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Friends help friends in celeb charity world

Rob Thomas will join Elton John and Jason Mraz at Andre Agassi’s charity concert Saturday, partly because Thomas is friends with Agassi and Steffi Graf.

Last week, I asked Thomas the most pressing question of our times: What does it mean for one celebrity to be friends with another celebrity?

“There are people (stars) you’re friendly with. But once you’ve actually sat down on more than one occasion and broken bread with a couple, you’re actually friends,” Thomas says. “When he (Agassi) is in New York, we have dinner,” he adds. “We text each other all the time.”

Thomas and wife Marisol Maldonado also started a charity, the Sidewalk Angels Foundation, which raises money for small organizations. Agassi and Graf have auctioned themselves off as tennis instructors to raise money for Sidewalk Angels.

Thomas says it took awhile to feel comfortable pressing friends to do charity work.

“You have to realize it’s OK to be pushy, because it’s not like you’re asking for yourself. Once you get the hang of that, you don’t really feel bad calling somebody and saying, ‘Hey, give me your money!’ ”


This year’s auction items at the Agassi event include: a tour for two by Katie Couric at CBS News, plus drinks with Couric (wow?), plus four seats to “Late Show with David Letterman”; personal dinners by chefs Susur Lee and Emeril Lagasse; a sports package of four seats to the Super Bowl, World Series and NBA and NCAA finals; lunch and a swim with Michael Phelps; drum lessons from Lars Ulrich; dinner for six with Robin Williams; a week vacation with Graf and Agassi in the Cayman Islands; fantasy camp with Wayne Gretzky and Luc Robitaille; and a week vacation in India plus lunch with Freida Pinto of “Slumdog Millionaire.”

Attending at the Wynn on Saturday night should be no problem. Remaining 10-top tables require just $17,500 to $85,000 sponsorships. See you there. (Or give at AgassiFoundation.org.)


In August 2009, Rumer Willis took Bruce Willis, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher to club Tao for her 21st birthday. Saturday night, she returned (without supervision of rumor-plagued Demi and Ashton) to eat and party. Also at Tao on Saturday was “Glee’s” Mark Salling, as well as Stacy Keibler (in a group of 15) and Bam Margera. … Salling did up Tao Beach on Saturday and Sunday. … At Saturday’s Vegas magazine party at Gold Lounge: cover model Jerry O’Connell and wife Rebecca Romijn, Chazz Palminteri, Robin Quivers and the Vegas attorneys O’Connell’s TV show is based on, Michael V. Cristalli and Marc Saggese. … Late Sunday, Stevie Wonder took an eight-top of friends to Tao for dinner, champagne and apple martinis. He sang to the overhead music. On Saturday night, Wonder and friends ate at Yellowtail, then drank champagne and danced at club Bank. … Ashley Tisdale took sister Jennifer and “Hellcats” cast mates to MGM’s Studio 54 on Friday night, then to Wet Republic on Saturday (where Avril Lavigne was the paid host), ate dinner Saturday at Craftsteak, partied Saturday night at Tabu lounge with Avril, then went back to wearing bikinis Sunday at Wet Republic. … Pete Wentz, Blair Underwood, Holly Madison and Margera did club Jet on Friday for a Rolling Stone “hot list” party. … And O’Connell and Romijn ate at Union on Saturday.


“I read his article and just about punched him through my Mac. Thanks for standing up and fighting.” — A reader who liked my Monday column response to The New York Times’ hit piece on Vegas. Thanks for the outpouring of e-mails, everyone.

Doug Elfman’s column appears Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. E-mail him at delfman@ reviewjournal.com. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman.

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