Celebrity pals an asset


POSTED: Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tony Shalhoub laughs when asked how Assets School managed to persuade him and his wife, actress Brooke Adams, to host the school's annual gala fundraiser.

“;It didn't take much!”;





        Assets School annual gala

» When: 6 to 10 p.m. Friday


» Place: Sheraton Waikiki


» Tickets: $150


» Call: 440-3621 or visit www.assets-school.net




Shalhoub, star and executive producer of the USA Network series “;Monk,”; has won Emmy, Golden Globe and Screen Actors' Guild awards for his portrayal of an unusually gifted detective with an obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Anticipating his first visit to Hawaii, Shalhoub said he's “;getting kind of swept along”; in plans to roast his old friend, Paul Singer, Assets' new head of school. “;The whole idea was to support (Singer), and bring attention to the school and the great work they're doing.”;

The couple's celebrity will help raise money for financial assistance, and supplement a technology-based grant that could impact the lives of students long after they graduate.

Shalhoub gained fame years ago with his role on “;Wings.”; Numerous feature films fill his resume, including “;Spy Kids,”; “;Galaxy Quest,”; “;The Siege,”; “;A Civil Action,”; “;Searching for Bobby Fischer,”; “;Primary Colors,”; “;Men in Black”; and “;Honeymoon in Vegas,”; to name a few. Adams, who has been married to Shalhoub since 1992 and acting steadily since the 1960s, has appeared in series such as “;Law and Order: SVU,”; “;Monk”; and “;Moonlighting.”;

Shalhoub starts shooting his eighth and final season of “;Monk”; next month; the 16 episodes begin airing in late July or August. “;Hopefully, we'll be able to wind up the story and tie up loose ends,”; he said from his home in Los Angeles. “;It's kind of bittersweet. I love doing the part, and I work with tremendous people. But we've kind of explored all there is to explore in this area. I'm looking forward to whatever comes next.”;

The couple's relationship with Singer began at California's prestigious Country School, an institution similar to Assets, which serves gifted and/or dyslexic children from kindergarten through 12th grade. Adams was on the school's board of directors and Singer worked there for 28 years before accepting the job at Assets in 2008.

“;One of the reasons I was so thrilled that Brooke and Tony were willing to get involved is because we thought they might be able to increase the level of interest,”; Singer said, emphasizing how charity events are struggling in this economy. Raising money for student financial aid is the primary intent, but Singer also hopes to supplement a $42,000 technology grant from the Hawaii Community Foundation. The school had hoped for $75,000 per year for two years. A donor has offered to close the gap by matching funds garnered in the event's silent auction.

Assets teachers Suzy Travis and her husband, Mike, helped conceive the technology program, which involves a one-to-one computer program, and creating a Web site for online communities to connect parents of dyslexic or gifted children, provide coaching for students, and support young adults in the transition from high school. “;Once those alumni don't need coaching anymore, they become the coaches,”; explained Suzy Travis. The program will also allow Assets to join forces with similar schools throughout the world, exchange ideas and engage in discussions.

“;There are a lot of small things we can do that can have a big impact,”; she added. “;It will definitely change the face of our school, but not the mission. Individualized instruction is the core of everything we do.”;