Art Linkletter speaks at Santa Rosa Civic Dinner
CAPTAIN IAN ROBINSON and Art Linkletter.Art Linkletter was the guest speaker at The Salvation Army’s Annual Civic Dinner in Santa Rosa, California.
The audience of over 450 was enthralled as the 90-year-old entertainer and businessman reminisced about his days as a hobo when he hopped trains all across America, and could always count on The Salvation Army for a meal and a bed wherever he stopped.
His stories of the children he talked with during his days on Kids Say the Darndest Things had the audience laughing uproariously.
But when he talked about the drug-induced suicide of his adult daughter, his message became serious. He spoke of this as a turning point in his life, and ever since he has campaigned vigorously and passionately against drug use.
His testimony had a particular significance for one person in the audience, Major Molly Shotzberger. Major Molly is the assistant trade secretary for the Army’s Eastern Territory and happened to be in town because of her involvement in a book, Women at Ground Zero, written by two local authors in which her story is featured.
When she learned that Art Linkletter would be speaking at the Army’s event, she was delighted to accept the invitation to attend. Major Molly and her husband experienced the tragic suicide of their adult son earlier this year, and when they saw Art Linkletter on the Larry King Live television show, his comforting words ministered directly to them. It was a very special moment when these two got together.
The dinner, “For the Kids,” raised almost $60,000 for the Santa Rosa Corps’ youth programs, including their successful Tutoring and Mentoring program, held in a local elementary school, a Bible Club in the same school attended by over 70 children every week, and other youth and teen outreach programs.