The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

February 10, 2013

Sheen to speak at dinner

Kelly Urban

JOHNSTOWN — After 35 years, it’s time to celebrate.

The Women’s Help Center will hold its anniversary dinner April 12 at Sunnehanna Country Club with Emmy and Golden Globe winner Martin Sheen serving as keynote speaker.

A social hour will begin at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 7.

Susan Shahade, executive director of the Women’s Help Center, said Sheen has a passion for activism and a is supporter of causes that advocate peace and justice so his philosophy fits well with that of the help center.

“I usually have a list of three or four people in mind for speakers, but this time it was just one,” she said. “We decided to pursue the effort, and he (Sheen) isn’t a part of the booking agency we work with, but we reached out and he accepted, so I’m absolutely thrilled.”

Copies of Sheen’s book, “Along the Way: The Journey of a Father and Son,” a memoir he co-wrote with his son, Emilio Estevez, will be available for purchase. Sheen also will sign copies.

“He has many platforms, including homelessness, domestic violence and equality, so I think he’ll speak on something of that nature,” Shahade said.

The most recent dinner the help center held was in 2008,  with guest speaker Lynn Redgrave. Close to 300 people attended.

“This is a celebration and meant to be an enjoyable evening for an agency that doesn’t oftentimes speak of joy,” Shahade said. “It’s a way to say thank you to the community for their support.”

Reservations are required by March 1 and seating is limited. Sponsorships are available.

Tickets are $125 per person and can be purchased at the Women’s Help Center,

809 Napoleon St., Johnstown.

Information: 536-5361.

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