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Television fans are familiar with Genie Francis, best known as Laura in the daytime drama "General Hospital." Francis also has appeared in the television movies "The Note" and "The Note II: Taking a Chance on Love."

In an effort to support a good cause, the actress and singer has released a Christmas disc, "It's Christmas Time Again," and will donate the profits to the Sisters of St. Francis Cuernavaca Mission in Mexico.

Sister Margaret Slowick, who leads the Cuernavaca mission, has ties to the actress.

"Genie is a relative on my mother's side of the family; her mom is my first cousin," Slowick said in an e-mail.

The project began in December 2008. Slowick said Mexican television had broadcast "The Note" repeatedly.

"Finally it dawned on me that God might be trying to tell me something, so I wrote to Genie explaining my work and invited her to be a part of it," Slowick said. "She lost the letter but still wanted to help, so six months later, she had her mom in California call my aunt in Massachusetts to find out how to contact me. I just happened to be visiting my family at the time. Within 24 hours, I was on the phone with Genie, and she was telling me about her idea for a Christmas album with all the profits going to Cuernavaca."

Francis collaborated with her brothers, Ivor and Kenneth Francis, to produce the 10-song album, according to information on the Web site www.pictorgraphrecords.com. Reviewers say the CD has a nostalgic flavor "reminiscent of all the the great holiday show offerings" such as those by Bing Crosby, Andy Williams and the Carpenters.

Ivor Francis, a classical guitarist, contributes his talents on two tracks. The album also features Genie Francis' husband, actor Jonathan Frakes, on trombone. Their children Jamo and Eliza Frakes lend their voices Francis family photos are featured inside the CD jacket.

The songs have been recorded in a variety of musical styles from traditional to jazz. In addition to the title song, the album includes secular favorites such as "Jingle Bells" and "Winter Wonderland" along with familiar carols such as "The First Noel," "Joy to the World," "O Holy Night" and "Silent Night." The final track is a four-part a cappella version of "Auld Lang Syne."

Slowick is delighted to have a high-profile celebrity take an interest in the people of Cuernavaca.

"We are excited about this because the Cuernavaca Mission operates totally on donations," she said. "Our focus is on mentoring children from very poor families so that they can get an education.

"This money will help us provide food, clothing, school supplies, vitamins, and tutoring for children in need.

"We believe that education is the best way to break the cycle of poverty. Tutoring is especially important, since the parents of many of our children are illiterate and cannot help their children with their homework."

"It's Christmas Time Again" is available at www.amazon.com for $21.

To order locally, send e-mail to rswope@tiffinfranciscans.org or call (419) 447-0435 and ask for Sister Rozanne Swope. Make checks payable to Sisters of Saint Francis Cuernavaca Mission with "CD" in the memo section.

To learn more about the Cuernavaca Mission, visit cuernavacakids.wordpress.com. More information about Genie Francis and the CD is available at www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cbl5NAhtN9Y.




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