Catching Fire Premiere

Rabid Jennifer Lawrence and “The Hunger Games” fans packed into a sold-out pre-screening of “Hunger Games: Catching Fire: at Cinemark Tinseltown last night.

The Jennifer Lawrence Foundation hosted the event, with proceeds going to St. Mary’s Center, serving adults and teens with intellectual disabilities.

The premiere sold out quickly, proving that people are crazy for this film and just as eager to help a good cause.

“We were really happy with the support that we got from the community, just all the people who donated,” said Karen Lawrence, Jennifer Lawrence’s mother. “Hopefully we can continue to do this for movies that Jen’s in to raise money for local, national organizations that are close to her heart.”

Jennifer Lawrence could not attend—she sent a pre-taped message played in front of the film.

Tonight’s event raised more than $40,000 for St. Mary’s and Jennifer Lawrence picked up the tab for the theater and swag bags, so 100 percent of the profit will go to the center.

Catching Fire Premiere 3

Jennifer Lawrence met Andy Strunk in middle school and the two have remained friends ever since. Andy has Downs Syndrome and that friendship helped ignite Lawrence’s passion to help those with intellectual disabilities. Andy will attend St. Mary’s Center.

Meredith Lawrence, sister-in-law of the star, said“We want to raise awareness about this center, whether people donate their money or their time. The Jennifer Lawrence Foundation is really set up to support a lot of local charities national organizations. St. Mary’s Center is just the first recipient.”

And they hope this is just the beginning for the Louisville benefit screenings. The Foundation hopes to do one for the upcoming “American Hustle,” just a few weeks from now.

Catching Fire Premiere 4As for “Catching Fire,” it picks up where “The Hunger Games” left off, and hits the ground running. And here’s my review: huge applause at the end, very enthusiastic, animated talks in the lobby after, and I sat next to one of the world’s most unabashed Jennifer Lawrence fans and the smile never left her face from the time the lights dimmed until the final credits.

“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”opens this Friday.

For more information on the Jennifer Lawrence Foundation, a fund of the Community Foundation of Louisville, visit: jlcharites.org.

For more information on St. Mary’s Center, visit: saintmaryscenter.org.

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Kyle Ware
Kyle Ware is a Louisville-based actor, artist, educator and writer. His column, In Other News, appears at Insider Louisville every Friday.

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