The Stephen J. Falat Holiday Basket Project has always attracted celebrity spokespeople, among them Sarah Jessica Parker and Ruben Blades. This summer, as a part of its fund-raising effort, the project received help from Twelfth Night 's Helen Hunt. Sponsored by Actors' Equity Association, the project delivers holiday baskets filled with donated clothing, books, CDs, candy, toiletries and other gifts to People With AIDS (PWAs) throughout the New York metropolitan area. Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS assists a committee that works throughout December to fill the baskets for more than 2,500 PWAs.
Falat was an Equity member very active on AIDS committees. He died of AIDS and his life partner, Arn Gunderson, has taken over the Project, which started when Falat delivered four baskets to St. Luke's Hospital in 1986.
Hunt, best known for TV's "Mad About You," returned to the Broadway stage as Viola in Lincoln Center's Twelfth Night. The play ran June 19-Aug. 30, with the final performance broadcast on PBS.
Those interested in donating gifts or delivering baskets can call Actors' Equity, (212) 869-8530 and ask for information about the Project.