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Obama draws a fund-raising crowd

Next big thing Barack Obama took time out from his busy speaking schedule to raise dough for his political action committee. The Illinois senator was the guest of honor at a reception Friday hosted by Foley Hoag partner Barry White and attended by Dorothy Terrell, the former Sun Express CEO, attorney Nick Littlefield, a onetime top aide to Ted Kennedy, attorney Cheryl Cronin, The Partnership prez Bennie Wiley, former DNC cochair Steve Grossman, GoBiz Solutions exec Bernie Fulp, Blue Cross and Blue Shield VP Peter Meade, and Obama's former Harvard Law School buddy and current Democratic gubernatorial candidate Deval Patrick. The guests' $1,000 donations went to Obama's PAC called Hopefund.

A charitable swing for Leary

If you see someone walking around Willowbend Golf Club with a golden statuette today, chances are it's Denis Leary. Emmy-nominated for his work on ''Rescue Me," Leary told Jay Leno Friday that he wanted to win so he could use the trophy to replace divots at his celebrity golf tournament, which tees off today at Willowbend in Mashpee. (The Emerson grad was up for a writing Emmy last night.) The lineup for Leary's event includes NHL greats Bobby Orr, Cam Neely, Phil Esposito, and Derek Sanderson, Celtic icon John Havlicek, comedian Lenny Clarke, ''Entourage" actor Kevin Dillon, ''Rescue Me" costar Daniel Sunjata, and comic Nick DiPaolo. The two-day tournament benefits the Leary Firefighters Foundation, and Leary told Leno some of the dough raised will go to firefighters working in areas affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Elderly musicians help Gulf seniors

The New Orleans nursing home tragedy has given rise to a unique Katrina fund-raiser. A group of elderly Boston musicians gather at Ryles Jazz Club tonight to play a benefit for seniors left homeless by the storm. (Proceeds from the show go to the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging.) Due to perform are gospel singers the Silver Leafs, whose oldest member is 90, and local jazz legend Stan Strickland, who'll perform with Peter Cassino from the Longy School of Music. Weepin' Willie Robinson, Boston's elder statesman of the blues, who himself was homeless not long ago, is hoping to make it. ''My body's telling me I won't be there, but we'll see," Robinson said when we reached him yesterday at the Mount Pleasant Home in Jamaica Plain. ''I'm sure gonna try."

Jewish female athletes celebrated

The Hadassah-Brandeis Institute has created an unorthodox calendar for the coming year. Called ''Jewish + Female = Athlete," the 2005-06 calendar celebrates some of the world's great Jewish female jocks. Three of the gals -- Gold Medal hockey goalie Sara DeCosta-Hayes, Olympic cyclist Nicole Freedman from Wellesley, and onetime Wimbledon doubles champ Angela Buxton -- showed up at a reception yesterday in Waltham to kick off an exhibit at Brandeis highlighting some athletic feats.

Elton salutes the Krafts

Elton John paid tribute to Bob and Myra Kraft during his concert Friday at the TD Banknorth Garden. Captain Fantastic called the Pats owner and his wife ''dear friends of mine," then dedicated a tune to the two, who just happened to be seated in the front row. In 2003, you'll recall, John played a 90-minute set at the Krafts' 40th anniversary party at Gillette Stadium. . . .

The New York Post reports that former Sox ace Pedro Martinez is finally ready to settle down. The Mets' $56 million man is engaged to -- no, not Mini-Me Nelson de la Rosa -- ESPN Deportes' Carolina Cruz, whose brother, Elvis Cruz, is a Mets farmhand.

Spelling, husband call it quits

Too bad about North Shore native Charlie Shanian, whose marriage to ''90210" star Tori Spelling is over. The couple, who tied the knot only two years ago, have split, according to ''Entertainment Tonight." More than 400 guests attended the pair's lavish LA wedding, including Spelling's ''90210" costar Ian Ziering, Bob Newhart, Ed McMahon, and the bride's daddy, Aaron Spelling. . . .

Parents of college-age kids will be happy to learn that Playboy magazine hosted CollegeFest at the Hynes Auditorium over the weekend, giving fans of the mag a chance to meet Playmates Amanda Paige and Vanessa Hoelsher, among others.

Names can be reached at names@globe.com or at 617-929-8253.

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