Volunteers Welcome Incoming LTC Patients with Paint and Passion

February 15, 2012
Bob Beitcher & Volunteers  from CAA

Bob Beitcher with volunteers from CAA.

For the past 2 Saturdays, we’ve been “producing” our hybrid version of Home Improvement and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition on the Wasserman Campus in Woodland Hills.  Over 120 volunteers from all parts of the industry – from the MPTF board, guilds and unions, from studios, talent agencies, and business management firms, from staff, family members, and Saving the Lives of Our Own, from prior volunteers on the Herthel home project to newbies to this project – joined together to tape, paint, pot, sweep, and scrub 14 rooms in the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) that will soon become the new home to our long-term care residents.  We may not have been the most talented home improvement crew in town, we may not have been the neatest painters, but boy did the place look great when we were finished!

This is what MPTF is all about folks.  I know I keep on saying this in my blogs, but I just have to say it again here.   What a force of good MPTF can be in pulling together this diverse group of people we call the entertainment industry to focus on helping out those in most of need.   In the past few months, we have shown that if MPTF leads in the right direction and can provide opportunities for positive involvement, we can attract groups from our community who have the time and energy, who recognize the need to give back and have the desire to participate, and who enjoy the hell out of themselves when they assemble with like-minded folks to get the job done. Watch the video below and see for yourself!

I can’t tell you how personally rewarding these projects have been for me.  Not the slaps on the back from participants, though I certainly appreciate them, but simply the overwhelming response we’ve gotten each and every time a call is put out through social media and the abiding sense of enjoyment and enrichment our industry members share as we’re doing the work and talking about it afterwards.

When George Herthel told our Palliative Care team that his wish was to have his house painted because that was the promise he had made to his wife Pam, he was really asking us as a group to provide him with some assurance that Pam would be comfortable when he was gone.  The paint we spread on the walls at their house like the paint we spread on the walls at the long-term care unit the past 2 Saturdays was more than just paint:  it was 120 volunteers sharing their appreciation for what the industry has done for them, it was 120 volunteers wishing to bring comfort and beauty to industry retirees who would soon be occupying the rooms, it was 120 volunteers who understand the power of many and a sense that the members of the entertainment industry can rise above their personal concerns to form a community helping each other, and it was 120 volunteers who recognize, finally, that we are all family.

A tip of my MPTF ball cap with paint all over it to Derek Krull who put out the call and organized the volunteers, to Holly Spiegel who organized the work on the Saturdays, to Mike Spalinger and his staff who did the prep work to make the volunteer work so effective, to the MPTF housekeeping staff who kept us fed and happy, to the photographers and videographers who captured the moment for us, and to Famous Dave’s who have generously stepped up for us at each of our events and provided some amazing lunches!

And finally, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to all of our volunteers!  You make us very proud!

About Bob Beitcher

Bob Beitcher is the President and CEO of the Motion Picture & Television Fund. He has been a senior executive in the entertainment industry for 30 years, having held leadership roles at Jim Henson Productions, Paramount Pictures, Panavision and MacAndrews & Forbes Media Group. Bob has been an MPTF board member since 2007. He became interim CEO in 2010 and was named permanent CEO in 2011.

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