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4 March 14th, 2010 OLTL’s Hillary B. Smith chats on Willee-Coppee Fund and Venice!

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Each Sunday for the next four weeks, On-Air On-Soaps will be rolling out parts of our chat with Daytime Emmy winning actress, Hillary B. Smith (Nora) of One Life to Live for the ebay auction to help raise money for Hillary, and her best friend, Lindsay Harrison’s joint endeavor The Willee-Coppee Fund! Check each weekend for a new auction item that will be up for bids that is something very special and personal to Hillary, and fans of OLTL, and especially, Nora Hannen Gannon Buchanan (fill in the rest)…love that name!  Right now, you can bid on a great tape of episodes from the 93-94 soap season featuring: Todd terrorizing Nora (in the form of Roger Howarth) through Nora defending Dorian on a murder charge.

Here are this week’s excerpts from my conversation with Hillary on the background of the Willee-Coppee fund and “Dude”, Guya’s special needs dog coming in season two of Venice.

Hillary on how the Willee -Coppee fund was created: “It came about two-fold. Lindsay had her dog Willie, and I had my dog Coppee, who was 16 when she passed away.  During her life there were times where Coppee had her various things like Lyme disease, and needed medication that could cost around $400.00. I had the money to do that, but it was the realization that some people don’t.  Lindsay works with the Sherman Oaks Veterinary Group and they are really wonderful. The idea for the fund was that hopefully it would catch on and people would do this in their neighborhoods as well.   Lindsay and I wanted to find away to honor our puppies, because Willee and Coppee died at around the same time, and we said, “You know what? We need to do a little something in their honor!”  So it’s used as a discretionary fund by the Veterinarians in the clinic, and it has been used for lots of wonderful purposes.  It all started around three years ago, and it took on its own little life. ”

Hillary on how a pet owner can get help from the Willie-Coppee Fund: “Usually there are people who go to the Sherman Oaks Veterinary Group and when they bring there animal there, it’s based upon the need of the pet owner and if they can’t pay for the care.  It’s up to Sherman Oaks to say, ”I think this is something for the Willee-Coppee Fund to kick in on.”

Hillary on her beloved Coppee: “She had gone through so much.  Coppee was allergic to everything like grass, and hay, and she had to be on steroids and prednisone. They kept saying this was going to shorten her life. I think what happened was that the dog  just did not want to leave us. She always wanted to make us happy and she knew if she died, it would make us sad.  So ultimately we had to carry her into the vet and put her down.”

Hillary on “Dude”- Guya’s special needs dog in Season Two of Venice: “In season two, I think you will see Guya in her store, which is interesting because shooting schedules being as they were in season one, there was no store.  Instead, we were in New York in Tina Sloan’s fabulous apartment.  When I entered her place, I said to myself, “Oh, I have read about places like this!” It’s spectacular.  How “Dude” comes into Venice…I think is…that the dog spoke to Guya and she is desperately in need of being needed.  You saw her with her babies.  There is nothing she loves more than her babies, and that is Gina and Owen. You will start to understand why Gina and Owen are so important.  In real life, “Dude” was a product of an owner who decided not to give the dog spinal surgery which would have saved the dogs ability to walk.  You understand now? And then the dog ended up being paralyzed and then they could not take care of the dog so they gave the dog away.  But Lindsay ended up with him through many twists and turns, and he is just wonderful!”

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  1. Chrissie says:

    Aww. I just love HBS. She’s so sweet and funny. Sad to hear about Coopie, but I’m glad Hillary decided to do something positive to remember and honor her. Excited to see what’s in store for Guya in season 2 of Venice. :)


  2. Kera says:

    Such great insight into a wonderful project!! Dude is one lucky dog!! Of course, Hillary is fabulous, too!!


  3. toptim says:

    Michael this is a really great article bringing awareness to animals and ways to help, and Thank you Hillary for doing such a wonderful thing in honor of your beloved dog


  4. Bina says:

    Hillary is such a wonderful person, she is one of the most generous, loving & caring person I have grown to love. She is so loving towards her fans. She and Lindsay Harrison are doing a wonderful thing in helping pet owners pay their Veterinarian bills through The Willie-Coppee Fund.


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