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‘Philanthropist’ takes big word for charity, makes TV show

June 25, 2009

Did anyone watch “The Philanthropist” on Wednesday night? We heard so many comments before the fact, such as, “The Philanthropist is to charitable giving as The Pink Panther is to police work.”

At least this is a way for people to get to know this large-sized word for what many people refer to as charitable giving.

Whether you like the premise or not, this is definitely a way to call attention to the importance of giving back to our community, here at home or across the world. Like the movie, “The Ultimate Gift,” it brings attention to an important facet of our society that doesn’t often get the “star” treatment.

Do the philanthropists we know look or act like “billionaire playboy Teddy Rist,” as he is described in one review? Not really. Plus, as a community foundation, we are focused more on an initiative like building healthy lifestyles for local citizens rather than delivering vaccines to an African village.

What all true philanthropists, charitable people, caring individuals and families — whatever you call it — have in common is compassion for others. If a TV show can highlight that virtue, we can work out the rest, and use the occasion to tell our own stories of people doing good because they care and because they can.

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