Caps For Kids: Getting Autographed Hats for Children With Cancer

With patience and determination one group hunts down signatures of youths’ favorite celebrities, reports writer Katie Menzer. But being a professional celebrity signature stalker for Caps For Kids, an international nonprofit isn’t as easy as you might think.

Take Brad Pitt, star “Troy” and countless paparazzi photos with United Nations goodwill ambassador Angelina Jolie, says Menzer.

He’d jump at the chance for a baseball cap signing where famous figures sign caps to children with cancer, right?

But when contacted by the charitable group who works to help sick kids at Children Medical Center Dallas and elsewhere he was too busy back then battling Trojans in the Mediterranean paradise of Malta. The fan was a Brad-loving young cancer patient and the group was told Brad might be able to sign a hat – in a year.

Natalie Singer of Children’s Medical searches for the perfect hat for cancer patient Adam Fields while mother Melody examines the latest option as photographer Jim Mahoney snaps a picture.

Some celebrity-signed hats to benefit the charity include Al Pacino, for example.

Cristy Ecton, outreach manager for the Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, visits with seven-year-old Kaitlyn Gaffey, also a cancer patient.

It’s Ecton’s job to drag stars back down to earth to help sick kids.

She said she understands that celebrities are busy.

“They get really hounded,” she said in a recent article.

“But this is a life-and-death situation,” writes Menzer. “Some of the requests – for Michael Jordan, Robin Williams, or the entire cast of “Friends,” after the television show had gone off the air – are enough to make anyone dog tired, though.”

Lauren Clement, executive director of the New Orleans-based Caps for Kids, said their days are spent massaging egos over the phone as they try to seduce a friend who lunches with a secretary who works for a press agent to give them the number of the publicist who knows the personal assistant who can get the hat into the hands of the celebrity, wrote Menzer.

Each signature can take dozens of letters, emails, and calls, according to Menzer.

“Some are a lot easier than others,” Clement said in the article.

Ecton also keeps a display case of caps at Children’s that patients without special requests can choose from, according to research.

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