Sponsored by the Jean Veloz Legacy Project
Rusty Frank, Hilary Alexander, Stacey Phelps (Jean's niece),
Tom Koerner, and Debra Sternberg
FUNDRAISER UPDATE 2/7/23
414 Donors from 19 countries have raised $24,780 USD in 18 days!
Join the world-wide Lindy Hop Community
in purchasing a permanent niche for Jean at
The Hollywood Forever Cemetery
NEXT to JUDY GARLAND!
WE NEED $30,000 TO MAKE IT HAPPEN
and we want to do this FAST!
We know Jean Veloz’ iconic legacy among the great stars in the history of dance and also her place in our hearts.
Now it’s our turn to leave her a final resting place that would mean all the world to her.
Jean made her wishes clear to her niece, Stacey Phelps, “I would love to be at Hollywood Forever Cemetery where people can visit me and bring me bouquets of flowers.”
SEND YOUR DONATION NOW!
SPECIAL NOTE: However you donate, make sure we have your name as you would like it on our donor list. If outside the USA, let us know what country you are from so we can keep a tally to show how world-wide this effort is.
FACEBOOK: Go directly to our Facebook fundraiser here.
CHECK: You can send a check payable to American Swing Music and Dance Association, a 501(C)(3) organization at 3516 34th St. NW, Washington, DC 20008. Write “Jean Veloz” on the memorandum line.
VENMO: to Rusty-Frank-1 (and make sure that I have your name as you wanted it on the donor list.)
ZELLE: Send to firstname.lastname@example.org, and make sure to email Rusty with your first and last name and amount. Thanks!
PAYPAL: Sign into your Paypal account and send your donation to email@example.com -- IMPORTANT, in the note field where it asks what it is for, write "donation Jean Veloz Fund" and your name.
PLEASE NOTE: We are NOT asking for gift cards of any kind. If you get a request on Instagram or Facebook, it is fake.
LET’S DO IT FAST SO WE CAN CELEBRATE ON MARCH 4TH 2023 AT HER NICHE
(Jean would have turned 99 on March 1, 2023.)
Jean, at the Herrang Dance Camp in 2012, leading hundreds of swing dancers from around the world to the Frankie Manning Way dedication. Isn't it a perfect image for our "Jean's Hollywood Happy Ending" world community campaign?!
One of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world, and right in the heart of the Hollywood filmdom, Hollywood Forever is known as one of the most significant final resting place of celebrities from the Golden Era of movies.
Founded in 1899, the cemetery was an integral part of the growth of early Hollywood. Paramount Studios was built on the undeveloped south end of the original site, where the studio still operates. The cemetery of choice for most of Hollywood’s founders and luminaries, Hollywood Forever was listed on the National Register of Historic Sites in 1999.
Today, visitors come to Hollywood Forever from all over the world to pay respects to many of the arts’ most cherished figures, like Judy Garland, Cecil B. DeMille, Rudolph Valentino, Hattie McDaniel, Eleanor Powell, Mickey Rooney, Tyrone Power, Douglas Fairbanks, Mel Blanc, Estelle Getty, Johnny and Dee Dee Ramone, and hundreds of others, including (I can't resist) and Toto, too.
A NOTE FROM RUSTY
I have been so deeply moved by the outpouring of sympathy from around the world for the loss of our beloved Lindy Hop legend, icon, and dearest friend Jean Veloz. I received hundreds and hundreds of personal messages from people whose lives were touched and changed forever by Jean.
The day after Jean passed, Stacey called the cemetery and found out how much it was going to cost, and still in a state of shock from Jean’s death, Stacey just didn’t know what to do. Just a few hours later, while I was gathering information to pass on to all of you about what would be happening, she told me this, and I immediately said, “I got this, Stacey! Don’t you worry at all. Swing dancers around the world will chip in and we’ll make it happen!” Her relief was palpable, and my joy was overflowing… here was something we could all do together for Jean!
I picked up the phone and called over to the cemetery and started getting prices. And though it’s a chunk of change, I thought it was totally doable. I checked in with Hilary Alexander (my Jean cohort), and she agreed.
The place is fabulous! Full of old-time Hollywood celebrities. It’s actually one of my favorite places. You honestly couldn’t believe how beautiful it is. I have been going there for over 30 years to wander the grounds, have picnics with friends, and visit the likes of Rudolph Valentino, Eleanor Powell, Tyrone Power, Douglas Fairbanks (Sr. & Jr.), Mel Blanc, Bugsy Siegel (for whom Jean worked in the 1940s in Vegas!), Cecil B. DeMille, and Judy Garland.
Oh! Did I mention Judy Garland? Why yes I did. And when I asked if there happened to be any niche spaces near Judy, my contact said, “Yes there is!”
So, you guessed it. The next thing you know, Hilary Alexander, Stacey Phelps, and I are over at Hollywood Forever checking it out… and it is FANTASTIC.
On top of everything else we just know Jean would LOVE to be near Judy. I personally can hear her squealing with joy right now. Jean was such a Hollywood fan. As a little girl she always dreamed of coming to Hollywood and getting into the movies. Then she did it! She got in the movies. And through it all, she remained one of Hollywood’s biggest fans.
RUSTY'S CONNECTION WITH HOLLYWOOD FOREVER
I am friends with the owner of the cemetery, Tyler Cassity. He is such a sincere and loving man. The minute I told him of our dream, he wrote to me: “We will help you find a way to bring Jean to Hollywood Forever.” And he has been true to his word. You all should know, too, that his values and beliefs are like ours - to truly honor these people who have given us so much joy. He understood right away that Jean “belonged there.” He told us he is even going to add her to the Hollywood Forever book. He really gets it!
The niche we plan on getting will be in the Judy Garland Pavilion, right near Judy. The niche, which is like a glassed in memory box, will be big enough to put in a pair of Jean’s cute little dance shoes, photographs, her California Swing Dance Hall of Fame pendant, and, of course, her ashes in a beautiful urn.
Next time you are in Los Angeles you can come over and “visit” Jean and bring her that bouquet of flowers she dreamed about. (Are you crying yet? I sure am.)
SPEAKING OF DREAMS
If we can raise this money quickly enough… and why can’t we?!… we can have our Celebration of Life at her Jean Niche the Saturday after what would have been her 99th birthday. So…
SAVE THE DATE
Saturday, March 4, 2023
Location: Hollywood Forever, The Judy Garland Pavilion.
Time and Event to be confirmed.
But be sure to get that bouquet of flowers ready!
If we can pull this off, we’ll make sure you know all the details.
This amount will cover the niche, the urn, the ceremony, and all those little “extras” that come with this sort of thing.
WHERE DO THE FUNDS GO?
Donations for the fundraiser are through the American Swing Music and Dance Association, a 501(c)(3) tax deductible organization which will fund this memorial as part of its ongoing mission to preserve and promote the history of swing dancing.
Facebook gives us ALL the money we raise. That’s right, they don’t keep any fees at all.
ARE YOU EXCITED?
Hilary, Stacey, and I can hardly contain our joy. After all Jean has given us, we can’t believe we have this opportunity to give this to her. A lasting place where people can always celebrate her life. Just what she wanted.
- Just make your donation, large or small.
- Do a fundraiser in your local dance community
- Share all of this on social media and your e-lists
THE JEAN VELOZ LEGACY PROJECT TEAM
Though I am hosting this on Facebook and on my website, please know that this is a group effort, mainly spearheaded by the following:
Rusty Frank & Hilary Alexander
Jean's niece, Stacey Phelps, representing the family
Debra Sternberg & Tom Koerner
And the American Swing Dance and Music Association