Monday, December 17, 2007

Top Stars Telecast 12 Hours of Holiday Music and Memories for the Visually Impaired to Over 80 Million Homes on Multiple Cable Networks

LOS ANGELES — For 12 days leading up to Christmas, many top stars along with top athletes and various states’ governors, will record audio greeting cards for the blind and visually impaired. The 13th Annual "Eyes of Christmas" presentations are being telecast via multiple cable and satellite networks to over 80 million homes. Stars include Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Garth Brooks, Reba McIntyre, Sandra Bullock, Charlton Heston, Tom Hanks, Drew Barrymore, Nicole Kidman, Pierce Brosnan, Jay Leno, Bob Costas and Natalie Cole. Music performances will be featured by Sting, U2, Christina Aguilera, Brian McKnight, Jon Bon Jovi, Kenny G, Natalie Cole, Stevie Wonder, The Blind Boys of Alabama and Jose Feliciano.

Former President Bush begins the broadcasts with a description of the classic, "It's A Wonderful Life" on NBC, with repeat airings the week of Dec. 17. His narration is delivered through TheatreVision, which adds a description of the action and scene to the actors' dialogue, enabling the blind to enjoy the film along with the sighted.

Special broadcasts will air throughout the holidays on the Dish, PAX and ION Networks, as well as on independent stations in top US markets (check local listings for dates and times). This year's "Eyes of Christmas" telecast will culminate with a special Christmas Eve airing of the Charles Dickens' "Scrooge," between midnight and 8 a.m., Christmas morning.

"The Eyes of Christmas" benefits RP International, the nation's leading non-profit fighting RP (retinitis pigmentosa) and other degenerative eye diseases. Founder Helen Harris also encourages sighted viewers to tune into "The Eyes of Christmas" broadcast to take the "traveling eye test," which enables early diagnosis and treatment of disorders. This year's telecast celebrates amazing, breakthroughs in genetic and cell-transplant therapies, which hold great promise of restoring vision to victims of degenerative eye diseases.

Information on the live podcast, purchase of the Eyes of Christmas CD, donations and RP International's efforts are available at RP International's websites http://www.eyesofchristmas.org and http://www.rpinternational.org.

This 13th annual program benefits both vision impaired and sighted people during the holidays. More than 50 well-known stars are taking part and lending their names not only to The Eyes of Christmas, but also RP International, which is leading the fight against RP (retinitis pigmentosa) and other degenerative eye diseases. Everyone should tune in and take the traveling eye test as well.

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