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GL Cast Helps Rebuild Coast Homes
Topic Started: Sep 9 2007, 04:50 PM (188 Views)
Steve Frame
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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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Steve Frame
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This is wonderful and is wonderful publicity for the show. The Biloxi area where my ex-inlaws live has been virtually forgotten by everyone during this whole Katrina mess, but they were hit just as hard if not harder than other areas.

I am not saying we should pick one over the other but New Orleans was a bigger and better known city so of course they got the publicity, but these people in Southern Mississippi lost just as much if not more.

I have been to the area last October a year after the hurricane hit and it was still a mess. One big Interstate and connection for major cities is still not open. The only saving grace for the city is they were able to restore some of the casinos really quick or the city would have probably went under financially but that has helped to pull some tourists back into the area.

It took my in-laws who live an almost 45 minute drive away from the ocean a little over a year to get back into their home. They were lucky in that they didn't lose their home completely or lose all their belongings as the water only got up into thier home at about 4 feet so they were able to save a few things. Also it was not completely running water and did not wash it all away.

My ex-wife's brothers home was hit harder as the water just rushed through and carried everything they had off. All that was left standing was the studs of the house and part of the roof. It was just all carried off by running water.

Good for GL to do this. I am sure they could have taken the money they have used for this project and put it into the show, but they will get a lot more mileage out of this.
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