The holidays will be different this year, but different doesn’t have to mean dull. Ed Asner joins a star-studded team of actors – including Mia Farrow, Carol Kane, Ed Begley Jr., Diedrich Bader, Bill Pullman, Ellie Kemper, Richard Kind, B.D. Wong, and Michael Shannon – for a one-night-only live virtual celebrity table read of the 1946 holiday classic “It’s A Wonderful Life” on Sunday, December 13, 2020, and is available worldwide at 5:00 pm (PT), 7:00PM (CT) and 8:00 PM (ET).

It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to snuggle up on your couch, grab your favorite snacks and experience this all-star cast virtual table read from the comfort of your own home, while helping to raise money for The Ed Asner Family Center, an amazing cause dedicated to promoting mental health and enrichment programs to special needs children and their families.

The re-imagined virtual annual gala will also honor Jeffrey Frost, President of Sony Pictures Television, a champion of an inclusive Hollywood and ardent supporter of individuals with special needs. “We are so pleased to be honoring Jeffrey Frost. He has been a huge supporter of the center and, as a studio head and through his legacy of productions, he has shown that inclusion definitely matters to the autism and special needs community,” said Ed Asner.

“We are excited to join these talented stars in their homes as they re-enact this memorable holiday classic. We find ourselves 9 months into a pandemic. While this is certainly a fundraiser, we also wanted to bring joy into people’s homes during this very difficult time. Fans can share the nostalgia of the holidays curled up on their sofa with their families, and don’t have to wear a tux or a gown,” said Matthew Asner, Co-Founder of The Ed Asner Family Center. "The center is about community, so it seems only fitting to come together and read “It’s a Wonderful Life” – a film about community and support. Now more than ever, we need to be reminded that we can get through anything with friends. It will be a very meaningful night!"

“Autism and special needs touches all of us personally,” adds Navah Paskowitz-Asner, Co-Founder. “We look forward to raising awareness and funds for The Ed Asner Family Center that will bring life changing support to special needs children and their families. By gifting tickets to the table read, people are giving their friends and family that unique, once in a lifetime gift that everyone is searching for…an experience they can share together that will be unforgettable while helping scores of families living with special needs.”

Hosted by Tom Bergeron, the cast includes a cavalcade of stars including Ed Asner, Bill Pullman, Ellie Kemper Richard Kind, B.D. Wong, Michael Shannon, Mia Farrow, Carol Kane, Ed Begley Jr and Diedrich Bader to recreate the classic tale, directed by Victor Nelli. Additional talent will be announced in the near future.

The “It’s a Wonderful Life” Gala tickets to the table read and/or special commemorative gift boxes with surprises are perfect holiday presents for friends and family, given in the holiday spirit. Guests will also enjoy a unique silent auction providing additional holiday gift opportunities including commemorative film items, gift baskets, trips and presents for loved ones.

The Ed Asner Family Center was created and founded by Matthew Asner and Navah Paskowitz-Asner. Longtime advocates for those with special needs and on the autistic spectrum, the Asners personally understand the challenges that differently “abled” families face, and have transformed the healing power of a creative, loving environment into the new The Ed Asner Family Center. All proceeds will benefit the center’s programs including virtual and in-person camps, arts, and vocational enrichments for special needs individuals and their families, as well as in-person and telehealth counseling and support groups.

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