October 26, 2012

Depp gives back to Navajos

Johnny Depp Donates $25K to Navajo Nation for ScholarshipsActor Johnny Depp has given the Navajo Nation a $25,000 monetary gift for scholarships for Navajo students.

The blockbuster actor is playing Tonto in "The Lone Ranger." Filming for the movie began this past February in New Mexico. The movie is due to be released in the summer of 2013.

He was made an honorary member of the Comanche Nation, based in Lawton, Oklahoma, earlier this year. Last month he served as the grand marshal of the 21st Annual Comanche Nation Fair parade.

As a formality after President Ben Shelly accepted the donation, the Navajo Nation's Health Education and Human Services Committee voted to accept the $25,000 gift so it can be appropriated for scholarships.
This follows an earlier and less substantial effort:

Tonto remembered them

Forgotten People get water systems, courtesy of Depp fans

By Cindy Yurth
Volunteers are installing gravity-flow water systems for five families in the former Bennett Freeze this week, thanks—in a roundabout way—to Johnny Depp.

In honor of Depp’s birthday, members of the actor’s fan website Johnny Depp Zone, and Depp himself, contributed $7,750 to Project Pueblo, a California-based non-profit that connects college-age volunteers with service projects on the Navajo Nation.

“It’s the largest single donation to one of our projects we’ve ever gotten,” marveled Sean Wycliffe, who founded Project Pueblo with his brother Ryan in 2009.

Every year around June 9—the date Depp was born in 1963—Johnny Depp Zone starts fundraising for its annual Johnny Depp Birthday Project, explained Natalie, the webmaster for Johnny Depp Zone (like others behind the site, she keeps her last name secret to avoid becoming a target of “hackers and haters”).

Every year, the group targets a different charity. Natalie said that this year, Johnny Depp Zone was looking for a project on the Navajo Nation since the actor’s recently filmed movie “The Lone Ranger” was partially filmed here.

“Theresa’s (another Depp Zone member) diligent research tracked down Project Pueblo, and we were immediately impressed by their work, and by the fact they were working with people who had basically been forgotten and left to cope with the most horrendous conditions with no help at all,” Natalie said. “What happened with the Bennett Freeze area was totally unknown to all of us, and so shocking!”

His fans’ generosity did not go unnoticed by Depp, who kicked in some funds (Wycliffe wouldn’t reveal how much; Depp said he wanted his fans to get the credit) and wrote a letter to Natalie and her fellow “Zoners” from “The Lone Ranger” set in Creede, Colo., on June 16.
Comment:  Water systems for five families...scholarships that might pay one student's tuition for a year...better than nothing, but not exactly overwhelming gifts. Since he's profiting off of Indians, I was thinking more of a bequest in the million-dollar range.

Depp is rumored to be getting $75-90 million for a fifth Pirates movie. That gives you an idea what his salary range is. How about donating 10% of his Tonto salary to the Indians he supposedly respects and cares about?

For more on Johnny Depp, see Lone Ranger Trailer and Images and Johnny Depp in Comanche Nation Parade.

Below:  "Johnny Depp at Comanche Nation Fair."

No comments: