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Friday, April 07, 2006
 

Steve signs Easter eggs for charity


http://www.venturacountystar.com/vcs/sv/article/0,1375,VCS_239_4600053,00.html
Stars, politicians sign eggs for Simi Valley Easter event

By Anna Bakalis, abakalis@VenturaCountyStar.com
April 6, 2006

President George W. Bush, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Belushi and Britney Spears will be represented at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Saturday.

More than 200 signatures of famous people — from politicians to celebrities — are scrawled on wooden eggs painted pastel with the presidential seal, waiting to be taken home by children who win various games at the third annual Easter Event, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

It is the second year the library has given the autographed eggs as prizes and the first time the library asked such celebrities as Dakota Fanning, Josh Groban and Steve Martin to sign their names. Last year, the 100 or so eggs were signed by politicians.

"But most children don't know who Condoleezza Rice is," said Joanne Drake, chief of staff at the library. Drake helped to solicit signatures for the event.

"We've had eggs pour in here every day," Drake said. "People responded very quickly."

Each celebrity or politician was asked to sign and send them back. Only a few didn't sign, but most people sent back four to five eggs.

One of the more memorable letters came from Dakota Fanning, 11, who was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for her supporting performance in "I Am Sam" in 2001.

"She wrote a lovely note," Drake said. "She said it was an honor and that she would love to come up and visit the library sometime."

The egg roll, a tradition started by Nancy Reagan in the White House, will take place in the Presidential Learning Center starting at 10 a.m. The real egg roll takes place the Monday after Easter on the South Lawn of the White House.

Other events that include winning an autographed egg, such as the Easter ring toss, an egg race and bunny hop race, will take place for various age groups every 20 minutes, starting on the hour.

The library hopes to give away all the eggs.

Last year, about 1,500 children participated in the event. This year, library officials encourage people to come a little early, around 9 a.m., said Melissa Giller, library spokeswoman. The first race will start at 10 a.m.

After the winner crosses the finish line, he or she will pick a name from a bag and that will be the celebrity egg they take home. Only one egg can be given per child, Giller said.

Child actors Billi Bruno, Taylor Atelian and Connor Rayburn from ABC's sitcom "According to Jim" also will be signing autographs in the library's main courtyard.

Other Easter-related activities, such as face painting, Easter tattoos and egg and cookie decorating, will take place in the courtyard until 3 p.m. Pictures can be taken with the Easter Bunny, Mr. Jelly Belly, Bugs Bunny and Tweety Bird.

Children ages 3 to 10 are eligible to participate in the race to have the opportunity to win eggs signed by Fanning, Nancy Reagan, Carrie Underwood, Jerry Rice, Steve Martin and others.

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