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Photo from AZCentral.com / Photo: Hugh Siegel/NBC/Children's Health Fund
Photo from AZCentral.com / Photo: Hugh Siegel/NBC/Children's Health Fund

Julia Roberts visits Children's First Academy in Phoenix for Red Nose Day

Posted On: 2016-05-27 09:01 AM
From Arizona Replublic / AZCentral.com...


Everybody knows Julia Roberts, right? Well, guess again. The megastar paid a stealthy visit to Children First Academy in Phoenix two weeks ago, and the kids at the school were decidedly nonplussed.

"The oldest child in the room was probably 12," says Lacey Khor, a nurse at the academy. "At one point, one of the kids said, 'Are you famous or something?' And she said, 'I think I'm going to let Lacey answer that question.'"

Roberts' appearance was filmed and will be shown during "The Red Nose Day Special," airing at 8 p.m. Thursday, May 26, on Channel 12 (KPNX). Red Nose Day, a fundraising event with a comic element, was created in England and launched in the States last year. It helps children in poverty.

At Children First Academy school, all students are at the poverty line, and majority of the children are homeless. The school serves approximately 300 students between kindergarten and eighth grade. The Red Nose Day organization sent out scouts in March and April. . The school then received word that more shooting would be done and that a "celebrity" would visit.

"I had no idea what to expect," Khor says, and she didn't find out who the celebrity was until she entered the room where Roberts was hiding out.

So, is Khor a fan?

"I love, love, love her," she says. "I've got like 12 of her DVDs at my house. The whole thing was super-shocking."

There was no diva behavior on the part of the "super-uber-famous" actress (Khor's words), who spent four hours interacting with children at the school before leaving to tour UMOM New Day Center in Phoenix.

"She's so beautiful, down-to-earth and relaxed," Khor says. "She's just so genuine and super-gorgeous."

Khor says she managed to keep her cool, even though it was tough. For instance, talking about Roberts, she can't choose: Is her favorite movie "Erin Brockovich" or "Pretty Woman?"

"Wait, it's 'Steel Magnolias!'" Khor says. "I've watched it so many times, and I watched it the most recently before she came. Of course, I didn't say anything weird like that to her."

Roberts was accompanied by director and screenwriter Richard Curtis, whose credits include "Love Actually," "Four Weddings and a Funeral" and - wait for it - "Notting Hill." He founded Red Nose Day, which launched in England in 1988.

The Children's Health Fund, which is a partner with Children's First Academy, is one of the recipients of this year's Red Nose Day. Half the money raised by Red Nose Day helps children in the United States.

Apart from all the excitement - Khor's photo was on Buzzfeed and she was featured on Thursday's edition of NBC's "Today" - the nurse knows some good will come out of the hoopla.

"The visibility will be great," she says. "People say all the time, 'I didn't know there were that many homeless kids in Phoenix.' People need to know these kids are out there and that there are ways to help. We want these kids to have good lives."

'The Red Nose Day Special'

8 p.m. Thursday, May 26, on Channel 12 (KPNX).





Photos: Photo from AZCentral.com / Photo: Hugh Siegel/NBC/Children's Health Fund