OFF BEAT

OFFBEAT: 'Blind Side' actor in Portage, Caroline Kennedy in Naperville

Phil Potempa's daily entertainment news column
2013-04-03T00:00:00Z OFFBEAT: 'Blind Side' actor in Portage, Caroline Kennedy in NapervilleBy Philip Potempa philip.potempa@nwi.com, (219) 852-4327 nwitimes.com

Actor Quinton Aaron, who played the built-like-a-wall football player in the 2009 movie "The Blind Side" is in Northwest Indiana today, and will meet fans in Portage tonight at Quaker Steak & Lube restaurant.

The movie, based on a true story and also starring Tim McGraw and Sandra Bullock, stars Aaron playing Michael Oher who finds football as a way to also find self confidence.

Aaron will be at the restaurant, located at 6245 Ameriplex Dr., from 6 to 8 p.m. and I'm told he'll sign autographs and pose for photos with guests. Guests can also purchase tickets for a chance to win a Honda Fury Motorcycle. Founded in 1974 and built in an abandoned gas station in Sharon, Pa., the original Quaker Steak & Lube began as a cook-your-own steak restaurant before expanding to nearly 60 locations throughout the United States and Canada.

An underdog himself, this actor's story is special.

"I don't shy away from the fact that I was bullied," he said.

"Thankfully, I made the decision to change the direction of my life. It brought forward a positive outlook."

He now dedicates himself to finding meaningful solutions and helping children who find themselves victims of bullying.

Determined to engage with communities, Aaron said he plans to build long-term relationships through his recently-formed foundation.

"I want to educate young children and teenagers by calling attention to bullying," he said.

"When kids are involved in bullying, they often play more than one role. It is important to understand the multiple roles kids play in order to effectively prevent and respond to bullying."

For more info, call (219) 764-9464 or (330) 433-9464.

The Quinton Aaron Foundation is a national 501(c)(3) charity and was founded by Aaron in October 2012 to bring awareness to the issues of bullying and childhood obesity. The Foundation educates young children and teenagers by creating attention, awareness, support and solutions to the issues of bullying and childhood obesity.

A return visit

Anderson's Bookshop, 123 West Jefferson in Naperville, Ill. is once again bringing Caroline Kennedy back to town for a book signing event tomorrow. While raising funds for area school programs, Kennedy will speak and sign her new book at 7 p.m Thursday at Pfeiffer Hall, 310 E. Benton Ave., Naperville on the Campus of North Central College. And rather than the books being pre-signed, Kennedy will sign as guests wait in line following her talk.

Her new 192-page hardcover book is a much-anticipated children's poetry collection called "Poems to Learn by Heart" (Disney Press $19.95). As children, both Caroline and her brother, John, learned poems to recite to their parents and grandparents. Book and admission tickets to the event must be purchased in advance by telephone using a credit card. In addition to the price of the book, it's an additional $5 for the admission to the event, with a portion of the ticket price benefiting Naperville Education Foundation's Kid Booster Anonymous Fund. For an additional $10, a second "companion ticket" can be purchased for a guest to attend. FYI: (630) 355-2665 or andersonsbookshop.com.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at philip.potempa@nwi.com or (219) 852-4327.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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