Most of us know Jennifer Beals as the sultry Bette Porter from Showtime's "The L Word." On screen, Beals plays the part of a sexy power lesbian. But starting September 1st, Beals will be playing the part of a philanthropic athlete when she participates in the Vancouver Triathlon to raise money for the Matthew Shepherd Foundation, the Pediatric Cancer Center at Children's Hospital of Los Angeles, and the I Live Here Foundation. During the three legs of the competition, Beals will participate in an ocean swim, a bike course and a run. No wonder she's so smokin'! It's all that hard work!
Beals announced this week on Ourchart.com (a website that gets frequently plugged on "The L Word") that was inspired to participate in the triathlon because she wants to effect change. She urged Ourchart members to support her and said that the online community is all about "concerned human beings, engaged around the rights and issues that affect the dignity, politics, progress and health of our collective human future." Beals also admits that she's "terrified," but will be facing her fears head on.
The Matthew Shepard Foundation was founded by Dennis and Judy Shepard in memory of their 21-year old son, Matthew, who was murdered in an anti-gay hate crime in Wyoming in October 1998. Created to honor Matthew in a manner that was appropriate to his dreams, beliefs and aspirations, the Foundation seeks to "Replace Hate with Understanding, Compassion & Acceptance" through its varied educational, outreach and advocacy programs and by continuing to tell Matthew's story. They have been working tirelessly to pass comprehensive hate crimes legislation.
The Children's Hospital Los Angeles - Center For Cancer & Blood Diseases
is one of the largest pediatric hematology/oncology programs in the nation. Breakthroughs in the treatment of childhood cancer, many pioneered at Children's Hospital of Los Angeles, offer children, teenagers and young adults the most advanced treatment available anywhere. Donation will supports the Center's vital services for children and families, research for cures and new therapies, and training of future scientists and caregivers.
The I Live Here Foundation was founded by Mia Kirshner, J.B. MacKinnon, Michael Simons and Paul Shoebridge. It is dedicated to telling the stories of silenced and unheard people through a series of books and other media projects about our world. It establishes creative writing programs in areas where it works, building an artistic dialogue between strangers with the belief that art is a means of survival. Its first book, I Live Here, will be published by Pantheon Books in October 2008 and launched in conjunction with a creative writing program in Lilongwe, Malawi.
Log onto Ourchart.com to find out how you can support Beals and her selected charities. You can also get the scoop on the upcoming season of "The L Word" and connect with other fans.