a Big Hit
January 5th, 2008, The Way to Happiness Foundation rang in
the New Year by hosting a workshop designed to help people
better understand the precepts in The Way to Happiness booklet.
Cartwright, Honorary Mayor of the North valley and international
spokesperson for The Way to Happiness, recently ended 2007
by sending out over a million booklets to households in the
greater San Fernando Valley. The booklets were a huge hit
and this seminar was just the thing to follow up the distribution
of the books.
Led by Richard Stewart, the interactive workshop got a little
personal when people talked about moments when they were most
happy; it was moving and the joy was contagious.
By the end, members of the audience were getting more booklets
to give to their neighbors, asking about places they could
volunteer and inquiring about more workshops that they, and
their loved ones, could attend.
Thanks to all who made the workshop a great success, including
those who were in attendance. Best wishes and Happy New Year.
Poker, Bart Simpson, and Charity –
A Night Out in Northridge
October 04, 2007
been to a fair number of charity poker events over the last
couple years, there was one on my calendar that for a myriad
of reasons, I was really looking forward to going to. The
'Monte Carlo Night' being held at the home of Nancy Cartwright
(the voice of Bart Simpson) was going to be different to me
for a number of reasons.
First off, I have long believed The Simpsons to
be the television show with the best writing in the history
of TV. I could answer many (though not all) trivia questions
about the minutiae of the show, and I have been to the Fox
lot a couple times over the last 10 years to watch the actors
voice the show. To play poker with those affiliated with a
show that meant so much to me was going to be a lot of fun.
Secondly, I lived in Northridge for the better part of 10
years. My association with Northridge ended abruptly on January
17th, 1994, when the Northridge earthquake destroyed my home.
I hadn't really been back to Northridge much since the earthquake,
and it was nice to see many of the changes in the community.
Lastly, the charity being benefited was close to my heart.
The charity was the Devonshire PALS (Police Activities League
Supporters) Youth Center for at-risk children. One of my closest
friends in high school's father was a Devonshire Division
Detective, and he had a big influence on my life.
So, off we went to Northridge, and the home of Nancy Cartwright.
The word 'compound' may have been a better description of
Nancy's digs, as there were no fewer than three separate living
structures on the property, which had a country ranch feel,
complete with a horse brought in just for this event.
The scale of the event was surprising. The centerpiece of
the event was a big stage, complete with lights, sound, and
a 6 piece band playing for most of the evening. The stage
was right in the middle of Nancy's backyard, and dozens of
tables were set up around the dance floor, along with the
auction and raffle prizes.
The evening kicked off with Nancy, and the 'emcee' for the
evening, Tom Kenny – known to most people as the voice
of cartoon character 'SpongeBob Square Pants'. Nancy and Tom
kicked the evening off telling stories and jokes, sometimes
in their normal voices, sometimes in their cartoon voices,
and more often then not, shifting back and forth between their
'real' voice, and their more famous character voices.
Nancy (Bart) and Tom (SpongeBob) kick the evening off
In the back of the property, the 'poker room' was set up.
There were 15 tables in all, and the demand was such that
they had to take alternates for the $500 + rebuys event. The
mix of players was what you might expect at an event like
this. Poker pros, Hollywood heavyweights, and 'average joes'
all sat down for an evening of poker. Some of the top names
in the poker world were there, including Jennifer Harman and
Marco Traniello, Men 'The Master' Nguyen, Sammy Farha, Kenna
James, Jamie Gold, 2006 Ladies Champ Mary Jones, Barbara Enright,
Marsha Waggoner, and Todd Brunson.
Or, was Todd there? Well, his stack was there, but due to
a mix up in dates, Todd found out the event was happening
only a couple hours before. Reportedly, Todd tried to hop
a plane the moment he found out, but couldn't find a flight,
so he made the four hour drive at the drop of a hat, arriving
about an hour into play. Floorperson Justin Huxley had been
given permission to rebuy to Todd's stack as he saw fit –
all on Todd's dime – and 'the Hux' used that privilege
early and often.
The poker staff from the Commerce Casino donated their time
to deal and administrate the tournament, under the watchful
eye of Commerce Tournament Director Cheri Dokken. The event
was organized by Nancy's people with the poker tournament
being produced by Annie Van Bebber of PokerCares.
Chips were flying, the term 'rebuy' was being heard a lot,
and lots of money was being raised for a good cause. Meanwhile,
over on the stage items were being auctioned off, and raffle
tickets were being called out to lucky winners. Speaking of
lucky, despite there being hundreds of people at this event,
and thousands of raffle tickets sold, one guy at my table
won three of the ten packages being raffled off. I learned
the man in question produced infomercials for a living –
let's hope his next 'magic blade', or 'Miracle Scalp' is as
lucky as his raffle tickets were on this night.
The tables slowly combined, with the poker pros, and Hollywood
figures like Brad Garrett and Mary Lynn Rajskub (Chloe from
the Fox show '24') a distant memory. When we reached the final
table, one familiar poker face was left standing. 2006 WSOP
Champ Jamie Gold made the final table, finishing fifth. For
his trouble, Jamie won a super satellite seat at the WSOP
next year. Players chided Gold with comments like 'Good luck
in the super, Jamie'.
The winner was not a pro poker player, but someone very familiar
to Nancy Cartwright. Jack Thomas, who produces a Disney Channel
show called 'The Replacements' that Nancy voices the lead
character for, took down the tournament, and picked up some
Overall, a good time was had by all, and a lot of money was
raised for a great cause.
PALS Honors Ms. Cartwright
On December 5th, 2007 the LAPD Devonshire PALS hosted its
annual award luncheon and Board installation at the Porter
Ranch Country Club. Following a delicious lunch and some truly
extraordinary desserts, Lorraine New, President of Devonshire
PALS, gave out awards and acknowledgements to those who helped
PALS really take major strides in delivering after school
programs to kids and in raising funds for the new Youth Center.
Guest speakers included Officer Liz Sandoval, Captain Kane
and Greg Baker who outlined the successful capital campaign
that has just about hit the mark to begin breaking ground
on the youth center in early 2008.
Cartwright Entertainment is proud to have received recognition
for its efforts in support of PALS and the staff greatly appreciates
the individual recognitions given by Lorraine. We look forward
to helping even more in 2008 and seeing the smiles on the
faces of those kids when the ribbon is cut on that wonderful
Nancy and Happy House Awarded
December 28, 2007 The Way to Happiness Foundation Headquarters,
Cartwright, International Spokesperson for The Way to Happiness,
delivered an annual address to an international gathering
of representatives who support TWTH programs worldwide. She
spoke about her commitment to helping her community to overcome
the problems that make day to day living such a challenge
for many families.
Recently, in an effort to bring about sweeping change, Nancy's
non-profit organization, Happy House, mailed a Million copies
of The Way to Happiness booklet into the Southern California
communities in the San Fernando Valley where she is Honorary
"This was something that I just felt needed to be done,"
Nancy said. "I see how hard it is in some homes, in some
neighborhoods and The Way to Happiness can really, really
Joni Ginsberg, Executive Director of TWTH, later awarded
both Nancy and Happy House with commendations for their work
in making a safer world and contributing to the Planetary