After ten years in preparation, St. Malachy's-The Actors' Chapel today named its new non-denominational day-evening child care center dedicated to the children of entertainment industry professionals in honor of the legendary Bob and Dolores Hope, according to an announcement from Rev. Fr. Richard D. Baker, pastor of St. Malachy's.
"We are thrilled that Linda Hope, eldest of the Hopes' four children and President of The Bob Hope Legacy and Bob Hope Enterprises, has given her blessing to the child care center and agreed to name it after her late parents," Fr. Baker said.
Linda Hope, in a very rare public appearance, will travel to New York from her home in California to receive The Father George Moore Award saluting her involvement in the establishment of The Bob and Dolores Hope Broadway KidCare at a special star-studded benefit, Voices United www.voicesunited.com, at Radio City Music Hall on February 20. The Hopes were close friends of Father George Moore, the late, revered former pastor of St. Malachy's-The Actors' Chapel,
"While most Americans are familiar with Mr. Hope's career as an actor, comedian, film and TV star and leader of countless USO shows for more than half a century to entertain our men and women in uniform around the world, they might not be as familiar with the fact that both he and Mrs. Hope began their careers as entertainers on the Broadway stage," Fr. Baker added. "Mr. Hope was the leading man in Roberta before Hollywood beckoned and Mrs. Hope understudied Kate Smith and worked on the New York stage before joining Mr. Hope in his vaudeville act. Then, when they moved to Hollywood, Mrs. Hope retired and spent her life raising their four children and devoting herself to philanthropic works, chiefly for the Catholic Church and as a founder and guiding force behind the Eisenhower Medical Center in Palm Springs."
The Hopes met Fr. Moore through the old Catholic Actors Guild. Whenever they visited New York together, the Hopes would stay at a nearby hotel and visit with Fr. George. They could not have known that this friendship, begun so many years ago, would one day be preserved for all future generations as the Hopes become a permanent part of their old friend's parish. It seems a perfect fit that the award their daughter will receive bears the name of Father George Moore.
"In a special way, Bob and Dolores Hope epitomize the finest tradition of Broadway," Fr. Baker concluded. "Talented and hardworking, they were blessed in life but never hesitated to share their blessings with the world. That's what actors do. We are all honored to have Bob and Dolores Hope back home at St. Malachy's and on Broadway."
Voices United, one of the largest choral events in history featuring 1000 voices singing in Radio City Music Hall, is set for Monday, February 20, at 7:30pm as a ground-breaking benefit for the newly established Broadway KidCare, to be forever known as The Bob and Dolores Hope Broadway KidCare center, a project of St. Malachy's-The Actors' Chapel to create a non-sectarian day-and-evening care center for the children of actors, stagehands and all performing arts professionals in the entertainment industry. The concert will also benefit the Mother and Child Program at Covenant House which provides support services to young, homeless single mothers and their babies.
Voices United www.voicesunited.com will include choral groups from around the country, the casts of Broadway's Memphis and Sister Act, guest organists Peter Edwin Krasinski and Jonathan Ortloff, and a cavalcade of stars soon to be announced.