I've always admired kitchen icon Julia Child for remaining a true friend of PBS and the concept of public television.
When I interviewed her years ago, she explained that throughout her long broadcast run of cooking shows, she had numerous offers with large money sums to move her shows to networks or syndication. She always turned down these pitches, explaining that PBS had launched her career, and she believed in both loyalty AND in PBS.
It's the same reason, unlike today's financial formula favored by Martha Stewart, Paula Deen and Rachael Ray, Child also refused to lend her name and/or endorsement to cookware lines, major product brands and kitchen wares.
Like Julia and so many others, I'm also a dedicated fan of PBS, the broadcast classroom of my youth for some of earliest favorite programming like "Sesame Street," "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood," "3-2-1-Contact," "Dr. Who," and of course, "The French Chef."
We are so fortunate to have our own PBS affiliate in Northwest Indiana and WYIN-Channel 56 has a long and rich history in the Region.
Roger Wexelberg, vice president of development and public relations for Lakeshore Public Media, reminded me they are in the middle of their annual Holiday Gift Auction, which is their biggest fundraiser of the year. All proceeds go to supporting quality kids, local and educational programming for our region.
There are great deals on a wide range of goods, services and collectables for the holiday season, with more than 500 lot items listed for the promise of "something for everyone," including gift cards, artwork, sports tickets and memorabilia, theater tickets and experiences, household items, health items and services.
Besides the old fashioned "call in with telephones ringing" telethon broadcast, bidding and making donations is now as easy as "a click away" by visiting lakeshoreptv.com to browse, register and start bidding. They will be broadcasting live on Lakeshore Public Television (Channel 56 over the air, on DIRECTV and Dish Network and Channel 17 on Comcast) from 7 to 10 p.m. tonight as well as starting again at 6 p.m. Monday and Tuesday.
I'll even be an on-air guest at 6 p.m. Tuesday to help add to the excitement and encourage bidding and donations. My parents Chester and Peggy helped me assemble a great "From the Farm" themed gift basket, brimming with a selection of our homemade jams, jelly and preserves, along with our homemade dandelion wine and my dad's autographed custom birdhouses. He even created a special "cathedral" design pole mounted bluebird house to add to the lot.
There's also at lot to win a lunch with me at T.J. Maloney's at the Radisson Hotel at Star Plaza in Merrillville, for your chance to learn all of the best "dish," recipes and celebrity news that "doesn't" make it into my daily newspaper columns. Other "notable lunch lots" include the chance to dine with NBC's "The Biggest Loser" star Marci Crozier and former Valparaiso University Basketball Coach Homer Drew.
Some other great items to bid on include a number of tickets for events at the Star Plaza, such as autographed guitars by Styx and Oak Ridge Boys, autographed sheet music by Frankie Valli, paintings and fine collectibles.
This year, Lakeshore Public Television is celebrating 25 years of service to the Northwest Indiana region as a community asset for a quarter of a century.
FYI: (219) 756-5656 or LakeshorePublic Media.org