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In Partnership with Turner Classic Movies and Whatnot, The Ed Asner Family Center returns for their third year retelling the classic holiday tale of “It’s a Wonderful Life” with a star studded virtual table read. The impressive cast includes Brendan Fraser, Seth Rogen, Fred Armisen, JK Simmons, Jean Smart, Ken Jeong, Jim Beaver, Brent Spiner, Phil Lamarr, Chelsea Darnell, Ben Mankiewicz, and more. Join host Tom Bergeron for the 2022 Virtual Gala benefiting The Ed Asner Family Center (TEAFC), which promotes mental health and enrichment programs to children with special needs and their families. For one-night-only, this live virtual table read takes place Sunday, December 11, 2022, 5:00 PM PST.

“As the parents of autistic children, Matt and I saw a desperate need to create a safe and welcoming community for Special Needs families,” explains Navah Asner, Co-Founder, The Ed Asner Family Center. “The Center provides arts and vocational enrichment and critical mental health services to these individuals and their families, creating a unique space to learn, interact and thrive. In that spirit, I’m thrilled to announce that we have developed an incredible, interactive and inclusive adult day care program that combines job training, life skills and expressive arts to foster self-confidence, independence and purpose.”

For a minimum donation of $29.99, your entire family can enjoy this experience during the holiday season. With a music filled innermission and silent auction, the event will also host incredible cast reunions between Fraser and Leslie Mann of George of the Jungle and Rogen and Judd Apatow, the comedic team behind cult classics like Knocked Up, Pineapple Express and TV’s “Freaks and Geeks.” The cast will also include Social Director of TEAFC, Chelsea Darnell who will play a narrator, and autistic actors Dwayne Cox, Max Gadson, Spencer Harte, Lucas Salusky and Hannah Schindler. Victor Nelli (TV’s “Superstore,” “Brooklyn Nine Nine”) is set to direct. 

Tickets will be available at: http://teafc.org/wonderful

The Ed Asner Family Center has selected Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann as honorees for this year’s “It’s a Wonderful Life” Gala. Throughout their personal and professional lives, Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann have advocated for the special needs community through their artistry and generosity. They have elevated the cause and sparked conversations in incredible ways. During the broadcast, Judd and Leslie will be recognized for the work they do to make the world a kinder, safer place for special needs individuals. 

“I am amazed and deeply grateful that this incredible group of actors have volunteered their time and talent to support The Ed Asner Family Center, a cause near and dear to my dad’s heart. He would be so very proud. I would like to thank this year’s honorees, Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann, for their generous dedication and commitment to the autism community. In addition, my heartfelt thanks to Turner Classic Movies and Whatnot for partnering with us this year and helping to make this very special event a huge success,” says Matt Asner, son of Ed Asner & Co-Founder of The Ed Asner Family Center.

The partnership with social commerce platform Whatnot builds upon The Ed Asner Center’s auction on the live shopping platform this past September, where celebrity-signed Funko Pops from Keanu Reeves, Harrison Ford, Tom Hanks, Rosario Dawson and more were auctioned on the platform. The social auction was the first of its kind for both The Ed Asner Center and Whatnot. All proceeds were donated to the Ed Asner Family Center to help special needs families. For more information on Whatnot, please visit; https://www.whatnot.com.

The Ed Asner Foundation has partnered with Turner Classic Movies (TCM) to present this year’s “It’s a Wonderful Life” Gala. Tom Bergeron will appear on TCM as guest programmer on November 29. Additionally, “It’s a Wonderful Life” returns to cinemas nationwide 12/18 & 12/21 as part of the TCM Big Screen Classics Series. For more information, please visit www.fathomevents.com.


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