Jamie Lee Curtis has a natural affinity for Halloween, and she loves dressing up in a costume, especially if it’s for a good cause. She’ll combine all of those things on Saturday as the host of Dream Halloween, a carnival-style fund-raiser at Santa Monica’s Barker Hangar for the Children Affected by Aids Foundation.
“I love Dream Halloween because there’s none of that worry about what you look like,” Curtis says. “I’ve been a wizard, I’ve been a cowgirl, I’ve been a police officer.” Last year she donned a floral ensemble. This year: cheerleader.
Curtis first got involved with the foundation more than a decade ago after she lost one of her best friends to AIDS. It’s part of her effort to focus on charities that aid children and youth. She’s also become a prolific author of children’s books, starting with “When I Was Little” in 1995.
“Children-related causes have become very important to me,” Curtis says. The CAAF is a perfect fit with her interests: “In Yiddish, you would call it B’sheret,” or “soulmate,” she says.
The Halloween event, now in its 17th year, will transform Barker Hangar into a wonderland of costumed characters, musical entertainment and a “Trick-or-Treat Lane” where kids can collect Mattel toys instead of candy. Joe Cristina, a former Mattel exec who is HIV positive, started CAAF and was largely responsible for the toy company’s participation in the event.
Curtis will join other volunteers donating their time to help run the event, which expects to have more than 2,000 guests, half of them kids.
“It just feels like it is the responsibility of every one of us, both privately and corporately,” Curtis says of her own involvement. “I don’t really know what else being a celebrity is for.”