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Celebrities send Connecticut first responders shout outs amid coronavirus pandemic


Conn. (WTNH) — Celebrities from stage and screen have been sending messages of encouragement and thanks to first responders and health workers right here in Connecticut.

Actor Billy Baldwin – who played a firefighter in the movie “Backdraft” – sent a message to the New Britain Fire Department, saying, “Hey shout out to all you firefighters in Connecticut, especially the boys and women in New Britain…A big big shoutout to Chief Raul Ortiz….Be happy, be healthy, be safe. All the best and thanks.”

Ortiz told New 8, “It was exciting to have one of those lead actors in such an iconic film give a shout out to our department. It made my night.”

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Actor Steve Guttenberg from the “Three Men and a Baby” and “Police Academy” movies saluted officers here in Connecticut, saying, “I want to send my best to the New Britain and Rocky Hill Police departments…My best to you guys. You’re on the job, we really appreciate you. This is a tough time for everybody and know that you guys are helping a lot of people all the time so thank you so much.”

CT hospital workers getting a shout out, too, from “Will and Grace” actress, Debra Messing.

“Hi everyone! Oh my gosh, I’m so excited. I get to thank you all for being heroes. You are on the front line of this horrible crisis and you are so brave,” Messing gushed.

Actress Cheryl Ladd, who starred in Charlie’s Angels on ABC, sent a message to the volunteers with Mask Force Connecticut who have been making face masks for hospital workers, first-responders, and nursing home workers all over the state. So far, they have made more than 1,000.

“You guys are doing awesome making all these masks for doctors and nurses and healthcare workers. I wanted to give each and every one of you, not just a thank you, but lots of love,” Ladd said.

Margaret Malinowski of Mask Force CT gushed, “Oh that was so exciting. I watched Charlie’s Angels when I was a kid. It made my heart sing. And it validated what we’re doing.”

How did Hollywood end up giving so much love to our heroes here? It was the brainchild of New Britain Attorney Adrian Baron, who grew up in Rocky Hill. He says a video service and his time working for the Kennedy Family helped him get these star-studded shout outs.

“We wanted to do something uplifting, show our appreciation for our first-responders,” explained Baron.

There’s a trick to it. I used some of my personal contacts and also we used a video service called Cameo where you can reach out to celebrities and ask them to do this. The celebrities volunteer on this video service. A lot of them donate the money to Foodshare and all these different organizations.

– Attorney Adrian Baron

Baron says, because CT teachers have also been so instrumental, he got 80s pop star Debbie Gibson to sing their praises, too.

“Sending so much love to all the schools in Rocky Hill and New Britain, Connecticut,” said Gibson in a video message.



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