Chris Kirkpatrick of 'N Sync
Chris Kirkpatrick joked that he met Garret Lauer on eHarmony.
The truth is that they met at a party Kirkpatrick hosted. Lauer helped to the former 'NSYNC heartthrob clean up afterwards.
Fast forward a few years to Friday. The two pals hung out in the lobby of the new Courtyard by Marriott in Springettsbury Township.
Lauer, who grew up in York County, relocated to Florida, where he produces corporate, celebrity and charity events. Since his mother helps care for those with multiple sclerosis, he decided to come home to raise money and awareness for the York MS Walk.
He hosted an impromptu party Thursday night at Granfalloons in York, which netted about $320 for the walk. Today, Lauer and Kirkpatrick will host a benefit gala, complete with a red carpet area, DJs and a silent auction.
During a break from set-up Friday afternoon, Kirkpatrick walked to the window to assess the rainy day.
The Penn State sweatshirt he wore paid homage to family members who attended the university. Colorful tattoos peaked out from underneath the sleeves.
Kirkpatrick, who has roots in western Pennsylvania and Ohio, joked that Orlando's warm weather spoiled him.
It was also where he joined a chorus at community college, which helped him find the voice -- a tenor -- that landed him in the boy band 'NSYNC. The group's album "No Strings Attached" was the most popular album of 2000 and sold more than 10 million copies.
Since the members of 'NSYNC parted ways more than five years ago, Kirkpatrick has kept producing music with his act Nigels 11.
But Kirkpatrick's life wasn't always so sunny. He and his four sisters grew up in poverty. Their mom didn't have a car. That ate things like creamed corn for Christmas dinner, since that was what people donated in bulk.
Despite the fame, Kirkpatrick never forgot the hard times. He started The Chris Kirkpatrick Foundation to help underprivileged children.
"We understand what's going though kids' minds," Kirkpatrick said. He brought his sister Molly Ford, who helps run the foundation, with him to York.
The siblings -- who are both avid fans of Pittsburgh sports teams -- were happy to see Steelers gear at local stores. But they said they will be happier to see the walkers -- and hopefully the sun -- Sunday.
Lauer said their walk team, which is sponsored by his father's company Maintenance Management Inc., has 117 members and has raised more than $10,000.