Thursday, March 7, 2013

This Week's Inspiring Pop Culture Moment: William Shatner

Photo by JF Leblanc

Each week we take a look around our pop culture world and try to find one moment that stood out as the most inspiring. It might be a celebrity who is doing charitable things, a TV shows that inspires us to be better or a philosophy that we should all strive to live by. Here is this week's most inspiring pop culture moment.

He may be best known as Captain Kirk, leader of the Starship Enterprise, and Denny Crane, a lawyer from Boston Legal, but William Shatner is also a man with a big heart. This week we had the pleasure of attending Cavalia's Odysseo, a horse spectacular by the creators of Cirque du Soleil. Shatner, a life-long and well-known horse lover, shows and breeds equine at his farm in Kentucky and rides competitively with Saddlehorses and American Saddlebreds nationwide.

He came to the big tent in Burbank, California, to not only see the spectacle but also to share it with others. Before the show, Artistic Director Normand Latourelle, presented Shatner with a check equal to the amount of 1,000 tickets to Odysseo, so Shatner can pass those out to his charities. In all, ten organizations will get 100 tickets to Odysseo.

Shatner talked about his organization, the Hollywood Charity Horse Show, that also does a performance every year in April. He stated, "For about 30 years now, we've raised several million dollars for local children's charities." This year they have teamed with Cavalia to raise funds and bring these kids to see the magical performance.

Shatner also works with All Glory Project, which deals with veterans coming back from war. She noted, "It just so happens that veterans, and their physical and emotional needs, are some of the same as children who have emotional and physical needs. A lot of the charities that we devote money to are therapeutic riding charities." And so the vets will also benefit from Shatner's generosity.

We sat next to a woman from LA's Children Hospital, a recipient of funds from Shatner's charity and now she has been given 100 tickets to bring sick kids and their families to escape from their stressful lives for an afternoon of wonder.

After the check was presented, the curtain rose and the show began. It was as awe-inspiring and breathtaking as we had hoped (more on that later). When it was over Shatner tweeted, "What an amazing show this afternoon at #OdysseoLA Media Preview. This show is a hit. Thank you for such a treat! My best, Bill."

Tickets to Odysseo range from $34.50 to $269.50 for a VIP package complete with tour of the stables. For more info visit the Cavalia website. Shatner's Hollywood Charity Horse Show will take place this year on April 27 at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank, California. For more info visit the charity's website.

For related stories check out:
This week's inspiring pop culture moment: Brendan O'Connell
This Week's Inspiring Pop Culture Moment: The Biggest Loser

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