Sunday, April 21, 2002

Town Hall speakers run range

By Ellen Blevens
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The Montgomery Woman's Club designed its Town Hall Lecture Series to promote cultural awareness and encourage discussion. Next season, its 40th, speakers will be comedian Alan King, traveler Rick Steves, embezzlement expert Frank Abagnale, news correspondent Ann Compton and issue-embracing Tipper Gore.

        Sept. 25-26: Alan King has a lengthy resume. He is a comedian, actor, producer, author, television personality, philanthropist and political activist. As a stand-up comic, he has performed for more than 50 years and is a favorite of the British royal family. He has written four best-sellers, most recently his autobiography, Name-Dropping — The Life and Lies of Alan King. He calls his talk “Inside the Comedy Mind.”

        Oct. 23-24: Tipper Gore is an advocate for many family and social issues. Formerly the mental health policy adviser to President Clinton, she works to eliminate the shame and stigma surrounding issues of mental health. Mrs. Gore also works as a special adviser to the Interagency Council on the Homeless. She is the author of Picture This: A Visual Diary (the title of her speech) and wife of the former vice president.

        Nov. 20-21: Rick Steves is a staple on public broadcasting with his shows about European travel. He is host of Rick Steves' Europe and Travels in Europe with Rick Steves, both of which air on local public stations. Mr. Steves is author of Europe Through the Back Door, which is the subject of his talk, and eight country guidebooks, as well as the anecdotal Postcards from Europe.

        Feb. 26-27: Frank Abagnale was called the “greatest con artist of all time.” He was a multi-millionaire by the age of 21, successfully impersonating a doctor, attorney, college professor, stock broker and FBI agent. Since serving his prison sentence, Mr. Abagnale has become a respected expert in the field of white-collar crime prevention. The title of his talk is “Catch Me If You Can.”

        March 26-27: ABC News correspondent Ann Compton is a veteran of the White House beat. She is covering her sixth presidency for ABC News. She was the only broadcast reporter to remain with President Bush on Air Force One on Sept. 11. Ms. Compton was inducted into the Journalism Hall of Fame in June 2000. She will discuss “A View From Washington.”

        Lectures take place 11 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday morning at Paramount's Kings Island and 8 p.m. Wednesday at Sycamore Junior High School. Cost is $80. Only subscriptions to all five lectures are sold. To purchase a subscription, call the Town Hall voice mail at 684-1632.

        Current ticket holders who renew by May 16 will be given priority. Tickets will be mailed by July 11.

        Proceeds go to educational projects in the Sycamore School District. The Montgomery Woman's Club has donated about $1 million to students in its community.


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