Kevin Bacon, Ali Edwards, and 350+ friends

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite


Who's the best blogger in Oregon? I'm sure there'd be lots of nominees, but my vote goes to Ali Edwards -- who just happens to be the better half of State Rep. Chris Edwards.

I don't read her blog much, since it's mostly about scrapbooking and other arts & crafts -- hobbies I don't share. But every once in a while, Ali amazes me with the human touch she gives her blogging.

So what's this about Kevin Bacon, you ask? Well, there's this silly party game - the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon - where you name an actor, and try and figure out how they're connected via co-starring roles to Kevin Bacon.

For example, Ronald Reagan was in The Young Doctors with Eddie Albert - who was in The Big Picture with Kevin Bacon.

Well, ever since this silly game appeared, Kevin Bacon has been horrified and mystified by it. But, he's decided to use this weird sort of celebrity for good. In short, he's asked a bunch of celebrities to name their favorite charities - and asking the public to donate. (Here's his 90-second YouTube video.)

Wasn't this about Ali Edwards? Yeah, this is where the story gets good. You see, Kevin Bacon's cool website - - allows anybody to "become a celebrity", create a charity fundraising badge, and post it on their blog.

And Ali Edwards did. She decided to raise money for Autism Speaks, a group that raises awareness, funds research, and helps families with autism.

And Ali's readers have responded. At latest count, over 340 people have donated over $9000. That ranks her among the top two "celebrities" in Kevin Bacon's game.

From KVAL-TV in Eugene, tonight: (video here)

You might call Ali Edwards an accidental celebrity. "People all over the world read the things that I am writing on here." ... The badge on Ali's blog and website, encourages her scrap booking fans to donate to the charity Autism Speaks.

Ali says, "They are both for promoting research to find a cure, but also about promoting awareness." A charity close to her heart. Ali's five year old son, Simon, is autistic.

Ali's simple badge struck a chord. More than 340 people have donated almost $9,000 to date, sending her to the top of the Six Degrees web site. Ali says "It's been amazing, it's really been amazing.

The Kevin Bacon challenge is over on March 31. Until then, I'm posting Ali's fundraising badge here on BlueOregon.

I encourage you to donate as well. If Ali Edwards stays in the top six, Kevin Bacon himself will match it with $10,000 of his own money.

And if you've got a blog of your own, you can post Ali's badge too -- or raise money for your own favorite charity.

  • James Mattiace (unverified)

    Not only is she a kick a$$ woman and one heck of a mother, but she is a very cool person to coexist with in this political world. I speak for many when I say I am glad Chris and Ali Edwards have entered our lives.

    I'll donate.

    James Mattiace Chair Lane County Bus Project

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    Just as an aside, here's the link to the Oracle of Bacon server, where you can type in an actor's name and get his or her "Bacon number."

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    I was at the scrapbook convention today and had hoped to say hi to Ali. Unfortunately, I was busy working in a booth and by the time I got my stuff and headed out, the line was long I needed to get out the door.

    I wanted to congratulate her for the great fundraising job she's doing and for the design work she did for her husband's campaign. I've always liked her scrapbooking stuff.

    I reaaallllyyy love scrapbooking, so I'm giving up a lot to head down to Salem tomorrow for the SCC meeting. Not only am I giving up the opportunity to work more hours in a booth, but also the money (or products) I earn for doing so. ; )

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    My cousin's kid is autistic, and one of the most kind-hearted children I've ever known.

    Payday's next Friday.

    I know what I'm doing with some of it. For Kyle.

  • Deanna C (unverified)

    I will donate $10,000 if I can get contact info for Kevin Bacon and can get him to call in to a radio station for me and I win a car in their 'who do you know' celebrity contest. Seriously. I win a car and a charity get $10,000. I just need a big celebrity to call for me.

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    Autism is a hugely burdensome condition that looks like it may often be emotionally painful to its sufferers and certainly is to many families. Its prevalence has risen dramatically in the past three decades (order of magnitude ca. 2 of 10,000 to ca. 67 per 10,000, or 1 in 150) for reasons that no one understands, though frustration has led many to grasp at theories with little evidence, or to hang on to others with much evidence against them, such as blaming a form of mercury formerly used as a vaccine preservative. The care burdens fall on families but also on the public, particularly in need to provide special education. I support this effort, though I also think it points to a need to put much more basic medical and epidemiological research back under public funding.

    The party game comes from the idea of "six degrees of separation," proposed by someone whose name I forget, and now also the premise of a t.v. series. The theory is that each of us is connected to every other person in the world by a social chain no more than six steps long.

    For example, I am three degrees from President Bush -- a friend was involved in a bitter tenure dispute at Stanford with Condi Rice, then an anti-affirmative action provost there, despite having benefited from AA herself. So, 1, my friend, 2, Condi, 3 GWB.

    I'm only two from Nelson Mandela, who another friend met in a Johannesburg airport international flight waiting pen before he was elected president, or also through directly knowing a man who I met as an exile scholar in grad school who was on Robben Island with Mandela for a period and now is on South Africa's highest court, and actually other similar connections related to my former scholarly work. Of course, the first would be useless for trying to contact Mandela; the second would be a remote possibility.

    The shortness of these paths indicates something about central people -- my path to a random peasant woman in rural Swaziland would be considerably longer, though probably shorter than most bloggers here.

    I am not sure if being on the same blog with people counts :-)

    "Kevin Bacon" rhymes & has the same syllable structure and emphasis as "separation." His name was picked out for the game partly for this reason. It also worked because at the time (the game was around by the mid- or late- 1980s) he was kind of middling star, famous for "Footloose" & getting interesting parts e.g. in "Diner," but not really a big star with a huge number of films under his belt.

  • Dickey45 (unverified)

    As a parent of a child with autism, it would have been nice to have had a place to go to when he was diagnosed. There was no such place and today there is still no real autism center in Oregon.

    Let's also try to raise some money for OREGON.

    We need an autism center somewhere between Portland and Eugene near I5 with regular office hours, a library, and a place to have lots and lots and lots of workshops and even a place for drop in doctors, therapists, consultants, evaluators, and even cooks.

    $200,000 with lots of elbow grease (from me!) to fix up some old house that could be converted to a office/open room would get us that.

    <h2>What do you say?</h2>

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