Call of the bayou

Ellen Wheeler and David Kreizman, “Guiding Light’s” exec producer and head writer, respectively, wanted to do something unique to celebrate the sudser’s 70th anni.

“Having a retrospective and bringing back past characters all seemed wonderful, but it didn’t seem enough,” Wheeler says. She found inspiration in the words of the Rev. John Ruthledge, one of “Guiding Light’s” original characters, who said: “There is a destiny that makes us brothers. None goes his way alone. All that we send into the lives of others comes back into our own.”

Wanting to build on Ruthledge’s words, Wheeler gathered the cast and asked the actors if they’d be willing to give up a week of their lives in January to go to the Gulf Coast to work with the Hands On Network and build three homes for Hurricane Katrina victims.

“When we heard about the meeting, some of us thought it could be bad news,” says Ricky Paull Goldin, who plays Gus Aitoro. “Someone wondered if we should bring our little rollaway bags like we’re on ‘The Apprentice.’ ”

Actors were invited to fill out a form that would indicate construction know-how. “My husband put an addendum on mine,” chuckles Kim Zimmer, who plays Reva. “It said, ‘Please do not allow this woman anywhere near anything electrical!’ ”

The efforts will be recorded and broadcast on the Feb. 14 episode of “Guiding Light.” Members from the show are scheduled to work with Hands On America throughout its anniversary year and perform similar charitable acts in other cities across the United States.

Viewers are invited to work alongside the actors and can log on to FindYourLight.net for more information.

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