Steady dose of hope

Erin Park

MEDIA DISTRICT WEST - As an eighth-grader, she sold lemonade and

cookies to raise money for guide dogs for the blind.

In college, she volunteered at soup kitchens and juvenile hall.

And now, Musette Buckley, vice president of production services for

Warner Bros., devotes her free time to helping homeless mothers and their

children.

In June, Buckley's dedication to her volunteer work earned her

recognition by Time Warner, Warner Bros.' parent company, with the 2000

Andrew Heiskell Community Service Award.

Buckley was one of 10 Time Warner employees in the nation to receive

the honor, which is given out annually and is the company's most

prestigious award for employees active in community service. Award

recipients are given a $5,000 prize, $3,000 of which goes to their

charity.

Buckley does most of her work with Planet Hope, a nonprofit

organization based in Studio City founded by Kelly Stone and her sister,

actress Sharon Stone. Moved by her involvement the organization, Buckley

opened her home to a homeless mother, Gracie Preciado, and her three

children.

Buckley and Preciado met in 1998 at Camp Planet Hope, a four-day

retreat in Malibu that offers medical and dental care, seminars on child

care and employment opportunities, as well as traditional camp activities

for children. Women are given help with their resumes and even make-overs

to build self-esteem.

"The first day of camp was one of the most touching days of my life,"

Buckley said.

Though 50 mothers and 120 children attended the camp that year,

Buckley said Preciado and her kids made an impression.

"I heard from others that [Preciado] was at her rope's end," Buckley

said.

After the long weekend, instead of returning to the shelter, Preciado

and her children were invited to stay with Buckley in her home.

"During that week, I learned that I can trust a total stranger to be

good to my kids and me and not want anything in return," Preciado said.

At the other end of the partnership, Buckley had a different

perspective.

"I learned that a total stranger would actually let me help her," she

said.

The day after coming to stay with Buckley, Preciado received a call

from Planet Hope for a job interview. Preciado has worked as the office

coordinator for the organization for almost two years and was set up in a

furnished apartment by Planet Hope.

Buckley has convinced many in her office to join Planet Hope programs.

Her friend and co-worker Richard Franceschini, the manager of production

resources for Warner Bros., took note of her efforts and nominated

Buckley for the award. "She has a way of making volunteer work fun and

enjoyable. She's a great leader," Franceschini said.

Preciado said she's not surprised by Buckley's success working with

families.

"Musette is a child magnet," she said.

THE BUCKLEY FILE

HOMETOWN: San Francisco.

HOME: Hollywood Hills.

AGE: 37.

OCCUPATION: Vice president of production services for Warner Bros.

EDUCATION: Bachelor's degree in business from the University San

Francisco; studied film at Loyola Marymount University.

HOBBY: Participating in charity golf tournaments.

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