Television viewers get their first live telethon from famine-stricken Africa when World Vision telecasts from a refugee camp late this month.
Mary Ann Mobley and her husband, Gary Collins, will host segments of the 10-hour telecast from the Alamata, Ethiopia, refugee camp. Already shipped to the camp, Collins said, is the "uplink" making it possible to beam the show to a satellite--the same device that will be used in mid-November for the U.S.-Soviet summit in Geneva. But the major technical difficulty, Mobley said, was in bringing in electricity generators for the broadcast.
Art Linkletter will host a Washington portion of the show, said Collins, the host of "Hour Magazine." Collins said that although the rains have ended the drought, and "when we left there three months ago, everything was green, the problem is that by the time the people arrive at the refugee camps, they have sold all their livestock and they are severely malnourished."
The World Vision budget for Ethiopia this year, Collins said, is $60 million--with much of it going for seed and farm implements. That's part of a worldwide budget of $240 million. "Add to that the $70 million from Live Aid and Band Aid--(African relief) is like a sponge. You can use it all up."
OLD FRIENDS--When MCA Chairman Lew Wasserman called on his many friends in the entertainment industry to help honor another Hollywood friend, First Lady Nancy Reagan, and her anti-drug efforts, he also managed to raise a lot of money. The black-tie event Thursday night, sponsored by the Entertainment Industries Council, raised more than $700,000 for the Nancy Reagan Drug Abuse Fund and the council's Drug Education Program. Wasserman is an old friend of both members of the First Couple--Reagan was an MCA client and "G.E. Theater" was filmed at the MCA-owned Universal studios in the 1950s. And it takes someone like a Wasserman to put together an evening not just with stars, but with performers who open up, who produce a special kind of poignancy--as when Kareem Abdul-Jabbar warned children not to emulate someone just because they throw a ball well or play the piano, but that they should be their own hero.
DEAR JONATHANS--The president of the Jonathan Club has written to members, saying that the Coastal Commission's demand that it adopt a membership policy of nondiscrimination is "frivolous." The club has been stopped in its attempt to lease more state land on the beach at Santa Monica by a commission decision that is being appealed to Superior Court. In spite of what some public officials and the media would like the members to believe, the letter from Richard O. Oxford said, "The Jonathan Club does not have 'token minorities' as members . . . We have a large number of minority members, not one of whom was admitted to membership on a token basis." The club's approach, the letter said, has been to offer little or no response to what has been charged. "Our chances of receiving a 'fair shake' in the public arena are virtually nil. Thus we have little to gain at this time by responding."
ONCE MORE--Yes, the Santa Monica Rape Treatment Center keeps going against common fund-raising knowledge and insists on having the same event--a brunch--year after year. And it keeps setting new records--like the more than $225,000 that Norman Lear helped pull in with his auctioneering tactics Sunday. Adele Yellin chaired the event, and "when we oversold, we just kept selling," so there were more than 500 at Sandy Moss's house. They included members of SHARE, who've added the Santa Monica center to their list of good causes, Wallis Annenberg chatting with Rona Barrett, Jane and Marc Nathanson, Toni and Bruce Corwin, long-time supporters Louise and John Brinsley and board chairwoman Dorothy Jonas, with husband Allan and her daughter-partner Bonnie. . . . Allan Jonas is the new treasurer for Common Cause in California, joining Geoff Cowan, who's taken over as chair of the 40,000-member group . . . Barry Diller turned out a couple of dozen movie industry heavies for his Monday night fund-raiser for People for the American Way. Norman Lear, who founded the group, was there, too, as was Ramona Ripston, the new West Coast director who takes over Jan. 1. She said one of her major jobs is to give People for etc. a stronger West Coast presence.
TREATS FOR STARS--What does Bruce Springsteen eat to keep up his strength? Well, the hotel he's staying at is having cheesecakes shipped in from the J. M. Rosen Co. in Santa Rosa, which also provides them for Matteo's, Musso Frank. . . . Speaking of treats, Sherriff Sherman Block is getting some good ones at his roast Oct. 30 at the Century Plaza. Sammy Cahn is writing special lyrics for none other than Francis Albert Sinatra to sing to the sheriff. Milton Berle, Danny Thomas and Slappy White will get in on the entertainment.