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Big Day for Small People

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THE QUICKEST WAY TO GET A CHILD’S ATTENTION, SOMEBODY ONCE wrote, is to sit down and look comfortable. But throwing a party works too, judging by the success of two L.A.-area kiddie fests. The first: Celebrity Day, a meet-the-stars carnival al the MacLaren Children’s Center in El Monte. Calif., a shelter for child-abuse victims. The day kicked off with an outdoor breakfast for participating celebs at the North Hollywood home of Henry and Stacey Winkler. “It’s important to give these kids a hug and show them people care,” said the erstwhile Fonz, after which the 200 or so attendees boarded buses for the 35-mile trek to the center. Once there, celebs like 90210s Gabrielle Carteris and Brian Austin Green played games, signed autographs and posed for Polaroids with some of the 250 residents.

Back in L.A., meanwhile, another star contingent packed off with their own kids to the Universal City premiere of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III and its postscreening party. Surrounded by green balloons, green tablecloths and green Ninja Turtle models, first-dayers like L.A. Law’s Corbin Bernsen, Danny DeVito and their families gobbled pizzas and ice cream at the after-flick fete and grossed some real green (about $100,000) for children’s and AIDS-related charities. Early reviews of the film? Said actor David Hasselhoff, who brought daughter Taylor Ann. 2: “She sat down for two hours straight. That’s a miracle.”