In the motion picture industry, the last weekend in September features box office doldrums. Halloween season is starting to rev up, while some of the summer blockbuster movies enjoy their final big screen moments on the smaller screen. This is why for the past six years I have departed Deerfield to attend “Adventures in Charity” in Orlando.
The Adventurers Club in Disney World opened when Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was playing on the big screen, circa 1989, and closed when Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was released in 2008. A controversial business decision, Disney made plans to convert Downtown Disney into Disney Springs. The plan was successful, though many Adventurers Club members were displaced. [The Adventurer’s Club was a themed nightclub in Pleasure Island with theatrical entertainers in this part of Disney World]. Nature abhors a vacuum and for four years, there were reenactments. However, it wasn’t until 2013 with the creation of Adventures in Charity, that I started making the pilgrimage to the Holiday Inn Resort by Lake Buena Vista to attend. The show was so good that my 94-year-old mom has joined for the last five years.
Under Chairman Robert Croskery’s financial leadership and the dedicated attention of the Adventures in Charity Board, the Adventurers Club lived on, but with the mission of helping charities. This year, they raised $25,000, more than double the amount of the previous five individual charity event totals. Proceeds benefited the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the Texas Civil Rights Foundation, the Actors Fund, the Sjogren’s Syndrome Foundation and the Dravet Foundation.
Each year, this author donated “A Cinema Dave Adventure Pack” which featured my four published books and various unique artifacts from “The Cave of Cinema Dave” [Dave’s house], including a mini crystal head vodka bottle autographed by Dan Aykroyd.
With budget limitations, cast member Graham Murphy scripted an adaptation of club bits and featured songs. This was a true Ma & Pa operation as Graham’s wife Emily filled in as secretary/event decor and swag coordinator. The spirit of adventuring lived on.
Adventurers in Charity ran its full course last Saturday night, almost to the day of the 10 year anniversary of the original club’s closing. It was still a bittersweet moment, as many of us accepted that our club has now folded; tears were shed.
Still, being a true adventurer, there had to be one last act of defiance. Last Sunday at 1 p.m., a flash mob of 21 adventurers visited “The Edison,” the steampunk replacement artifice of our beloved club. On cue, we all sang a rousing version of the Adventurers Club all-purpose theme song. Our building and our annual charity weekend are history, but the spirit of the Adventurers Club lives on…
The Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival will be born again this Nov. 2. There will be an emphasis upon Florida locals. While Connie Francis has already been announced, Cindy Morgan (Caddyshack) and Woody Woodbury have been added to the list of attendees. Woodbury owned a nightclub in Ft. Lauderdale 45 years ago and made movies with Fred MacMurray, Ernest Borgnine, Jerry Lewis and baseball legends Mickey Mantle & Roger Maris. Expect the spirit of adventure this FLIFF season. For more info., visit www.FLIFF.com.