prime-time soap about the private lives of suburbia housewives drew a
crowd of paparazzi in addition to donations.
"This is all about the children and children with life-threatening
conditions," Sheridan said.
It was also about publicity. Photographers were held at bay by red
ropes and bouncers, while camera crews and reporters flooded the ice
cream shop, next to AMC 16 Theatres. Flashbulbs popped continuously
as Sheridan, dressed in a cream, chiffon tank top, folded rainbow
sprinkles into chocolate ice cream.
"This is a very, very taxing job," Sheridan said. "You need to be
in good shape to work in Cold Stone Creamery."
After a series of interviews and photographs, customers who made
donations to Make-A-Wish were allowed in the store.
Burbank residents Ruth Leon and Debra Lacsamana stumbled upon the
event and were glad to help a good cause while seeing one of their
favorite television stars.
"Any time you want to help out a foundation it's great," Leon
said. "And we love this show."
The whole production might have been over the top, but it served a
purpose, said Nick Kostalas, 17, a survivor of Burkitt's leukemia and
beneficiary of Make-A-Wish.
"If people aren't given the opportunity, they won't normally
contribute," Kostalas said. "But if something like this happens, it
lets people donate without searching after it."
This is the fourth year Make-A-Wish Foundation and Cold Stone
Creameries partnered to raise funds, which go toward granting wishes
of children with life-threatening medical conditions. Last year's
event raised $675,000, said Kelli Seely, president and chief
executive of the foundation. The foundation grants more than 12,000
wishes annually, and last year about 200 of them were because of Cold
Stone Creamery fundraising, Seely said.
Cold Stone Creamery stores across the nation participated in the
event Monday, and Seely expects this year's efforts to yield more
funds because more stores opened in the last year.
The store raised $603, employee Timothy Baiady said.
Owners Dave Siemienski and Howard Davidson opened the Burbank
store in April 2004. It sees a steady stream of customers, partially
because of its location next to the movie theater, Siemienski said.
But having a real star in the store attracted extra attention,
even if passersby didn't know it was a fundraising event.
"She's just serving ice cream, and they're making a huge
production of it," said Jesse Ward, who innocently followed a camera
crew past bouncers and into the store just to see what was happening.
From a distance, he couldn't tell the event was for Make-A-Wish
but said he'd make a donation after being told.
Manager Kimmi Stephan beckoned customers toward the store, and
they trickled in. Larry Jemison, his wife and their 2-year-old son
waited for about 15 minutes for a few slices of chocolate ice cream
with white cake.
Despite the wait, the cause and ice cream were both good, he said.
* ROSETTE GONZALES is a news assistant, She may be reached at
(818) 637-3205 or by e-mail at email@example.com.