Jorja invited JFO to Spotlight Humane: Chicago

As the twitter followers know, yes, I went to the gala and, yes, I met Jorja Fox.

I know, I said I wasn’t going, and this is the truth, I was not planning to go, I had no intention of going, and I did not use a single cent from your donations to attend. Instead, Jorja invited me and my partner to come.

Yeah. My jaw was on the floor. I said yes, but chose not to tell anyone outside my best friends because, well, if it all fell through, I’d have been the biggest prat in the world, and while my ego can handle a lot of things, I didn’t much like the idea of the internet mocking me. I apologize to anyone who might be offended or felt I lied. When I first told everyone I wasn’t going, it was true! The fact changed later and I just got cagey about it, so as not to disappoint you. The full story, complete with some fangirl moments is on my personal blog, but here I’ll tell you about the event itself.

When I got to the event, a ‘handler’ brought her over to meet me right away (she knew I’d be late). We chatted for a bit. Jorja flew in on Wednesday for the event (anticipating bad weather, which we didn’t have) so that’s why she wasn’t at the premier. We talked about surfing and hiking and things we liked to do. She’s very personable and wanted me to know that she wouldn’t be able to hang out (which I knew) but she made the effort to find me a couple times just to make sure I was enjoying myself. The music was nice, if a little loud, and after they played Preacher Man (by Dusty Springfield), my partner asked Jorja about the one-woman show she’d produced, and was it ever coming to Chicago. Jorja said she was still pushing for it, but nothing definitive quite yet.

We didn’t want to mob her, so we hung out with another fan we knew, who was surprised to see us there (as we were him). A friend of hers, Joe Fab, introduced himself to me, after finding out who I was, and told me he was a follower of JFO. As he’s the gentleman who made the movie “Paper Clips”, I was agog. That movie is fantastic, and many people I know say it changed their lives. And he visits this site. That threw me for a loop.

Later on in the night, after having been told William Petersen was busy with family things and wouldn’t be attending, he showed up. Jorja pointed him out as her “old man” and we laughed. I shook his hand and just said I wanted an autograph for my friend’s mother. He had no idea who I was until, a moment later, Jorja introduced us a little more formally. And yes, she said “This is the woman who has been running my fansite for 12 – 15? – 15 years.” We shook hands again, and he looked somewhat surprised. I decided to take it as a good thing.

Jorja’s speech was very nice, about how proud she was that Chicago’s doing so much to make the world a better place for animals. Wayne Pacelle, the CEO of the Humane Society, praised her for her tireless efforts, and for using her celebrity power to spread the word.

Oh, and everyone who donated? I printed up your names and addresses and gave them to Jorja. So if you end up getting a thank you from her in the coming months, that’s probably why. And if not, well, she’s busy!

You can check out the JFO Exclusive Photos, of course, on the gallery (a few are posted below). The quality is poor because the lighting was poor and the camera is decent and I am not a great photographer of people. Plants, yes, people no. There should be more photos in the coming days, as a photographer was on hand, and I’m sure got no few pictures of us!

Jorja Speaking Jorja and Billy Jorja and Mika Jorja Speaking

PS: Video too!

46 thoughts on “Jorja invited JFO to Spotlight Humane: Chicago”

  1. HUGE SQUEE from me in Alabama! I’m so happy for you that it isn’t even funny! Read your blog, and I honestly felt like I was living it with you (love the repressing of vomit, LOL)! WOW! Now we all know why we truly LOVE her. Jorja Fox is one classy lady, and you are truly deserving. Again, YAY! 😀

  2. Ahhhh! I was so happy when I read this! That is quite possibly the best thank you for all your hard work you could have ever asked for! But just incase…. THANK YOU!!! 😉

  3. You so deserve it!!!! And I agree with Miller. It shows how great she is and why she is my role model.

  4. OMG!! You are soooo lucky!!! Well desreved though. I’m so glad you were given such a wonderful amazing gift. Jorja is a class act, as are you! Congrats again! The pic’s are great and I’m so jealous you got to meet my two fav people.

    Keeping the Faith!
    Poppie x x x.

  5. Congrats Ipstenue.I am so glad she invited you.Also pleased you have met two of my favorite actors because I can see see the pix.

  6. What a great story and a truly wonderful ‘Thank You’ from Jorja! It’s nice to reaffirm that she is such an awesome person. Thanks for sharing; and yeah, you deserved it!

  7. I’m so glad you were able to go. I agree with everyone else’s comments about the fact that you deserved to attend! I’m thrilled for you.

    It was nice that Billy Petersen showed up to support his other “wife” too! 😆

  8. OMG. You are the luckiest woman in the world. I would have died right then and there. Meeting Jorja and Billy at the same time? Ok, I need a moment here… 😀 You really deserved to attend for your complete dedication to this site. Thanks for sharing your experience with us. Awesome. 😛

  9. I was about to make a reply to everyone and then my brain pointed out I’ve only had about 5 hours sleep. Probably closer to 4. And it’s Purim today, so I’ve got things to do!

    So, pardon the romper room moment. 😳

    Thank you miller, Rianne, sarasidle4ever, poppie_lee, VivB, Jean, Jan, Sharron and AnnaSophia 🙂

    I keep having moments where I ask myself ‘Why does everyone keep saying I deserved this!?’ and Jorja even gave me a stern look when I tried to thank her. She insisted on ‘winning’ the thank yous, so I had to humbly accept and say ‘you’re welcome’ and this morning I wrote her a ‘this is NOT a thank you card’ card. My grandmother would kick my ass if I didn’t.

    My poor brain has trouble believing it all really happened to me, and CeCe Peniston is going to be stuck in my head for days to come.

    Since I’m apparently not allowed to say thank you to people for thanking me, I humbly acknowledge the facts that this happened, and you’re all welcome.

    Yeah, she’s totally made of cool.

  10. WOW that is totally awesome to be invited to the event and then meet Jorja Fox and Biily Petersen in person! You are so lucky and so blessed.

  11. I read your blog and the comments made here and I have this big smile on my face. I’m really happy you got to meet Jorja, you deserved it.
    Thanks for sharing that with us and keep up the good work.

  12. Everyone is right. You absolutely deserve this. A dear friend of mine ran a fan website for years. LOTS of work. Lots of money. Very little “reward” (other than personal satisfaction) and, sometimes, quite a lot of grief because…well, people are people and they pretty much have to share their aggravation over almost anything.

    So, it’s really great this happened and I’m very happy that you shared it all with us.

    1. I reeealy try not to think about the money.

      Actually, the ads on the site make JFO self-sustaining, otherwise, I’d have had to stop these last two years, when funds became dire for a while. Now they’re good, but there was a time…

      I never did this for the reward. I did this by accidentally, and now by habit and for enjoyment 🙂 You guys are a great part of the why, just as much as Jorja.

  13. Thats awesome. Glad you had a great time and got to meet them. I was gonna donate last week but then I got distracted and never got around to it.

  14. Ipstenu, along with everyone else I am very, very happy for you. You have definitely earned all you have received. Your work on this board has no equal elsewhere and I am glad to see your hard work so well received. Jorja continuously shows a great sense of dignity and grace. And your invite and account of the evening exemplifies this. However much I would have loved to be in your shoes, I am so happy for you just the same. The pictures were not bad at all. 😉

  15. That is so awesome that you got invited to attend and for meeting Jorja and billy. I’m very happy for you! Great pictures too!

  16. My daughters have followed your website for a while–I’ve followed Jorja Fox since Food for the Heart, all of us big Jorja fans. You have been more consist with making it easy to follow Ms Fox than her own website–so yes, you definitely deserve to meet her after all the work you have done! And the thank you belongs to you (but go ahead and send that card like your grandma said to do!)

    Everyone comments about Jorja’s height–what is your comment? Is she a “tall 5’10” woman?” (for example: unofficially 5’13”, but never taller than 5’10”)

    A second question–who attended the event? Press, politicians, rich-party goers, or people who can actually do some good about dog fighting?

    Keep up the great work, I know you will remember this for many years!

    1. If anything, this is teaching me to humbly accept thanks, even though I have Wayne and Garth reactions (I’m not worthy, etc etc).

      Jorja is 5’10” and, the best way to explain it, is that she’s a model. If you’ve ever watched those shows on TV, like America’s Next Top Model, or Make Me A Supermodel, they always talk about knowing your body and standing so you’re advantageous in a photo. Jorja is so aware of her body that she stands in such a way to not make you feel super short. She’s four inches taller than I am, and she looks taller than me in the photo, but I don’t think she looks four inches taller. She’s a very poised woman. I would say she’s an average 5’10” 🙂

      Who attended. Both. I saw a few well to do Chicagoans, some poiticians, some rich folk, but mostly people who wanted to do good. There were only a handful of people there JUST to see Jorja and Billy (by which I mean 4 that I saw, counting myself). Everyone there were really animal people, and wanted to do good. There was a distinct lack of people there for status symbols.

  17. Mika – I can’t think of anyone else who deserves this more than you! And a big thank you for thinking of all us fans here and taking pictures and letting us live vicariously through your blog post! I’m thrilled that you were able to attend!

    You both look wonderful, as does Billy.

    Jorja’s hair looks a little darker than it does on tv – perhaps she’s trying something new with it?

    1. It was pretty dark in the event. My shirt was blue, not black, but you can’t hardly tell! Her hair was darker, but it looked really healthy.

      You’re very welcome, by the way 🙂

  18. Ipstenu, I think I have reached my quota for questions. But one more, you mentioned that Billy couldn’t make it in the beginning? Was that something that was announced? Or that Jorja mentioned? I’m so happy that he could finally make it; Jorja and Billy seem to really support each other.

    Also, Jorja dress is very cute. Ok, this is going to sound weird, but I always think of outfits that she could wear to events. I would pay big bucks to be Jorja’s stylist for one day, seriously. 😀

    1. Billy was supposed to come, and then when asked around, I was told he wasn’t coming (due to a family thing) and then he suddenly showed up, so … I have no idea what happened with all that.

      Jorja picked out her own clothes, or rather, those were her clothes, not a stylist’s selection of cool clothes. Yes, Mrs. Ipstenu asked her.

      1. Mrs Ipstenu is a smart woman.. It was a good idea to have her as your guest so she could ask the really important questions 😆 … If I had been you, I would have been brain-dead. Yeah… uhmm.. what’s my name again? Hah…

        In all seriousness, Jorja is such a cool, gracious person. I think other celebrities wouldn’t have cared about making somebody feel at ease or welcomed. They feel that just because they have a little bit of fame that they are above everybody else…

        Also, she is passionate about what she does and I deeply admire that.

      2. Mrs. Ipstenu was there for the reality check 🙂 That and I couldn’t fathom going with anyone else. I mean, I’ve been doing JFO longer than I’ve been with her, though not by much. The high point of the night was getting to introduce her to Jorja. I’d feel the same way if I met President Obama and got to tell him ‘And this is my partner…’ I am hopelessly in love with my girl. 😳

      3. So……………did Mrs. Ipstenu get her photo taken with Jorja?

        It sounds like she asked all the questions I would have. I think I like this girl and I can understand why you’re “hopelessly in love” with her. 🙂

  19. Ipstenu, I certainly don’t mean to sound totally ignorant (I would use the phrase not appraised on certain topics) so please forgive me. I know Jorja does alot of work for the Humane Society ect. But what exactly does that entail? I don’t doubt it when you said she was busy. I just don’t know what her job in this arena entails. Did she indicate her desire to go further in the social ie political arena of Humane Society related issues ect?

    1. Not ignorant at all!

      What she does is act as a ‘face.’ The CEO explained it very well, that people, especially younger people, look at celebrities and tend to follow their trends. So to have a celeb stand up and advocate for the welfare of others does a lot of good to help the cause. Essentially, she socializes. She also gives money, goes to city hall and town hall meetings to speak up for the HSUS and try to educate, so that better laws are passed. In essence, the same things a lot of us do, only because she’s “Jorja Fox, from CSI!”, more reporters follow her around 🙂

      Does that make sense?

  20. sarasidle4ever

    I also love her dress. Its cute and normale and you really don’t see it vintage.
    I would love her to wear it on csi(even more if its on a date with grissom) but that is just my wishful thinking.
    I have been dying to ask:
    From what you have seen are Jorja en Billy really good friends like they always say in interviews?
    And sorry to ask but what is the deal with her belly cause in the pictures she looks slim and good. So maybe its just that on camara she looks bigger.

    1. They seemed really good friends. The photo I got, Billy was in the middle of teasing her about something. It was also taken right before she explained who the heck I was 😉

      The belly really is because of how she stands. You would notice it if you met her, but as she’s much smaller than she is on camera, it’s not the same thing. Models tend to stand a little sway backed, and Jorja continues to move with poise and grace she learned as a teenage model, so she’s got this stance going on. So yeah, the camera adds ten pounds, which really blew my mind. She is TINY, and Mrs. Ipstenu wanted to feed her soup — she wants to feed everyone soup.

  21. Thanks so much for answering our goofy questions! Esp about Jorja’s height and size–I’m always surprised at how tv ‘adds’ weight! SO-with that, what about Mr. Petersen? Were you surprised at his size–smaller, larger, no expectations? I’ve always suspected Jorja is taller than he is!
    How many people attended? and did they announce how much money was made? Thanks so much for your generosity!

    1. Mrs. Ipstenu said Billy looked ‘stockier’ than she thought he looked on TV. I thought he looked like he had in the last season of CSI. But I wasn’t expecting to meet him so I had few expectations there 🙂

      250ish people were in attendance. The may have announced how much was raised, but I missed that being a little blitzed 😳

      1. When I see the pictures I agree with Mrs. Ipstenu. I don’t remember him having a dubble chin on csi.

  22. Cool story, cool event, cool fansite runner, cool celebrity and yeah, important cause.

    So…DID “Mrs. Ipstenu” also get her picture taken with Jorja? (Somebody else asked too.)

    And…do you know if professional photos will surface?

    1. See my answer to Sharron. 😉 Mrs. Ipstenu remains invisible!

      There were professional photos, which I’ve been told will surface in a few days. I suspect I may end up with a few, since someone snapped a pro-quality pic of me standing by Jorja and Billy.

  23. I agree with everyone, it was really and truly deserved. Especially since beyond the website you also take part in raising money for causes and along with Jorja help to make a difference.

  24. Aww! You two are just adorable! I cracked up when I read the part about how Mrs Ipstenu (did I get it right? Did I?!) “wants to feed everyone soup”! She’s funny! And you’re the cutesy for saying you’re “hopelessly in love” with her! You two are awesome! And I agree with you on meeting Obama! I don’t have a partner (I’m straight and really young anyways!) but if I did.. Oh, who am I kidding? I’d like to meet him just because! =p What was that about an “No on Prop 8” botton? I had trouble opening the clip, so I don’t know if it’s there..

  25. Thanks for sharing photos,video and your experience.As I read, you deserve it,congratulations!

  26. I didn’t think she was or wasn’t wearing one, but rather since you said it was funny..

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