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HED: Haskell gala to bring stars to Amory stage
SUBHED: Eleven stars to appear May 16 in honor of Haskell book debut
AMORY — The Mary Kirkpatrick Haskell Scholarship Foundation announces a special Celebration Gala to honor Sam Haskell and the release of his memoir, “Promises I Made My Mother.”
Grammy nominated artist Michael Feinstein will headline the gala concert to be staged at the Amory High School Auditorium on May 16 at 7 p.m. Proceeds from the gala will benefit the Mary Kirkpatrick Haskell Scholarship Foundation.
Joining Feinstein will be Emmy Award-winning actresses Debbie Allen, Doris Roberts, Lucie Arnaz and Sela Ward; Miss America 2009 Katie Stam; Star of The Little Rascals, Full House, and Broadway’s Ragtime Actor/Singer Blake Ewing; Recording Artist/Actress and Former Miss Mississippi Mary Donnelly Haskell; Best Selling Author of The Sweet Potato Queen series Jill Conner Browne; Miss Mississippi 2008 Christine Kozlowski; Singer/Actress Mary Lane Haskell, a student at the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU; and the Amory High School cast of “The Wiz.”
About “Promises I Made My Mother”
Sam Haskell’s memoir for Ballentine Books, a division of Random House Publishing Group, “Promises I Made My Mother,” chronicles his life as a child in Amory and follows him through his college years at Ole Miss, his 26-year career at the William Morris Agency in Beverly Hills, Calif., and beyond.
In amusing, affecting, and frequently warts-and-all anecdotes, Haskell weaves his mother’s life lessons into the fabric of his engaging story. Readers will discover Haskell as a child, experiencing the power of hope as he waited patiently for the amp”Cheer Manamp” (a rep for the detergent company who gave $10 to anyone using the brand) to visit his tiny town, as advertised on TV; learning humility after pursuing an eighth grade amp”Good Citizenshipamp” award he cockily assumed he’d win; and confronting the complications of human character when a traumatic, near fatal car crash exposed the true nature of his judgmental, unfaithful father.
In Hollywood, Haskell would rely upon honesty, self-reliance, and his mother’s teachings of faith to rise swiftly from scoring a gig as a worker in the William Morris Agency mailroom to becoming an agent and then an executive vice-president and Worldwide Head of Television. His capacities for friendship, foresight, and being amp”thoughtfully politicalamp” would allow him to handle client crises like Swoosie Kurtz’s deal-breaking insistence on a private bathroom while shooting Sisters, to tense negotiations that nearly scuttled the last year of Everybody Loves Raymond and the entire existence of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. They also helped him breathe new life into the flagging Miss America pageant — desperately in need of a makeover when he took the reins in 2005. After a 26-year career, he retired in 2004 to pursue philanthropic endeavors. In 2007 he was named one of the 25 Most Innovative and Influential People in Television over the last quarter century by TV Week.
Out of the business world, his mother’s precept that amp”it takes a good parent to make a good childamp” has helped Haskell lovingly raise his own children and both ease and endure his mother’s death from cancer. Haskell has achieved success through self-respect, and from his story, readers learn how they, too, can maintain their dignity when faced with life’s challenges. This stirring memoir is a testament to mothers everywhere who instill in their sons the lasting values they need to become good men and devoted fathers.
Sponsors of the upcoming Foundation Celebration Concert include Community Bank of Mississippi, The University of Mississippi, Magnolia Hill Consultants, and Kathy Ireland Worldwide, among others.
Limited Gold, Silver, and Bronze Patron Concert/Dinner packages are available. For more information on sponsorship, patron packages, or ticket information, contact Judy Dobbs at (662) 257-4051 or Debbie Palmer at (662) 256-4935.