Small, big screen stars to grace charity events

The smart accessory for charity events this mid-winter season? Celebrity guests.

Ben Guillory ("The Color Purple") and Jasmine Guy ("A Different World") are scheduled to appear at the Center for Family Resources' Oscar Night America viewing party, held Feb. 26 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. Co-chaired by Ron and Claire Francis and John and Robin Moore, the event will feature a sponsors' dinner, telecast viewing party, live and silent auctions, a DJ and dance floor. Viewing party tickets are $30. Sponsorship packages start at $1,000. For details see www.AtlantaRedCarpet.com or call 770-428-2601.

Justin Guarini, an "American Idol" alum who has performed on Broadway in shows including "American Idiot" and "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown," will appear at the Alliance Theatre's "Tony Evening" gala, planned for April 14 at the Loews Hotel. Guarini also will appear in "Ghost Brothers of Darkland County," the Stephen King-John Mellencamp collaboration set to debut at the Alliance this April. Jesse Tyler Ferguson ("Modern Family") appeared at a Jan. 27 patron party at the home of Andrea and Boland Jones, and joked that a theater role playing Hamlet is the only gig that could lure him from the hit television show. The Tony Evening gala, chaired by Lila Hertz and Amy Agami, honors Ingrid Saunders Jones, senior vice president of Global Community Connections for The Coca-Cola Company and chair of The Coca-Cola Foundation. Tickets are $300 each or $500 per couple. See alliancetheatre.org or call 404-733-4615 for information and reservations.

And Sean Moreno, a 2010 graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design who plays Larry "Hot Sauce" Warfield in BET's filmed-in-Atlanta show "The Game," is heading back to his alma mater for an address by conceptual artist Fred Wilson, titled ""Life's Link and Other Projects." The talk, planned for 7 p.m. Feb. 22 in SCAD Atlanta's fourth floor events space in Building C, is free and open to the public. Wilson's talk is party of SCAD's "Define Art" series happening Feb. 21-24. Coming up at SCAD: The April 5 AtlantAmation, showcasing independently animated films and group projects from SCAD's undergraduate and graduate animation programs in Atlanta, and the May 23 SCAD Seen Gala, featuring a silent auction and fashion showcase. See www.scad.edu/atlanta or call 404-253-2700 for complete details.

By the way Moreno, a Houston, Texas, native who learned about SCAD when representatives made a presentation at his high school, originally planned to study game design but caught the acting bug.

"The cool thing about SCAD was nothing’s easy," he told us during an interview. "Nothing’s given to you. If you don’t go out and bust your [hind quarters] and go out there and be the best you can be, you don’t get cast, you don’t get the opportunities. I saw this place where you can do as much as you want and get as much as you want out of the school. My professors all gave me a swift kick. I came out of that school a completely different person."

Now that filming has wrapped for the latest season of "The Game," Moreno is working at an office job while seeking out other acting opportunities. His zeal for his future is infectious.

"It’s a fun show to work on; it’s even more to watch," he said of "The Game," a football-themed show that often films in Atlantic Station. "I’m pretty stoked about life. I can’t complain. I’m doing really well in my career."