Stevie Wonder jams with the kids as stars raise $3M for Paul Newman's Hole in the Wall Camps
Paul Newman passed away more than two years ago, but his spirit was going strong last week in New York as stars of music and screen turned out to help raise more than $3 million to send sick kids to camp all over the world.
Performers at "A Celebration of Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Camps," held Thursday at Lincoln Center, included Emmylou Harris, Lyle Lovett, John Mellencamp, Bette Midler, Keb’ Mo’, Hilary Hahn and Stevie Wonder. Meryl Streep and Renee Zellweger shared anecdotes about their experiences with Hole in the Wall kids at camp, and Bill Cosby appeared.
Wonder closed the show with a supporting chorus of Hole in the Wall Gang campers rocking out to "Sir Duke" (see the video above).
The event equally benefited the camps and the Hole in the Wall Foundation that supports them. The Hole in the Wall Gang camps and programs have served more than 200,000 children affected by more than 150 medical conditions — all free to the families and participants.
"Paul would be so pleased at the generosity that so many people displayed this evening, providing an opportunity for children with serious illnesses all over the world to benefit from camp and feeling like a kid again,” said John Reid, foundation president and CEO.
The real Hole-in-the-Wall Gang was notorious for members, including Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, whom Newman and Robert Redford portrayed in the 1969 film that won four Oscars and counted among its nominations a best picture nod.
— Christie D'Zurilla
Photo: Renee Zellweger, left, with Lyle Lovett and violinist Hilary Hahn at "A Celebration of Paul Newman's Hole in the Wall Camps" at Lincoln Center on Oct. 21 in New York City. Credit: Timothy A. Clary / AFP / Getty Images.