THE BLOG
05/14/2010 04:22 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Talent and Trees: Off To New York to Celebrate Bette Midler

Many people think famous people all know each other. They don't. I'm a fan like most people, and there are a lot of people I'd love to meet. There are some - like Bette Midler - for whom I drove across the Mojave Desert to see perform in Las Vegas. I always thought it would be fun to know this dynamic and philanthropic superstar.

Imagine my delight when an invitation came in for me to be a co-host for Bette's New York Restoration Project's Spring Picnic Celebration on May 17.

Bette Midler was inviting Candy Spelling to be part of her effort to save and plant trees, enhance New York's parks, greening schools, creating educational programs, planting community vegetable gardens and helping to revitalize parks and other open spaces in New York? I simultaneously said, "Yes" and booked a flight, and "I'll be there Monday."

As a founding member of the Los Angeles Parks Foundation and retired Recreation and Parks Commissioner, I had long studied and admired Bette's work in this area. Los Angeles faces different green challenges, but the aims are the same; and, watching her perform in Las Vegas and reading the program book, I remember thinking, "Gee, wouldn't it be interesting to discuss our parks with Bette."

The event is at Fort Washington Park and is the 15th birthday party for Bette's New York Restoration Project. Cleaner, greener New York, here I come. Thanks, Bette, for the invitation; and, yes, I got your message about wearing comfortable shoes!