There were 29 members in attendance at this week’s meeting.  Our guests were the wives of two members, Betty Skalski and Ellie Schwimmer. 
 
Patti Van Cleave is composing a Foundation appeal letter that will go out to the 200 names who receive our weekly Club Runner letter.  She will be asking the club members to submit additional names to add to this mailing.  A letter like this has garnered some additional financial support for our Foundation in previous holiday seasons.  Start thinking of friends and associates who might be potential donors to our Foundation.
 
Barb Tubekis said that at our next meeting, November 19, the Club would be putting together the ingredients for Thanksgiving dinners as we did last year.  These dinners will be delivered to Good News Partners for families they serve. We will also hear from Jan Hubbard, the Director Development for GNP.
 
Gina Sich informed the membership that during the month of December we would be holding our meetings in the Garden Room (our summer meeting room).  The Community House will be hosting a special Chagall exhibit for children.  It is on loan from the Kohl’s Children’s Museum that incorporates high quality reproductions of Chagall’s works with multi-sensory activities designed for school children. 
 
Fred Schwimmer introduced the speaker, his niece Rusty Schwimmer.  Rusty, a Hollywood character actor, spent her childhood in Winnetka and Glencoe since she was 2 years old.  She told us that acting was inborn.  Her parents frequently gave her books about character actors. Rusty mentioned numerous memories from her home town – movies at the Community House, the Sweet Shop and her participation in the summer camp program called TWIGS which brought up minority children and had integrated activities, which opened her eyes to the value of diversity.  Her family took many driving vacations and Rusty frequently imitated the people they came in contact with. 
 
She participated in a variety of activities during her years at New Trier, but it was the theater department where she thrived.  She had roles in Bye-Bye Birdie, South Pacific, the King and I and the annual student production called Lagniappe.  After leaving New Trier she said she realized the outstanding preparation she received and the fantastic opportunities she was offered at the school. 
 
Rusty only spent one year in college before she realized she had to follow her passion – acting.  She had lots of waitressing jobs including in Los Angeles while seeking acting opportunities. While in Chicago she became a “Refrigerette,” a cheerleader for the Bears William ‘Refrigerator’ Perry.  She went to L.A. when Rich Melman opened an Ed Debevics in the Hollywood area.  Henry Winkler (the ‘Fonz’) liked her and gave her a role and paid for her SAG card. 
 
Perseverance was named as a most important trait in aspiring actors.  Rusty said she has been able to make a living with her career in acting since 1990.  She said acting is a very insecure business, but then there are very few secure businesses today.  Rusty also said that Hollywood is like one big high school and going to a premiere is like going to the prom.  Her feeling is that if she could survive New Trier she could survive Hollywood.  Her favorite role was in the 1995 film, The Little Princess, which stared Liesel Pritzker who would later attend and graduate from New Trier.  Four and a half years ago Rusty moved back to the Chicago area where she is coaching and mentoring young aspiring actors.
 
 
 
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