Erin Schmidt, ESchmidt@ExplorerNews.com
Nov. 2, 2005 - Sarah Jessica Parker drew a pink flower, Al Pacino sketched a silly self-portrait and John Madden donated an official football play.
More than 160 celebrities responded to a request from Sam Harrington, behavioral intervention monitor for Prince Elementary School. Harrington wanted anything a celebrity could mail to him, a doodle, a signed autograph, a piece of notepaper, or a quote, he said.
It didn't matter. He wanted what the celebrity would normally throw away.
Harrington is not a star-struck collector; he is raising money for his school.
The idea came to him about three years ago, but due to health problems it was implemented a year later, he said. It was a unique idea to raise money for a deserving school that too often gets overlooked, he said.
"I don't know of anybody who does this," he said.
Last year 100 celebrities, including Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Norman Schwarzkopf, sent in doodles, drawings and autographed pictures. The school then auctioned off the items and raised more than $10,000.
With the success of the first celebrity doodle auction, Harrington jumped on the opportunity to repeat the event for the 2005-2006 school year.
During his summer days off, Harrington collected more than 1,000 celebrity addresses and requested community business support to handle postage costs.
He realized with celebrities demanding schedules and address locators possibly being wrong, that not every response would come back. So the more celebrities he could reach, the greater chance he would have to get a doodle back.
It was a one-man fundraising team, he said. He was motivated to outdo last year's contributions and he wouldn't stop until all the envelopes were addressed and the postman carried them away, he said.
So far the response has been amazing, he said.
Ann Hathaway, from the popular children's movie "The Princess Diaries" painted a full colored piece for the auction. Kirk Douglas drew a caricature of himself. Robert England drew his infamous frightful character Freddy Krueger. Bill Keane, illustrator and creator for Family Circus, donated three original drawings. The list continues, and more doodles are rolling in each day, Harrington said.
From Tony Danza, to the original Batman, Adam West. There is something for everyone, he said.
The doodles will be on display at the Foothills Mall, 7401 N. La Cholla Blvd., Dec. 2 to 11. While on display, any interested party can make a bid on the doodles and take a chance to bring home a piece from the lives of the famous.
Prince Elementary Principal Donde Luce, couldn't believe the response from all of the celebrities.
The school is made up of 90 percent of students from low or moderate-income families, she said, and it is a real testament to celebrities concern for children that they would take the time and contribute to a little school in Arizona.
And besides, she said. "We all want a little bit of celebrity."
Harrington is looking to bring in extra-curricular classes from the YMCA with the money raised. He hopes to bring in acting, dance, art and singing classes, he said.
If students are given more of an opportunity to try new things, they may just find a talent of their own, Harrington said.
"They don't even know what they want to be, because they haven't experienced it yet," he said. "We're trying to open up some doors for them."