My First Gala 711.1

I’m going to my first gala. According to the dictionary, a gala is an elaborate or lavish social event. The event is the Movieguide Awards, created to recognize and promote inspiring, spiritual, values-based movies and TV shows. Okay, that’s right up my alley, but the truth is I’m not a gala kind of guy.

For one thing, there is no way I’d pay a $1,000 dollars per “plate.” For another, I haven’t worn a tuxedo since my wedding.

And, finally, while I have nothing against Hollywood moguls and movie stars, I have no special desire to be in the same huge room with them.

I’m going because I want to impress my 14-year-old daughter Carissa. She’s less than ho-hum about being the daughter of a radio ethicist, but my stock has gone up since I asked her to be my date at a fancy dress-up dinner attended by real celebrities. Besides, it’s free since I am an invited guest of the John Templeton Foundation (the sponsor of two $100,000 awards), and they said I don’t have to wear a tux.

Now that I’m committed, I’m looking forward to the event that identifies and rewards producers, screenwriters, and actors who found a way to create high-quality entertainment with positive, uplifting messages. The organizers, Ted and Lili Baehr, say that the awards have actually increased the number of positive-value films and TV shows.

There’s lots of useless whining and lamenting about Hollywood’s negative impact on values, but you’ve got to hand to folks like the Baehrs and the Templeton Foundation for doing something about it, not to mention making me a big shot in the eyes of my daughter.

This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.

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