While Bernadette Peters was in Indiana getting set to perform Friday evening, May 4, 2012, in IUP’s Fisher Auditorium as part of the Lively Arts inaugural Ovations! series, she took time to autograph several items, including two of her children’s books. Peters wrote both Broadway Barks and Stella Is a Star that together talk about the importance of caring for lost pets, the need to be yourself, and respecting yourself and others.
One of each title was presented on Monday, May 7, to two local animal shelters: the Indiana County Humane Society and Four Footed Friends. The books were given as a gift by Florence Lattimer Helwig of Indiana, originally from Punxsutawney. Mrs. Helwig was a co founder of Four Footed Friends and has always been a strong supporter of both organizations.
An endowment created by Mrs. Helwig in her late husband’s name, Wilfred E. Helwig, regularly funds a distinguished artist performance held on the Indiana University of Pennsylvania campus. The endowment fund was responsible for the appearance of Peters, an award-winning Broadway living legend who made her debut on the Great White Way in 1967, going on to win numerous awards, including two Tony Awards.
All proceeds from the sale of Peters’ books go to he charity Broadway Barks, which Peters co founded along with Mary Tyler Moore. The organization promotes the need to adopt shelter animals across the New York City area. Peters works to spreads the importance of responsible pet ownership, the importance of spaying and neutering pets, and the need for proper pet identification through her books, television appearances, and extensive touring.
Pictured in the back row are Four Footed Friends board President Stephen Osborne (left), and Manager Michael Gillespie. Front, from left, are Indiana County Humane Society board member Mary Ann Baran and Manager Lisa Wier with Mrs. Helwig.