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United Nations, N.Y., May 18 - Michael Butler, producer of the Broadway hit Hair, offered today to be the angel of the financially ailing world youth assembly and Secretary General Thant promptly accepted.
Mr. Butler announced at a news conference here that the eight Hair companies hoped to raise $225,000 for the assembly and that he would guarantee at least $112,500 of this. He said he acted in the spirit of the musical - love and service to humanity.
The United nations hopes to bring 750 young participants here on July 9 to spend 9 days talking about the world's ills. Only $160,000 of the needed $750,000 has been given or pledged and there had been some fears that the assembly would be canceled.
Mr. Butler said that the eight productions of Hair playing in the United States and canada would turn over the proceeds from their June 4th performance to the international assembly. He selected June 4, he said, after consulting the ancient book of Chinese prophesy, I Ching.
If the Hair companies cannot raise sufficient funds at their performance, Mr. Butler said, they will try other money raising plans. They also want to offer hospitality to the assembly participants, he continued. "We think this is a beautiful thing."
The Butler party - many in velvet suits, cossack shirts and fringe jackets - went to the 38th floor and spent about 15 minutes with Secretary General Thant at a news conference announcing their plan.
The idea of a youth assembly emerged last year as a fitting way of involving youth in the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the United Nations.
Officials here were enthusiastic about Mr. Butler's offer
of psychological as well as practical reasons. "We have been afraid
the kids would stand away, feeling the assembly was too much Establishment;
having Hair in the act will turn it on." a United Nations planner said.
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