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By Amy & Nancy Harrington, Pop Culture Passionistas
This week Hollywood hot shots cheat for charity, celebs offer walk-on roles for cold hard cash, and two city slicker farmers help out their local community artisans. Here are this week’s most inspirational pop culture moments.
Celebs Cheat to Raise Money for Charity
Dianna Agron from “Glee” and John Krasinski from “The Office” are scheduled to join Spike Jonze, Catherine Keener, and Judd Apatow to cheat for a worthy cause — the first annual Spelling Bee for Cheaters (“a tournament of verbal smarts and fraudulence”). The fundraiser on August 14 is the brainchild of the creators of the Broadway hit “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” and 826LA — an organization that helps inspire kids to explore their creative writing skills.
The premise is simple. It works like any other linguistic challenge of this sort. Contestants take turns spelling words until only one is left standing, but in this case, hints can be bought by raising money.
Teams register online to take part. They raise money in the time leading up to the event. The more money they raise, the more they can cheat.
For example, for $100 you can get a one letter hint. You get to pick a new word for just $500. $750 buys a peak at a dictionary. You can pass and stay in the round for $2,000. $6,000 buys you a spelling bee mulligan (a second chance to spell your word) and for $25,000 you get immunity and basically walk off with the title without spelling anything.
Our favorite thing about the event is the names some of the teams have chosen like The Tori Spellings, Marmoset There’d Be Days Like This, Post-Grammatic Stress Disorder, and Peanut Butter and Spelly. Visit the site and donate to your favorite to help them buy cheats.
Think you can out-spell Apatow, Agron, Jonze, and Keener? Sign up now at the Spelling Bee for Cheaters website.


Bid on a Moment of Fame at Charitybuzz.com
Looking to do some good and get a little exposure at the same time? Well have we got a star-studded opportunity for you. Charitybuzz.com lists a wide range of auctions that benefit a good cause and a few of them come with a touch of glamour. Three lucky bidders will be able to win walk-on-roles in some upcoming productions.
Hugh Jackman fans with a little spare cash can score a cameo in his latest film “Real Steel” for an estimated $15,000. The current bid is only $3,250 but the lot doesn’t close until Wednesday, July 14 so the cost could skyrocket.
Or, if TV’s more your thing, you can take a shot at walk-ons in HBO’s drama “Big Love” or the NBC comedy “How I Met Your Mother.” These, too, are expected to go for big bucks – $10,000 and $6,000 respectively.
Hey, it might be a big price to pay for fame – but it’s peanuts to help a good cause. CharityBuzz works with great charities like the Denis Leary Firefighters Foundation, the Janie and Chevy Chase Earth Day Network, and the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation.
‘The Fabulous Beekman Boys’ Support Their Community
Did you ever wonder what it would be like to give up all the stress and pressure of your big city life and move to a farm in the country? Well for Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge, aka “The Fabulous Beekman Boys,” it’s actually just as stressful – but 100 times more fulfilling.
Brent is a doctor who used to work for the domestic goddess Martha Stewart and Josh is a marketing exec and former drag queen named Aqua. But in 2008, the couple bought the Beekman Mansion in Sharon Springs, New York, and started a new life raising goats, growing organic food, and practicing the ways of seasonal living. They also launched a product line called Beekman 1802 selling soap, cheese, linens, stationary, and more — straight from the farm, using local ingredients, materials, and the talent of nearby artisans.
As idealic as it may sound, their new lifestyle is a lot of hard work. But the Beekman Boys aren’t just following their own dreams, they’re helping their neighbors realize theirs as well.
In a recent interview Brent explained why their new venture is so important to them, “All of the products that you see on our website we developed because we’ll go to some neighbor’s house. For instance, the heirloom linens, we went to a neighbor’s house and saw an antique loom in her living room and were like, “Oh, what do you do with that?” And she said, “Well, let me show you.”And so she showed us how to weave. And so we were like, “Oh, well, we design some products, would you want to make them for us?” And, of course, she would love to because she loves to weave but she never really had a market for it.”
He continued, “And the same way with everybody, the stationer that we work with, the blacksmith – that’s how we find them. We find people that have these exceptional skills and develop products using those skills. And they’re just so thrilled because then that helps them make a living doing the things that they love. And I think that’s what we’re most proud of is that with Farmer John we’re helping him make a living at what he always dreamed about doing and all of our crafts people we’re helping do that as well.”
But this isn’t just a bland show with a message, the lovable charm of “The Fabulous Beekman Boys” is the most entertaining new show on TV. Check it out on Wednesday nights at 9:00 PM on Planet Green.
For more on the Pop Culture Passionistas, visit their website.

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