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VALLEY FOCUS | Valley Glen

11 Students Treated to 'Zorro' Premiere

July 10, 1998|MICHAEL BAKER

Eleven youths and one of their moms will ride in a limo and then hobnob with Hollywood stars at tonight's premiere of the "Mask of Zorro," thanks to a producer's gift to schools involved in the Action/Education Network.

Producer Doug Claybourne donated a dozen tickets to the six area schools involved in the network, a collaborative effort allowing the schools to pool resources.

"You could have knocked me over with a feather when Doug faxed me and said he had extra tickets and he wanted to give them to the kids," said Bobbi Fresh, the liaison between Erwin Street Elementary in Van Nuys and the Action/Education Network. "You don't normally hear about them giving tickets outside of the biz."

Students will meet at Valley College and head to the movie premier at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills. They will join a premier party with the stars until about 11 p.m.

Each school used a different method to select students to participate in the event. At Erwin, Casey Crist, 10, wrote an essay about the Vietnam War to win the honor of attending tonight's festivities.

"At first I was just a little bit excited but now I'm getting more excited," said Casey, who will attend the premier with his mother, Dorothy. "I want to get Antonio Banderas' autograph and his picture."

Other students attending the premier include Maggie Storm and Thania Sanchez from Valley College; Morgan Ponder and Ariana Bennett from Grant High School; Ramone Bastida and Maria Flores from Kittridge Street Elementary School, and Chris Hassan and Alex Volonakis from Bridges Academy. The two students from Laurence 2000 school had not been selected as of Thursday afternoon.

"Instead of giving the tickets away to the usual people, Doug decided to give them to somebody who could really appreciate them," said associate producer Tava Maloy.

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