Lucy-Desi Center Receives $100,000 Present For Ball’s Birthday

Catharine Young

August 08, 2007


96 Years Of Laughs
Lucy-Desi Center Receives $100,000 Present For Ball’s Birthday

By JESSICA WASMUND - Jamestown Post-Journal

What better way for Lucy fans to celebrate
what would be the comedienne’s 96th
birthday than watching their favorite
actress’s center receive a $100,000 present.
At the kick-off for the Lucille Ball birthday
celebration weekend Friday, state Sen.
Cathy Young, R-Olean, presented Ric
Wyman with a check for $100,000.
‘‘Lucille Ball just gave so much joy in
her lifetime, and I’ve met people who’ve
come here from Chicago and Ohio, and it
just proves how important her legacy is for
the local economy,’’ Sen. Young said.
‘‘She’s a hometown girl, and it will be great
to see this money used to attract even more
people here.’’

Wyman was thrilled to accept the check
on behalf of the Lucy-Desi center, and
revealed that the money had already been
ear-marked for an expansion project.
‘‘We’ll be acquiring the D&K at 10 W.
Third St. to add on as an expansion — we’ve
been at our original location since 1996,’’
Wyman said. ‘‘We’re looking to get Lucy’s
Mercedes out of storage, as well as hundreds
of other artifacts that we’ve collected over
the years from Lucie (Arnaz) and Desi Jr.
that we haven’t had a place to showcase.’’

According to Wyman, the
facility is still in the development
stages right now, and the
grant will be used to actually
acquire the property itself.
‘‘We’ve always been committed
to growth and development,
and this new facility will
do more justice to the Lucy-
Desi museums,’’ Wyman said.
Wyman estimates that the
new building will be up and
running in time for next year’s
festival. However, for the next
few days, Jamestown will continue
to feel Lucy fever.

‘‘You’ve just gotta love
Lucy — I love Lucy – she was
a wonderful lady from
Jamestown, a wonderful and
special place,’’ said Mayor
Sam Teresi. ‘‘Today we’re celebrating
the 96th birthday of
one of the most famous redheads
and top women entertainers
of all time.’’

More than 30 different
events will be taking place
through Sunday, and a variety
of special guests will be on
hand for Lucy fans to meet.
Included in those guests are
Wanda Clark and Grank
Goorey, Lucy’s secretary and
chauffeur, respectively. There
will also be an unveiling of a
new book, ‘‘Lucy At The
Movies,’’ with author Cindy
De La Haz available to speak.
A number of Hollywood
favorites will also be in town,
including Jerry Maren, one of
the original munchkins from
The Wizard of Oz and a guest
star on Here’s Lucy; Joe and
Michael Mayer, who shared the
role of toddler-aged Little
Ricky; Shirley Mitchell, who
played Marion Strong on I
Love Lucy; and four-time
Emmy Award winner Ret
Turner, Lucy’s costumer
designer. Turner will be hosting
the Lucille Ball fashion
show Sunday afternoon.
A full schedule of events of
available at the Lucy-Desi center’s
Web site, www.lucydesi.

‘‘This is a very special day,
because we are recognizing the
powerful and profound effect
laughter has on our general
well-being,’’ Sen. Young said.
‘‘Lucy gave this gift to the
entire world, and today we
honor her.’’