Newman donates $5,000 to drama club


YPSILANTI, Mich. -- Ypsilanti High School drama teacher Michelle Peet checked her mailbox Monday and discovered the color of money.

Paul Newman, once a budding actor himself, had donated $5,000 to the school's drama club as part of its ongoing fundraising effort.

Inside an envelope delivered from Westport, Conn., was a check that will help defray costs associated with the drama club's upcoming trip to the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. Club members are scheduled to perform a 90-minute show there.

A brief note accompanied Newman's check: "The enclosed contribution is sent with every good wish for continued success in your worthy endeavors."

"I'm so excited," Peet told The Ann Arbor News for a Tuesday story.

Since January, the club has been soliciting donations via a mass letter-writing campaign that included Newman and other celebrities.

To date, the club has raised $75,000. Peet said the money will cover travel, housing at the University of Edinburgh and two daily meals. She said Newman's donation will cut in half the club's need to raise $10,000 for the show's production costs and another daily meal.

Newman's many acting honors include an Academy Award in 1986 for "The Color of Money," a Screen Actors Guild Award in 2005 for the movie "Empire Falls," and a Golden Globe in 2006.