Depp Fans Donate to Children's Hospital
MADISON – If one thing is certain, it's that actor Johnny Depp has passionate fans.
They are deeply committed to the actor and his work, and strongly believe in living up to his philanthropic example. Which is why members of the Johnny Depp Zone, one of the oldest, largest and most active fan site on the Internet, donated $7,402.63 to American Family Children's Hospital's Child Life Fund.
The total is 50 percent higher than their most successful previous fundraising project, and an "astonishing amount" according to the Zone's Webmaster, Natalie, who asked that only her first name be used.
For the last three years, the Zone has sponsored a charity fundraiser to mark Depp's birthday.
"We wanted to give him a gift that would do some good in the world and would reflect his own philanthropic interests and commitment to children," Natalie explained.
The members selected American Family Children's in 2008 because they wanted to help a charity in the area where Depp's latest film, Public Enemies, was filmed. Depp fans turned out in numbers to watch the filming of the movie, which occurred in several towns and cities in Wisconsin, including Madison.
"We thought it would be fitting to give something back to the area which has been Johnny's home this spring [while filming], and which has shown him, and many thousands of Depp-related visitors, such warm hospitality," said Natalie.
The Zone members selected American Family Children's when one of their administrators, Theresa, found the hospital's website and took the video tour. After sending the link to the rest of the Zone's staff they "all knew at once that American Family Children's Hospital was a perfect match," according to Natalie.
Natalie also pointed out that the University of Wisconsin is the alma mater of Michael Mann, the film's director. That helped to make the project even more meaningful for the Zone members.
The birthday project ran from May 1, 2008, through Depp's birthday on June 9, with donations coming from all over the world. Since 2006, members of the Zone have marked the actor's birthday by giving to different children's charitable causes, including Children's Hospice and Palliative Care Coalition in California and the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.
Natalie said the members selected the Child Life Fund specifically because "its acts of kindness can have such an immediate, positive impact on the lives of patients." That impact, she commented, is similar to what Johnny Depp provides for his fans, a "special moment of warmth and consideration that lifts our spirits and chases away stress."
American Family Children's Child Life program helps children, adolescents and families maintain a normal life and minimizes fears and anxieties during hospitalizations. Special programs for parents, activities for siblings, patient support during procedures, organized play areas, even a pet therapy program are just a few of the many ways Child Life staff help families during their child's stay.
"We are proud to assist [American Family Children's] in brightening the days of young patients and their families," concluded Natalie. "May they heal and grow strong in your care."
Date Published: 07/16/2008