Kathy Ireland Gets Help From Celebrity Pals in Make-a-Wish Drive

Kathy Ireland, Tony Dovolani ABC photo

Super model-turned-lifestyle design mogul Kathy Ireland has a jammed schedule in the next few weeks, including a mission trip to Honduras, flights to New York for business, and a family trek to Portland, Oregon – but she’s making time to front a campaign for the Make-a-Wish Foundation, along with champion ballroom dancer Chelsea Hightower and style guide Bobbie Thomas.  The Allergan company, makers of Latisse eyelash-growing solution, are offering matching funds for donations under each of the ladies’ team banners. (See https://www.latissewisheschallenge.com. )

“In this economy, all the nonprofits are being impacted.  Every time a business folds, there’s a ripple effect,” she points out.  “So to see a company like Latisse put their money where their mouth is, it’s really inspiring.”  Among the names who’ve been inspired to support Kathy’s Make-a-Wish drive are Elizabeth Taylor, Janet Jackson, Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr., and Tony Dovolani, the “Dancing With the Stars” pro who partnered with Kathy a couple seasons back.  The philanthropy-minded Ireland has been involved for 16 years with the organization that grants wishes for children with life-threatening ailments, and remains friendly with the family of the first Make-a-Wish kid she ever got to know – a boy she’s happy to report is still around today “and just awesome.”  She adds, “For a child, being able to have a wish fulfilled during their most difficult time can be more important than people can imagine.”

Ireland’s $1.4 billion design empire includes some 15,000 products, from flooring and furniture to ceiling fans and florals, online greeting cards, jewelry and skin care.  She admits, “I probably don’t sleep as much as I should and I don’t recommend that.”  She recently released her “Real Solutions for Busy Moms” book, in which she talked about shedding 25 lbs of excess weight that had crept onto her body as she was carrying on an overworked, overwhelmed lifestyle. Has she been able to keep off the weight?

“My goal is to be healthy,” is her answer.  “That’s my motivation, not to fit into a certain size.  I’m not exercising as much as I did during my brief twirl on ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ but I am still exercising.  I have three kids and life is busy.  It’s tough to find time, but it’s important.  I don’t deprive myself of foods.  I’m too rebellious for that and it makes me cranky,” she laughs.  She looks amazing, by the way.

OUR TIMES:  Get ready for a Wayans family TV show about a family moving bravely forward as they tough out the tough economy – with the father quitting his job rather than doing something that requires him to go against his moral code.  The pilot is called “The Walkers,” a frequently used Wayans name, and Keenen, Shawn, Kim, Dante and Craig are involved.

Fascinating project Mario Van Peebles is preparing.  Called “Where the Party At?” it’s described as a “feel good docudrama” that has to do with the first African American generation to come of age during the Obama years.  Jerk dancing is the milieu.  Forces on the project have been looking for real jerk dance crews for Van Peebles to turn his lenses on.