Cause Celeb

Can star power create social change?

Celeb: Michael Bolton

Cause: Michael Bolton Foundation, formed to assist “children and women at risk…broaden horizons and expand opportunities for youth across socioeconomic and multicultural lines”

What he’s done: Started the foundation, appeared at fundraising events

What celeb gets: A chance to atone for his musical sins?

What cause gets: An annual celebrity softball game, Bolton’s singing…and some money

Connection between celeb and cause: None detectable

Chance celeb will humiliate cause: It’s already happened. Late filings of paperwork with the state of Connecticut led to press accounts of the foundation’s sad percentage of giveaways compared to income: a paltry 15 percent in 1995, and only 30 percent from 1993 to 1996 overall.

What good came of this? The miniscandal has not “dampened my spirit or commitment,” Bolton vows. In 1996 the foundation did distribute $863,000 to various shelter and social service programs for troubled kids, mostly in Connecticut and New York.