This past Sunday, Host Jackie Watson had her ‘EYE On’ the stars of daytime and primetime tv as they joined Days of our Lives star and event organizer Jen Lilley (Theresa, DAYS) for the first annual Stars Strike Out Child Abuse event to benefit Childhelp! But what made this fundraiser extra special was that while raising dollars and awareness, fans and the stars got the opportunity to mix and mingle, and bowl on teams together at the Pinz Bowling Center in Studio City, California, where the event was held.
Throughout the afternoon and into the evening, teams led by a soap star tried to get strikes and spares for their team and also desperately tried to avoid gutter balls, all in the name of fun and helping those in need!
Participating in the event arrivals line, and then putting on their bowling shoes were: DAYS Lauren Koslow (Kate), Kristian Alfonso (Hope), Rob Scott Wilson (Ben), True O’Brien (Paige), Kassie DePaiva (Eve), Chrishell Stause (Jordan), Casey Moss (JJ), Kate Mansi (Abigail) and Lauren Boles (Ciara).
General Hospital was represented by Finola Hughes (Anna), Ian Buchanan (Duke) and Haley Pullos (Molly) and new cast member of The Young and the Restless and former GH star Kelly Sullivan (Sage, Y&R)!
Also on hand to lend their support was former Y&R guest star, TV and motion picture actor, Eric Roberts! ABC’s Mixology star, Ginger Gonzaga, former DAYS actress Patrika Darbo (Ex-Nancy), and former B&B cast member Maitland Ward (Ex-Jessica Forrester) also hit the lanes, plus many others! While On-Air On-Soaps was on hand to chat with the stars, and some of our interview conversations will be posted in the coming days, we also had the opportunity to bowl on Team Ian Buchanan!
The story of Childhelp is about two young Hollywood actresses’ “chance” encounters—one with 11 homeless orphans abroad, and one with Nancy Reagan—and how they led to a lifelong commitment to helping children in need.
The Childhelp Story
The Beginning of a Lifetime Commitment to Children…
Eleven half-American, half-Japanese orphans wandering homeless in Tokyo following a typhoon sparked a mission that has spanned internationally for nearly 55 years and impacted the lives of millions of children.
Hollywood actresses Sara Buckner (O’Meara) and Yvonne Lime (Fedderson) first met on the set of The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, when they played the girlfriends of Ricky and David Nelson. Their mission for children began in 1959 when they were sent on a government-sponsored goodwill tour to visit troops in Japan.
On the streets of Tokyo after a typhoon, the actresses came upon a group of cold and frightened children huddled together for warmth. Learning they had no parents and were born from American troops during the Korean War, the young women took the children to their hotel room for the night with the idea of placing them into an orphanage the next day.
What that they didn’t know then was that this was the beginning of a lifetime commitment to children.
They learned the youngsters had been turned away from orphanages because of their mixed heritage. They were told of a woman, Kin Horuchi, living in a one-room hut that kept several Japanese-American children.
She agreed to care for the 11 additional children and the ladies promised to send money to help the children. They thought the problem was settled, but word of what they were doing spread rapidly through the city. They had suddenly become surrogate mothers to a brood of 100 Japanese-American children that were left on the doorstep of the hut, which now needed to become an orphanage.
Returning to California, the actresses began to raise funds among friends and their families, as well as the film community to care for the children.
From that beginning grew International Orphans Incorporated, an organization that eventually built four orphanages, caring for thousands of abandoned Japanese-American children.
America’s Best Kept Secret
In 1966, the actresses were invited to Washington to discuss the building of orphanages for Vietnamese-American children. With the help of the Third Marine Amphibious Force, they established five orphanages, a hospital and a school for abandoned children in Vietnam. International Orphans Incorporated maintained the facilities until the American troops pulled out. In 1975, the two young women helped arrange Operation Baby Lift, flying thousands of children to waiting adoptive homes in America.
It was after a speech they made on International Orphans Incorporated, that Nancy Reagan, then First Lady of California, asked they turn their attention to “America’s best kept secret” – child abuse. The Senate Subcommittee on Children and Youth had just released a study that child abuse had become epidemic in the United States and was the leading cause of death in young children.
With encouragement of childcare experts in private and public sectors, International Orphans Incorporated began a campaign about child abuse, producing and airing the first television special on child abuse in America and in 1976, changed its name to Children’s Village USA. They began a program in the United States for abused and neglected children and called it a “village.” This was the only the beginning of a life-long mission to help children in need.