In it, Joel speaks of how he was offered $500 to speak at a Las Vegas fundraiser for the Anti-Defamation League (he did speak, yet turned down the money) and how shocked he was to learn that charities customarily pay celebrities $5,000, $10,000 and more to speak or just attend fundraising events, “If they didn’t have me, they wouldn’t have filled the room” is the attitude. Well off people get paid thousands of dollars to be the bait to draw attendees and their money for a charity? To again quote Joel, “Although I don’t think Jews believe in hell, I think they would create one for someone who took money from a charity to speak at a fundraiser.”
The reason this caught my attention, and started me thinking about writing this story, was the knowledge that at all the Joss-verse fan-run charity events I have been involved with, not once did any of the celebrities expect to be paid for their attendance. They all came to show their appreciation to the fans, and to help raise money for some very good causes (and never were their possible attendance mentioned in advertising). They not only donated their time (sometimes leaving their families home on holidays), they also donated items to be given out to the attendees. Some, like Nathan Fillion, have been known to go into their own personal stash to have something to give to fans.
Now let’s talk about the attendees of these events, the fans. Never did celebrity attendance need to be advertised to get Joss-verse fans to come. Or donate money. Or volunteer their time. The fans came to enjoy a social event in the company of others who, who they probably didn’t know personally, had a common interest so strong that they knew they would have fun, with while raising money for a charity. Helping the world, one small piece at a time. Never with the expectation of rubbing elbows with Joss-verse celebrities.
What makes the Joss-verse special, in my opinion, is that, as a whole, we appreciate and respect our celebrities. They, as a whole, feel the same about us. Neither group needs to bribe the other to help out. We all do it for the love to the ‘verse. And that does make us mighty.