ALBION, MI - Fresh on the heels of her recent "Dancing with the Stars" appearance on ABC, award-winning actress Marlee Matlin has agreed to speak at Starr Commonwealth's Founder's Day to be held Oct. 5, 2008.
Through American Sign Language and the assistance of her personal interpreter, Matlin will address the audience of students, staff, families and friends of Starr Commonwealth as the organization celebrates its 95th anniversary.
Matlin is an Academy Award winner for her role in "Children of a Lesser God," which also happened to be her film debut. She is the first deaf actress to receive the Academy Award and one of only four distinguished actresses to do so with her film debut. Along with her Oscar, Matlin has won a Golden Globe and has been nominated numerous times for Emmy and People's Choice awards for her television roles, including "Seinfeld," "The Practice" and more. Guest star roles on "The West Wing," "My Name is Earl" and "Desperate Housewives" have contributed to Matlin's stardom and celebrity status.
A mother of four and deeply passionate about children, Matlin has hosted several educational and children's programs and appeared in Disney's "Adventures in Wonderland," "Nickelodeon's "Blues Clues" and "Baby Wordsworth," part of the "Baby Einstein" series aimed at teaching sign language to infants and toddlers. She is also the author of a series of children's books.
Matlin also is a close personal friend of Henry Winkler, last year's celebrity speaker, who has been supportive of Matlin and her career since her childhood.
"Marlee Matlin certainly has taken what some might perceive as a disability and has spoken volumes with her courage and tenacity," said Starr Commonwealth President and CEO Martin Mitchell. "She is such an inspiration to her fans and people around the world. We are very fortunate to host Ms. Matlin during our 95th anniversary."
Founder's Day is held the first Sunday of every October at Starr Commonwealth's Albion campus. The even is free and is open to the public. It marks the anniversary of founder Floyd Starr, his family and 13 boys moving into Gladsome Cottage on Oct. 3, 1913.
Starr Commonwealth is a nationally recognized children and family services nonprofit licensed by the States of Michigan and Ohio and accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Services for Families and Children. The organization serves more than 4,000 children, families and professionals through strength-based residential and community-based programs in Albion, Battle Creek and Detroit, Michigan, and Van Wert and Columbus, Ohio. Services range from specialized treatment programs, treatment foster care, day treatment, mental health therapy, substance abuse and private therapeutic residential treatment. Starr also offers a variety of training for professionals working with youth.
"Please save the date of Oct. 5 on your calendars and plan to join us for what is going to be another exceptional Founder's Day," President Mitchell said.
For more information, please call 800-937-5591 or visit www.starr.org.