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'Guiding Light' helps rebuild Coast homes
Cast, crew from TV show began project in January
By LEIGH COLEMAN
SUN HERALD

BILOXI --The cast and crew of the CBS daytime drama "Guiding Light" along with Hands On Network volunteers finished rebuilding their third and final Biloxi home on Saturday.

Cast member Beth Chamberlain says the Katrina project has forever changed the show and the cast.

Homeowner Ethel Curry and her two grandsons, Dezmond and Brandon Smith, spent the night in their rebuilt and completely furnished house on Friday.

Cast and crew members shut down production in their New York studio in January to begin a rebuilding campaign as part of their 70th anniversary celebration.

They formed a unique year-long partnership with Hands On, a nationwide nonprofit rebuilding organization, and kicked off a volunteer campaign by adopting three Biloxi homes destroyed by Katrina.

"Since this Biloxi project began in January we are all different and it is a better show because of this volunteer rebuilding project," said Chamberlain, who plays Beth on the show.

"The cast members who came down here are changed and we have cohesiveness now and it has been a blessing to all of us on the show. It is also empowering have the skills now to walk into a house of just studs and rebuild it and we have all received so much from this," she said.

Cast members Kim Zimmer (Reva), Robert Bogue (A.C. Mallet), production staff member Janet Morrison and others made this last trip to complete the home.

Since the project began in January, "Guiding Light" stars, crew members, producers and staff have rolled up their sleeves and picked up hammers and nails, installed dry wall, repaired roof tops, installed equipment and every other task involving rebuilding a home.

The three homes were also completely refurnished by the show with new appliances, furniture, accessories and dishes.

"It is difficult to say in words what the heart feels," said Curry.

"I am just speechless about the work that was put into this home," she said.

Cast members said they will return for other projects, continue to promote volunteerism and will never forget the friendships they have made while in South Mississippi.

For information on volunteering for Hands On Network visit handsonnetwork.org. To share and upload your inspiration or light, "Guiding Light" invites fans to celebrate inspirational and life changing stories visit findyourlight.net.
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