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John Lamb, Published June 25 2011

Lamb: Duhamel uses star power for Minot

Things are looking dark in Minot, but at least one star is shining on the Magic City.

Hometown boy Josh Duhamel was in Moscow on Thursday for the world premiere of “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” but his heart was still in North Dakota.

Duhamel called KXMC TV in Minot early Thursday morning as the station was covering the disaster through the night.

Later that day, he turned to Twitter, asking followers to give to the Red Cross for its Minot relief efforts. He also appeared on “Entertainment Tonight” and a Detroit Fox news broadcast to appeal for help.

If all of his Thursday appeals were collected on a DVD, you could call it “Josh Duhamel: From Russia with Love.”

The actor has bigger ideas. He said he is planning a fundraiser for later this year. He didn’t give details, and a message sent through Twitter asking for specifics didn’t get a response.

Duhamel’s charity work with the Red Cross has been duly noted. In April he was honored for raising more than $150,000 for the Japanese earthquake/ tsunami relief and also helped the Red Cross after the catastrophic Haiti earthquake in 2010.

Granted, no life has been lost yet in Minot, but this natural disaster no doubt hits home for the 38-year-old. He said his sister’s house would be lost to the Souris River.

So what’s a star to do?

Do what stars do best – throw a star-studded party that brings in big bucks.

Of course, Duhamel has a leg up in attracting talent as he’s married to Black Eyed Peas singer Stacy “Fergie” Ferguson.

She’s not the only lovely lady with Minot ties. The Magic City delivered “America’s Next Top Model” hopeful Nicole Borud, who appears to now have some free time to come back and help.

But pretty faces alone don’t sell tickets, which is why strip clubs have DJs.

Wiz Khalifa may be based in Pittsburgh, but the rapper was born in Minot, where his parents were stationed at the Minot Air Force Base.

Fargo-based car racer Donny Schatz is already in, or on his way to, his hometown to see how he can help in Minot, so I’m sure he’d line up for a benefit and maybe bring back his NASCAR friend Tony Stewart.

There are plenty of politicians – Sen. John Hoeven, former New Mexico governor and 2012 presidential hopeful Gary Johnson – from Minot to lend such a fundraiser a level of authority.

And those are just the people with roots in the city. Duhamel has rallied troops to fight Decepticons in his “Transformers” speeches, so I’m sure

he can convince some celebrities to say, “Why not Minot?”


Readers can reach Forum reporter John Lamb at (701) 241-5533