A Fan-tastic Evening with Celeste Holm and Friends

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A Fantastic Evening Meeting Celeste Holm

Katie and Chuck Scott with Celeste Holm Signing an AutographIn 2004 my CoolTea networking group was collaborating with John Carley’s Greenwich Film Festival*, and so Katie and I were invited to a number of film festival events.

One such event was the Wednesday September 29th 2004 event honoring Celeste Holm with a lifetime achievement award presented during a fund-raiser hosted at the Baker Furniture Gallery on 200 Greenwich Avenue in Greenwich Connecticut.

I remember going up to the second floor, entering the showroom, and being pleasantly surprised at being checked in by film festival volunteers, Donna and Sylvia Malinski.

The Malinski sisters are age-old friends that go back to my first forays into the event hosting business via my original Limo Race events. My hosting Limo Races in the mid-to-late 1980s is another story, but there are hundreds of people who attended these formal wear, chauffeured stretch limos, venue hopping, scavenger hunt events who will probably smile with fond memories of those whacky times – one of which was picked up by Billboard Magazine.

One of the things I’ve loved about the Malinski sisters is their enthusiasm and willingness to jump in and make things happen.

Little did I know that on this film festival event night they would do similar – and capture it on film to boot.

It Started with a Nudge

Katie Scott, Donna Malinski, Celeste Holm and Chuck ScottI was wandering around the showroom, stopping at various food and beverage stations here and there, occasionally introducing myself to other attendees – but essentially minding my own business while enjoying the hors d’oeuvres and ogling the awesome furniture.

Out of the blue, Donna and Sylvia came up to Katie and me and insisted we meet Celeste Holm, who was sitting on a chair by herself.

The rest is history.

We had a couple of moments all to ourselves, so I asked her a question about what advice she would give to young people starting out in the business (see the next tab for her reply).

Then she signed her autograph on the back of one of my CoolTea flyers that I was carrying around in my chest pocket – ready to hand out to anyone who might be interested in attending my upcoming NetworkingU event.

We posed for a couple of pictures, and by then there was a line formed of other fans waiting to say hello, so we called it quits.

Fast forward in time, last week Celeste passed away, and here is a link to a Yahoo News article that is a beautiful tribute to her and to her career.

It was an honor to meet her, and what resonates in my minds-eye is how graceful and yet forceful she was – meaning she had an internal strength that radiated – thus the beauty of her inner spirit was matched and paralleled to her external beauty.

*Note that also around the same time, CoolTea collaborated with other Connecticut film festivals, and I uploaded some corresponding info and video on the Internet Archives.
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While Signing the Autograph

Katie Scott, Sylvia Malinski, Celeste Holm and Chuck ScottWhen she was signing the autograph, I’m not sure what prompted me, but I asked her the following question:

“Ms. Holm – knowing what you know, having been through what you have, and having accomplished all that you have, what one piece of advice would you give to aspiring actors and young people?”

Without hesitation she stated,

“Be Present. Take advantage of what is immediately in front of you. Don’t wait.”

Technically, now that I look back and think about it – her advice is classic wisdom that is applicable for all of us, regardless of age or profession.

Accordingly, an eternal BIG Thank You to Celeste for sharing – it was a great night 🙂

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Article in the Greenwich Time

Greenwich Time Article of Celeste Holm Lifetime Achievement Award - Page 1 of 2
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Below is the text from the Sept 30, 2004 article in Greenwich Time that appeared in the paper the day after the event.

Film festival honors actress Celeste Holm
By Neil Vigdor, Staff Writer

The Greenwich Film Festival honored silver screen starlet and Oscar-winner Celeste Holm last night with its lifetime achievement award at a fund-raiser that also drew cast members of the HBO hit “The Sopranos.”

Autograph seekers and flashbulbs greeted Holm at the $100-per-ticket reception at the furniture store Baker Greenwich, where proceeds went to the American Diabetes Association.

Holm, 85, who co-starred with Gregory Peck and received best supporting actress honors for her role in “Gentleman’s Agreement” in 1947, obliged her fans at the event.

“I’m overwhelmed,” said Holm, who lives in New York City and attended Stamford’s Director’s View Film Festival before it was discontinued, “I think anything that encourages people to make good films is (great).”

One of only three film festivals in the state, Greenwich’s homage to film is making its fourth anniversary. Organizers hope to show about 50 independent films, host a playwright competition, a production and post-production workshop and a mystery movie party before the curtain drops on the festival Saturday.

A complete schedule of screenings is available on the festival’s Web site – www.greenwichfilmfestival.org. Crown Theatres on Railroad Avenue, Greenwich Library, the Arch Street teen center and Carriage House Motor Cars are serving as venues for some of the events.

“It’s fun to watch these festivals grow,” said Harvey Hubbell V, chairman of the Connecticut Film Committee. “We’re holding out a lot of hope for this. I think it can be a symbiotic relationship between the film community and Greenwich.”

Also on had at last night’s fund-raiser were Jerry Adler who plays Hesh Rabkin on “The Sopranos” and soap sire Eva La Rue from “All My Children.”

At the inaugural festival in 2001, five-time Oscar nominee and Greenwich native Glenn Close presented the event’s lifetime achievement award to Academy Award-winner Patricia Neal.

Joe Pantoliano, also of “The Sopranos” fame and CBS’ “The Handler,” appeared at last year’s festival.

As festival founder and president John Carley rubbed elbows with filmmakers and cinema buffs last night, he said he has high expectations for the festival.

“I think it’s time for it now to blow up and go national,” said Carley, a Greenwich resident.

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Event Photos of Celeste Holm

Below are photos courtesy of Donna and Sylvia Malinksi featuring Celeste Holm – enjoy!



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