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JewishJournal.com

March 7, 2002

A Hit-and-Miss Charity Event

http://www.jewishjournal.com/community/article/a_hitandmiss_charity_event_20020308

Joan Rivers with her former producer Barry Poznick.

Joan Rivers with her former producer Barry Poznick.

TV producer Barry Poznick has learned to juggle many balls in his life, but this week, he's going to have to throw them. On Friday, March 9, his company will sponsor the first Celebrity Dodgeball Tournament, benefiting the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.

The event, planned at the Toluca Lake Sports and Tennis Club Center is expected to raise $50,000. Hosted by David and Courtney Cox-Arquette, the celebrity-dodgers of the said rubber balls will include: the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Snoop Doggy Dogg, The Backstreet Boys, "South Park" creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker, "Survivor" host Jeff Probst and winner Ethan Zohn, "Austin Powers" star Seth Green and "Boston Public's" Michael Rapaport, among others.

What's equally impressive is that Poznick, who runs Zoo Productions with business partner John Stevens, established himself as a formidable entertainment industry content provider long before his current age of 32.

Poznick's fast rise began straight out of college, when he landed jobs on daytime talk shows as a production assistant. By 23, he was producing Joan Rivers' syndicated daytime talk show, which ran for five years.

After producing the talk shows "Mike & Maty" and "Marilyn Kagan," Poznick, with former "The Late Show With David Letterman" writer's assistant Stevens, founded the Sunset Strip-based Zoo Productions and began producing content for cable, including "The Blame Game" and "MTV Spring Break."

Poznick -- of Russian/Polish/Austrian descent -- was born and reared in Huntington, Long Island. His father, Irving, who died last year at 64, worked in New York's garment center, while Poznick's mother was an advertising copywriter.

Poznick's family belonged to Temple Beth Torah in Melville, Long Island, where Poznick was bar mitzvahed by Rabbi Marc Gellman (now an author and ABC News political commentator). In fact, Gellman presided over Irving Poznick's funeral, exactly 20 years after Poznick's bar mitzvah.

"During that service I realized why it's so important to belong to a temple," Poznick says. "To have that extended family, the support and love was amazing."

Poznick and Stevens, both 30, say they are really excited about their upcoming venture, "Bogey and Company," a syndicated show that they are currently shopping around starring former KCBS consumer correspondent Mike "Bogey" Boguslawsky of "Bogey's Corner" fame.

As a child, Poznick volunteered with his older sister, Jill, at senior citizens homes and hospitals.

"I wasn't always into it," Poznick admits, "but it was part of growing up Poznick."

Now that giving spirit has come full circle on a grand Hollywood scale with Celebrity Dodgeball. And Poznick is proud to be fundraising for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.

"This foundation helps kids who were born into a situation way beyond their control," Poznick says. "And those of us who were blessed with loving, caring, generous families should share the wealth, figuratively and literally. Living and working in Hollywood, it's easy to forget that we are all human and tragedy even strikes us. This organization is a very real reminder of that."

For information on Celebrity Dodgeball Tournament, visit www.celebritydodgeball.com or call (323) 654-7787.

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