Kate Winslet recently ignored her doctor’s orders to “rest up” after surgery in order to meet former President Bill Clinton. While this may sound like a case of a swooning starlet, the meeting was actually for the benefit of children with autism. Winslet had been working on a book for the Golden Hat Foundation, a charity she set up to help a friend’s autistic son, and wanted Clinton’s participation.
The organization is named after a poem written by the child, Keli, who suffers from non-verbal autism, and works to raise money to build innovative and specialized campuses which will offer opportunities for education, job training, social supports, recreation, and assisted living for those with autism. In the poem Keli describes a magical golden hat that allows a young autistic boy to communicate. Winslet met Keli and his mother, Margret Dagmar Ericsdottir, while narrating the documentary “A Mother’s Courage: Talking Back to Autism” in 2009.
The premise of the book, also titled “The Golden Hat”, was to capture various celebrities in photos wearing an eccentric headpiece, in honor of the charity’s name. Despite having already gotten people like Ben Stiller and Jude Law to participate, there was one star she still wanted to nab, the former Pres and founder of The Clinton Foundation himself.
When a friend invited the actress to a dinner party where Clinton would be a guest, she saw her chance. Still in stitches and in quite a bit of pain, Winslet went to the soiree and scouted out her target. Unfortunately, Clinton was surrounded by a swarm of security and handlers, and she was unable to get the picture.
But don’t feel too bad for the Mildred Pierce star. The book, set for release in April, will include a plethora of other celebs including Christina Aguilera, Demi Moore, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Elijah Wood, Meryl Streep, Naomi Watts, and many others. You can pre-order “The Golden Hat” now at www.goldenhatfoundation.org.