Thursday, May 1, 2003

Knip's eye view

Student reels in reality TV stars for diabetes benefit


Hmmm. Looks as if a herd of reality TV people are about to invade Cincinnati. Maybe as many as 100.

Cincinnatian Tasha Wilkie, a 19-year-old college student, is a major reality TV fan. So much so she has studied it in academic settings, traveled to charity events to meet cast members and even gathered autographed pictures to sell for diabetes-related charities, Wilkie was diagnosed with Type 1 (insulin dependent) diabetes in 1998.

Now this: She has organized a July 19 meet 'n' greet at two locations with cast members from Survivor, Big Brother, The Mole and The Amazing Race. She's been working on it for a year.

Local Survivor alum Rodger Bingham is one of the guests, as are six or eight folks from Survivor Pulau Tiga, Australian Outback, Africa, Marquesas and Thailand, plus combatants from Amazing Race 1, 2 and 3, Big Brother 2 and 3, and The Mole, The Next Betrayal. Seventy are confirmed; Wilkie's still working on the other 30.

The event includes a July 18 party for sponsors, Then there's a July 19 session (11 a.m.) at Deer Park High School ($10) with Survivor-like challenges - guests against cast - autograph signings and photo ops.

The Saturday main event, a much larger mix 'n' mingle, is 8 p.m. at the Albert B. Sabin Convention Center with questions and answers and cast members seated at tables with guests.

Tickets go on sale today at $20 and $30 for general seating, $50 and $75 for seating with one cast member, and $250 for sponsor party and seating with two cast members. Proceeds go to Washington-based Diabetes Action Research and Education Foundation. Tickets at Web site or from Reality 4 Diabetes Tickets, c/o Tasha Wilkie, 8496 Donna Lane, Cincinnati, OH 45236.

For art's sake: Monday was a busy night at the law offices of Blank Rome LLP, and it had nothing to do with lawyering and everything to do with giving.

Judge Nate Jones, a major force in civil rights struggles of all sorts, hosted a do for 22-year-old Brian Washington, a 2002 Duke grad and future lawyer.

He's also an artist, and that's why the do. Blank Rome bought 14 of his works for the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and donated $250,000. Works are stark charcoal scenes from the civil rights movement.

Freedom Center CEO Ed Rigaud isn't sure how the works will be used: "We make no promises with any donation because you don't know until you get further into the process. But his work's so good and shows such maturity."

Right, and here's how you know it's good stuff: Most every work in the show - there were 20 or so besides the 14 donations - was sold. "I love these red dots," said gallery owner Laura Paul, sticking on another sold symbol.

"What's this lawyer stuff? We have to find a way to keep him making art," she said.


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Get to it!