BODY POLITIC : Sweet Charity

Mel Brooks wasn't all wrong when he made a movie about homelessness and called it "Life Stinks." But next Sunday, the Los Angeles Community Festival will help make it stink less for some people.

Like many of us who live indoors, Michael and Valerie Wyman (he's a musician, she's a banker) care about the plight of those who don't. They wanted to do something big, something that would raise money in the spirit of fun, not guilt. So, proving that regular folk can do big things, they enlisted friends and colleagues and organized the festival, complete with games, food, music and, of course, celebrities.

The festival will begin at noon at the Shark Club, on the corner of Grand and Olympic. The money raised will go to the Los Angeles Mission, which provides clothing, shelter and more than 35,000 meals a month to inner-city people. Sponsors include Coca-Cola, Target stores, KCBS-TV and KABC-TV. Celebrities pledged their support--Christopher Lloyd, the Olsen twins from "Full House" and Barry Bostwick are scheduled to appear and Janet Jackson, Aerosmith, Bonnie Raitt, Cher and Clint Black donated items for a silent auction.

Most importantly, the festival embraces the people it will benefit: People being retrained by the Los Angeles Mission Jump Start program will attend, and Skid Row Access, a group of street-people artists, will have a booth. Who says you can't change the world?

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