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Priest remembers time Regis Philbin came to Kentucky to help charity

Published: Jul. 27, 2020 at 5:06 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Longtime media personality Regis Philbin died this past Friday.

He was known as the hardest working man in show business, but he took a little time out for charity by making a stop in Madison County.

Catholic Priest Father Jim Sichko remembers the time, and what it took to get Regis to come to Richmond.

Father Jim says he made several phone calls to get Regis to host a charity event at Saint Mark Catholic Church in Richmond, but the media icons’ secretary wouldn’t put Father Jim through.

“One day I called and his secretary wasn’t there and someone else answered the phone,” Father Jim said. “And I said I think Regis called me back or I had a phone call from him and she put me right through the Regis and from that moment and from that moment Mr. Philbin and I had a wonderful friendship.”

It was May 2005 when the host of Who Wants to be a Millionaire accepted an invitation to Saint Mark. He was there to host An Evening Among Friends, a charity event for the Parrish.

The event helped lower Saint Mark’s debt and helped out other organizations in Richmond.

Philbin’s presence brought in more than $100,000 thousand dollars. Father Jim says Philbin covered his own cost of flying in and so no to a stipend.

“He was the first performer to give back to us financially,” Father Jim said.

Regis was extremely generous and kind to us from that moment onward. Philbin’s visit would open the door for other celebrities to visit.

“People would say call him and say what is it about this Father or this church in Richmond, Kentucky and he would recommend us highly,” Father Jim said.”

Remembering Regis Philbin, a devout catholic, media icon and Notre Dame fanatic carving out a little time for a little church in the bluegrass.

“He was very kind to my family and very kind to Saint Mark and was very kind to a small church in Kentucky,” Father Jim said.

Regis Philbin was 88. His funeral and burial will be held on Notre Dame’s campus.

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