holidays. For further information, contact Anne Fortuno, 212.869.8530 x409.

Falat passed away from complications from AIDs in 1991, and the Basket Project has been proudly continued in his memory. Members of Equity's Stephen J. Falat Basket Project Committee are Arne Gundersen, Chair; Austin Colyer, Jeanne Lehman, Maureen Moore, and Jean-Paul Richard.

Volunteers and donations are needed! Donations of suitable goods, gifts and direct financial contributions can be sent to Actors' Equity, 165 West 46th Street, New York, NY 10036. Attention: Falat Basket Project

For further information, call Anne Fortuno, Project Coordinator and Assistant to the President, at 212-869-8530 x 409.

David Lotz / Communications Director
Maria Somma / Spokesperson

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