Babble On Communications

Babble On Communications

September 22, 2005 11:51 ET

Star Jones, Michael Eisner take Shine to Canada's SpaceMouse

Attention: Arts/Entertainment Editor, Assignment Editor, Books Editor, Lifestyle Editor, News Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Sept. 22, 2005) - In a room full of stars and heavenly bodies, it was "Space Mouse" that sent everyone, including Star Jones and Michael Eisner, over the moon. Space Mouse was on display at the Sotheby's preview party for the 75, 6 foot tall, 700 pound Mickey Mouse Statues that are being auctioned by the Walt Disney Company and Sotheby's for charity on September 27 in celebration of Mickey Mouse's 75th birthday. The sale of Space Mouse, designed by Tom Hanks, will benefit the James Fund, the only Canadian charity to be so honoured. But with very few days until the auction, the big question is: will a Canadian bid win "Space Mouse," bringing him North for future generations of Canadian children to enjoy - or will Americans
build a better mouse trap and capture all of the Mickeys?

The Birrell Family, whose son James died 3 ½ years ago at the age of eight of neuroblastoma, a deadly childhood cancer, and who founded the fund that now bears his name, flew to New York for the cocktail party, spending time with Jones, Eisner and other
celebrities and Disney executives. The Birrells will return to New York for the auction next week.

Tom Hanks designed "Space Mouse" in memory of James Birrell who died of neuroblastoma, a deadly form of childhood cancer. Hanks and James Birrell befriended each other over the course of several phone conversations and letters before James died 3 ½ years ago at the age of 8. They shared a fascination about space and Hanks starred in James' favourite movie, "Apollo 13," the true story of three astronauts who battled incredible odds to make it back home when all seemed lost.

James' remarkable and spirited fight against neuroblastoma is the subject of an uplifting and inspiring book by his father Syd called "Ya Can't Let Cancer Ruin Your Day." With a
foreword by Tom Hanks, the book is the collection of journals Syd wrote and shared via email throughout James' five-year illness, chronicling not only James' fight against cancer, but also the extraordinary adventures they shared as a family as they tried to pack as much living into the very short time they had left with James.

The book, which was released this summer with the generous support of the pharmaceutical company MDS Nordion, has sold briskly, available both at www.greentrainbooks.com and at select Chapters and Indigo stores and also at Indigo.ca ($19.93, the year of James' birth). A portion of the proceeds from each book benefits The James Fund.

"Space Mouse," as do each of the 75 statues, stands about 6 feet tall and weighs about 700 pounds. Combined, they are expected to raise in excess of $1million US for approximately 50 worthy causes. For more information on the charity auction, visit www.sothebys.com/mickey. For a complete list of statues, artists and charities associated with this auction, or to download high-resolution images of the statues, visit www.disneyconsumerproducts.com.

The James Fund (JF) was established at SickKids Foundation by the family of James Birrell to generate knowledge leading to new therapies for the treatment of patients with neuroblastoma. It has rapidly grown to be Canada's leading neuroblastoma research initiative and actor Tom Hanks is its Honorary Patron. To date, nine research projects have
been funded, six papers published, a drug-testing unit has been established and several international collaborations are underway bringing new hope to the parents of children suffering from this terrible childhood cancer.

NOTE TO EDITORS: SYD BIRRELL AND FAMILY AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEW; B-ROLL , INCLUDING OF SPACE MOUSE, EISNER WITH BIRRELLS AND SPACE MOUSE; STAR JONES WITH BIRRELLS AND SPACE MOUSE; B-ROLL OF JAMES TALKING ABOUT TOM HANKS; BOOK AVAILABLE FOR REVIEW. TO DOWNLOAD HIGH-RESOLUTION IMAGES OF THE STATUES, VISIT WWW.DISNEYCONSUMERPRODUCTS.COM

/For further information: Susan McLennan
Babble On Communications
Ph: (416) 699-1846
Cell: (416) 525-5177
Email: s.mclennan@sympatico.ca / IN: ENTERTAINMENT, HEALTH, OTHER

Contact Information

  • Susan McLennan, Babble On Communications
    Primary Phone: 416-699-1846
    Secondary Phone: 416-525-5177
    E-mail: s.mclennan@sympatico.ca