Star-dusted gathering


POSTED: Monday, July 13, 2009

Philanthropy seems to come naturally for Robert Parks-Valletta. The Hollywood actor, known for his roles on “;Young and the Restless”; and “;Days of Our Lives,”; is the founder of the Tag the World Charity that supports five charities under the same umbrella.

His organization utilizes celebrities to bring awareness and support to causes which include: cancer, children, global green efforts, animals and Africa. Five different sterling silver tag necklaces, handcrafted by artist Michael Barin are distributed to donors who make contributions of at least $80, and represent the specific cause. “;You don't just support a cause, you wear a story,”; Parks-Valleta said.

Now, he's taking things one step further by organizing a celebrity triathlon that benefits It Takes An Ohana, a local agency that was about to be shut down due to a lack of funds.

“;By setting up the race, a charity that will forever change the lives of 300 kids was created,”; said Parks-Valletta.

Thirty foster kids will be paired with celebrities for the event. Among the tag-team notables are Dean Cain, Michael Copon, Hannah Cornett, Ryan Eggold, Sean Faris, Rebecca Mader and Amber Valletta.

Local boy Darin Brooks, known for his role as Max Brady on “;Days of Our Lives,”; is also participating. Brooks has been an advocate for the organization since its inception and was highlighted in a Star-Bulletin story last October.

“;We really hope that local people will sign up for the race, as well. Not only are people supporting a cause, but they get to run alongside celebrities,”; Parks-Valleta added. “;The event also engages the foster youth and lets them be a part of something special. The kids could just build relationships with some of the celebrities that last a lifetime. We want this to be an event that touches kids in a motivating way.”;

Parks-Valletta is hoping that at least 200 people sign up for the triathlon. He also hopes that his idea sparks many more.

“;We've been working with the Hawaii Board of Tourism to make this an annual event—kinda like the Pro Bowl, but in a different light.”;

We asked some of the celebrities involved with the Tag the World Celebrity Triathlon coming up on Aug. 23, five questions. Below are their answers.

1. Why did you choose to participate in the celebrity triathlon?

2. Celebrities are often viewed as wimpy or pampered. Do you think shows like “;I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here”; and a handful of celebrities give the rest a bad rap? And, do you feel like you need to do things, like the triathlon to prove your authenticity?

3. Do you consider yourself an athlete? Did you play sports in high school?

4. Can you describe your regular workout routine?

5. What are you currently working on? What's next?








        » Logistics: The triathlon starts at 8 a.m. on Aug. 23 and consists of a 700-meter swim, a 12-mile road bike up to Diamond Head Crater park and a 5K run that offers views of the Waikiki coastline. Cost is $85 for individuals and $135 for a team of three. Sign up at http://www.active.com or register by mail (include name, date of birth, phone, address for welcome packet, e-mail address, and T-shirt size with your check made out to “;Tag the World”;) by Aug. 15 to: Tag The World Organization triathlon, 11264 Sunshine Terrace, Studio City, Calif., 91604.

» Red carpet luau: A Hawaiian-style luau with an array of celebrities. Includes a surprise performance by an A-list artist, at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 23 at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. Tickets are $175; $100 in advance. Cost is $50 for triathlon participants. Order tickets at http://www.active. com.


» Volunteers needed: Contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for information.


» Beneficiary Information: Visit http://www.hawaiifosterparent.org/ for more details on It Takes An Ohana.


» Order tags: Visit tagtheworld.com. Tags are distributed for donations of at least $80.





Arianne Zucker

; 1. I won't be able to participate now because I'm pregnant, but I'll be there to support everyone. I'll have my pom poms ready.

2. We have lives outside of work. Once we leave the studio or set, I go along with my daily life or business. Growing up, I shoveled lots of horse poop. That definitely keeps you grounded. I learned to appreciate my physicality because it's a lot of hard work. I like to have a happy, healthy life outside of my career.

3. I've always been involved in some sort of sports. Mostly I rode horses that were jumpers. I started competing when I was 7 years old. I just stopped riding a couple months ago, and will not be able to ride until after the baby is born.

4. We have four dogs that helps keep us busy and active. We run with them. When we (her and Lowder) need help or someone to push us to our limits, we see our physical fitness trainer. We also have two horses. You need lots of endurance to ride and jump horses.

5. I work five days a week filming on “;Days of Our Lives”; with a pretty heavy storyline. I've been back for about a year and can't complain (Zucker left the show for a couple years). I've been playing the same character for 11 years, so it would be nice to change things up sometimes, but I absolutely love my job. Our show has really changed and the ratings have gone up, so it's a good place to be. I love it, love it, love it, love it.




Michael Copon

; 1. Last year, I participated in the Tag the World celebrity basketball game. There was a great turnout and it was lots of fun. I'm actually a part of a lot of different charities, especially children's charities like Children Uniting Nations. My brother who was adopted has shaken baby syndrome, so I'm supporting the children's charity of Tag the World.

2. I'm definitely not a very pampered celebrity. I hate sitting around having people bring me things and it gets me in trouble because I'm wandering. I'll hear, “;Where's Michael? He's supposed to be in his room.”;

I was raised by a mom who threw all of my shoes and clothes away when I was in middle school because I started to get too materialistic, into brand names and into my style. She sent me to the Value City down the street to see what I could get with a hundred bucks. I learned quickly that I had to be my own person, not based on what I have or wear. I feel like my mom is still lurking behind me with a big bamboo stick ready to whoop me.

I do all of my own stunts, whether I'm a warrior in “;Scorpion King”; or a cheerleader in “;Bring it On.”; I try to learn what I can to get the job done.

3. I played football since I was 7 years old. I had a few scholarships to play football, but I turned those down to start my entertainment career. I still play basketball and am constantly lifting weights.

I've never done a triathlon, so I'm not sure about this long distance stuff. But, I heard that the kids can help us, that we can tag out, so I'm excited about that. I'm very, very, very competitive. I will do anything and everything I can to make sure my team wins. I don't like to lose. I'm a sore loser.

4. I tend to do things that are more practical and fun. I'll run down the hill, hang out at Starbucks for a little bit and run back home. My house has a staircase with about 80 stairs, so just walking up the stairs everyday is a workout.

Some days, I'll go to the gym for three to four hours, doing an overall body workout. But I don't work on my legs too much because they are already big. If they get any bigger, my jeans won't fit.

5. ”;Night of the Demons”; is coming out in October. I always ask if I can add spice and comedy, a little bit of fun and laughter to my roles. No one wants to cry nowadays. During the recession and everything going on, I believe people want to laugh and see things blown up.

I'm also working on an album. I plan to start recording in the next few weeks, so I'm really excited about that.




Sean Faris

; 1. I'm always willing to do anything I can for charity. We will be helping the foster kids out there, so it's a great opportunity to give something back. Also, it's a great goal for me personally to participate in the triathlon, to make myself stronger. I'm always trying to challenge myself.

2. I don't do things to prove myself, but I do think that we catch a bad rap. There are a few that are in the spotlight, who moan, groan, bitch and complain about everything, when they should be grateful. Acting is a dream come true for me. I love what I do and I'm living my dream day to day. Every actor I know is more than willing to give back to charity because we know how lucky we are. On reality shows, they sign up to do the show and didn't have to work or struggle to get there. They just signed up for the job.

3. I'm very athletic. In high school, I played football and was a diver on the swim team. Growing up, I played baseball and soccer, just about every sport school had to offer. I've always been pretty fit. I'd get up early and run three to four miles before school. Now, I try to live my life that way.

4. I spend about an hour a day at the gym. I lift weights, focusing on different body parts each day and run a couple miles. To prepare for the triathlon, I train for three to four hours a day. I've been trying to run five to 10 miles, bike 10 to 20 miles and swim 700 meters, depending on how much energy I have. When we are not on set filming, we have a lot of time on our hands. It's either train or do something good or let the devil be at play with your idle time. I'd rather be good.

5. I currently have two films coming out. One is “;Ghost Machine”; and another is “;King of Fighters”; which is based on one of Japan's No. 1 video games. Maggie Q and I are playing the lead roles in that one.

I have tons of projects that I'm working on. I'm producing two films and am attached to four or five others, but it's a waiting game in this economy. We're waiting on banks to finance the projects. Right now, things are up in the air and that's why I can devote an entire summer to train for this triathlon.




Kyle Lowder

; 1. Tag the World helps organizations around the United States and around the world. It provides a chance to support the Tag the World charity, do something good for society and it's nice to take a trip to Hawaii at the same time.

2. In all walks of life, certain people make others look bad by their behavior. The people on reality shows are put in situations that make things look a certain way where situations are manipulated ... they need to fulfill a certain level of comedy and drama. Those celebrities that appear wimpy, babied or pampered do give us a bad rap, but everybody's different.

3. I like to keep myself in shape. The triathlon is a test of human will and determination, so it's right up my alley. This is my first triathlon. I've always been involved in sports though and played a lot of football growing up. And, I was a gymnast in college.

4. I go to the gym every weekday and don't miss a day. I do take the weekends off. It's definitely a lifestyle. I feel better and more energetic when I'm in shape and active.

5. I'm blessed to have a busy storyline on “;The Bold and the Beautiful.”; I'm working almost everyday in the studio. It's a blessing to be busy, especially now when people are struggling to find work.




Rebecca Mader

; 1. My knee jerk reaction is always to say yes. In January, I was asked if I wanted to go to Ethiopia and represent UNICEF and I said yes. When asked if I wanted to go to Hawaii and help the foster kids, how could I say no to that? I jumped at the chance.

2. Normal people look at celebrities' lives and think it's all roses. Everybody has a normal life with a family and a house. We have to fill up gas in our car, everyone uses the toilet.

I didn't come from a lot of money, so I've maintained a normal lifestyle. I actually splurged and got a maid. I felt really extravagant with someone cleaning my house. That was a really big deal for me to do that because I'm happy to get on my knees, roll up my sleeves and go to work.

Everyone's different. You always have cheesy fakes. I'm an actor because I love what I do for a living, not because I want to be in “;In Touch”; magazine. You always have wannabes that want to be seen and get free stuff. They won't be around for the long haul.

3. No, I was eating grilled cheeses at school and smoking cigarettes in the bike shed. I was so not the sporty kid at school. I fell in love with fitness once I grew up. ... Before I got into acting, I used to be a model and realized that my body was my tool. I actually needed to get off the couch and do something about it if I was going to modeling bikinis and lingerie.

4. English people aren't really big gym people compared to Americans. Nowadays, I love to go to the gym and work out.

I fell in love with Barry's Boot Camp in Los Angeles. It's dark and sexy like a disco. It's like drill sergeant, military style where they scream at you. I need that, otherwise I'd be in the steam room.

Women are afraid to lift weights, but muscle burns more calories than fat. Women are also attached to the number on the scale, when you should be judging yourself by how strong and healthy you feel and what size clothes you are wearing.

5. Just wrapped a Lifetime TV movie where I'm the lead, called “;Ring of Deceit.”; It's supposed to air sometime in August. I have straight hair and speak in an American accent, so it's very different than how I looked and sounded on “;Lost.”; It shows a different side of me. I also did this other movie, “;The Men Who Stare at Goats”; with George Clooney and Ewan McGregor, that should be coming out at the end of the year. Things are good.