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  • Using comedy to help raise awareness and funds for those in need.

    The US Comic Relief aids the homeless and people in need, particularly in regards to disaster relief.

    The UK Comic Relief is commited to helping end poverty and social injustice in the UK and around the world.

    They do so by:

    • Raising money from the general public by actively involving them in events and projects that are innovative and fun.
    • Informing, educating, raising awareness and promoting social change.
    • Allocating the funds in a responsible and effective way.

    Celebrity supporters

    Comic Relief has 106 known supporters, including Annie Lennox, Sting, and Ricky Gervais

    Areas of work

    Read more about Comic Relief0s work and celebrity supporters.
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  • Mary J. Blige performs at the grand finale of the fifth annual Kiehl's LifeRide for amfAR.

    LifeRide 5: Finale

    Click here to view the video in your browser.


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  • "Inspiring the Next Generation" takes center stage at the 3rd annual Festival PEOPLE en Espanol daytime experience on Sunday August 31 from 10:00am-12:00 noon with a slate of star-studded youth empowerment programs featuring the entertainment industry's top teen performers Becky G., Zendaya, Las Fenix, Leslie Grace, Matt Hunter and Miguelito.

    In a family-friendly forum that's free and open-to-the-public, these teen sensations will share the groundbreaking journeys, detail their experiences and offer words of advice for overcoming obstacles and achieving success.

    The program also includes interactive segments, games and musical performances, including a "Teach Me Your Talent" challenge -- showcasing voice tuning, dance moves, camera poses, etc.--with a chance for lucky audience members to win an opportunity for a celebrity selfie. Las Fenix, Leslie Grace, Matt Hunter, and Miguelito will perform live.

    In addition, the youth-oriented experience will incorporate a conversation with leading education experts Rosie Castro and Eyra Perez offering back-to-school strategies and solutions for students and parents focused on academic achievement. For the third consecutive year, Festival PEOPLE en Espanol will present college scholarships to San Antonio youth. In partnership with Cafe College, PEOPLE en Espanol will award four students with a college scholarship of $5,000.

    On the evening of Saturday August 30, Becky G. and Zendaya will also take the stage to perform their chart topping hits at the Lila Cockrell Theater for the Chicas Poderosas Concert powered by Disney. Tickets start at $25, and are available now through Ticketmaster. For tickets and more information, visit peopleenespanol.com/festival.

    The 2014 Festival PEOPLE en Espanol is powered by Disney. Major sponsors include Coca-Cola and Jeep; official sponsors Cover Girl, HEB, and Strayer University; host sponsors the City of San Antonio and San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau; screening partners ABC, Azteca, HBO Latino and Walt Disney Film Studios; partners AARP, St. Jude and Center for Disease Control; and media partners CNN, MusicChoice and Telemundo.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/12453-zendaya-to-inspire-next-generation-at-festival-people-en-espanol

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  • Inspired by the values championed by Nelson Mandela -- equality, justice, compassion -- The Elders have launched a new Ethical Leadership video series.

    Video: Kofi Annan: leaders are there to serve

    In these video clips, the Elders discuss the universal values that unite and connect us, drawing on their experiences as global leaders -- from addressing climate change and gender inequality, to promoting human rights and inclusive peace processes.

    Among those who have already recorded videos are Kofi Annan, Mary Robinson, Gro Harlem Brundtland and Graça Machel.

    To watch the videos, click here.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/12454-the-elders-release-ethical-leadership-videos

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  • Grammy Award-winning artist Estelle will perform at Face Forward Foundation0s Fifth Annual Gala, "A Venetian Masquerade" September 13, at The Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles.

    When Estelle first burst onto the scene in 2008 with the #1, double-platinum hit song "American Boy" featuring Kanye West, she quickly became an R&B sweetheart. Now slated to release her highly anticipated fourth studio album, True Romance, November 4th, and out with a triumphant and inspirational single "Conqueror", the international sensation teams up with Face Forward in their mission to spread awareness and mend the physical and emotional wounds of domestic violence.

    Founded by Deborah Alessi, Face Forward Foundation provides pro-bono reconstructive surgery for victims of domestic violence. As its most important fundraising and awareness-building event of the year, The Fifth Annual Gala, "A Venetian Masquerade" will raise funds with a goal of $500,000 for 2015 to support their patients and celebrate the lives and accomplishments of survivors.

    Alongside the special performance, the star-studded event will be masquerade-themed, with celebrity guests, a silent auction and an honorary awards ceremony dedicated to raising funds and awareness for this increasing epidemic. Face Forward Foundation will honor celebrity and community leaders for their inspirational work and on-going efforts to draw awareness to domestic violence.

    Confirmed guests include: Missy Piles (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Artist), Jennifer Coolidge (American Pie, Legally Blonde), Shohreh Aghdashloo (24), Bonnie Somerville (Ugly Truth), and Shaun Toub (Iron Man).

    To purchase tickets, click here.

    Since its creation in 2007, Face Forward has worked with advocates around the nation to identify victims of domestic violence who are working towards recovery, yet carry the physical evidence of past abuse. Face Forward does more than just provide pro bono reconstructive surgery to adults and children who have suffered from traumatic and physical abuse; they also create a welcoming and safe environment for the victims to start a new life and reclaim their confidence.

    Deborah Alessi, Founder of Face Forward Foundation says, "The work that we do turns our victims of abuse into victors in life and we have been fortunate to impact many lives with profoundly life changing results. Changing the outward appearance gives them the confidence to address the scars on the inside and move beyond their past to obtain fulfilling futures."

    With domestic violence occurring every 15 seconds in the United States, Face Forward Foundation strives to alleviate the internal and external scars of victims and those affected. Ninety percent of all rape and abuse cases lead to physical disfigurement and Face Forward provides treatment to victims who are not able to afford medical assistance.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/12445-estelle-to-perform-at-face-forward-foundation-annual-gala

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  • Big Bang Theory Actress Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting has talked with The Humane Society0s All Animals Magazine about her animal advocacy work.

    You've said you want to accompany The HSUS to the Canadian ice floes, where the Protect Seals team documents the hunt each year. What compelled that desire?
    I think as a — I hate even using this — as a "celebrity," people think we say a few things, and then that's it, and we put it to bed. I need to show my fans, and people that agree with me and disagree with me, that I'm willing to go out there. I want to see it face to face. I'm not just saying that I believe in this campaign, and I want the hunt to end, and blah, blah, blah. I want to go there, so I can show them, "No, I was there. These are my own pictures. This is what happened, this is what I saw and this is what I believe in."

    How did you get started in animal advocacy work?
    
I've always loved animals. As a kid we had dogs. But my passion got very strong maybe eight years ago when I rescued my first dog [a pit bull named Norman].

    I went to a rescue. And he walked in, and he jumped up on me and almost pushed me over. It was love at first sight. I don't know what happened that day, but I became this pit bull lover. Now we actually have three, and I love them more than life itself. I think they're absolutely amazing, and I want to promote rescue as much as possible. I walk into these shelters, and there's thousands and thousands—and most of them are pit bulls that need rescue. It's just become a big passion of mine, and it will be for the rest of my life.

    Do animal issues ever get discussed on set?
    Everyone that I work with knows how I feel about animals. Even this day that I was obsessed with the seal hunt, I was literally in the corner at work, and they're like, "What's going on?" I'm like, "seal hunt." I was obsessed. And we've got a ton of animal lovers at work, but I think the biggest conversations and wars I have seem to be on Twitter, so bring it at me.

    Read more here

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/12458-kaley-cuoco-talks-animal-advocacy-with-hsus

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  • With Malala Yousafzai by his side, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon yesterday marked 500 days of action until the deadline to reach the Millennium Development Goals, known worldwide as the "MDGs."

    Ban Ki-moon with Malala Yousafzai and ABC News anchor Amy Robach
    Ban Ki-moon with Malala Yousafzai and ABC News anchor Amy Robach
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    "Action now will save lives, build a solid foundation for sustainable development far beyond 2015 and help lay the groundwork for lasting peace and human dignity," the Secretary-General said at a special event at the UN Headquarters in New York.

    He was joined by more than 500 young people, including Ms. Yousafzai, who became an education advocate after being attacked by the Taliban on a school bus.

    "The ideas and inspiration of young people have been especially critical in this effort and their role must grow even more," Mr. Ban said, underscoring the progress made in development and the importance of youth involvement in national plans to accomplish even more.

    The eight MDGs, agreed by world leaders at UN summit in 2000, are described as a 15-year roadmap to fight poverty, hunger and disease, protect the environment and expand education, basic health and women's empowerment.

    "Against the predictions of cynics, the MDGs have helped unite, inspire and transform," Mr. Ban noted. He highlighted that poverty has been cut in half, more girls attend school, and fewer people are dying from malaria, tuberculosis and other deadly diseases.

    Inequality remains a challenge, however, as does childbirth, maternal mortality, universal education, and environmental sustainability, according to a report Mr. Ban presented to Member States in July.

    "Now is the time for MDG Momentum," the UN chief stressed, noting that the international community now has many more tools at its disposal than when the targets were created, ranging from the expanding reach of technology to the growing understanding of what works and what does not.

    In recognition of the day, members of the UN Secretary-General's MDG Advocacy Group – including Bob Geldof, Graça Machel, Jeffrey Sachs, Ted Turner and more – released the following statement:

    "The MDGs are the most successful global anti-poverty push in history, opening the doors of opportunity to millions of people around the world. Over the next 500 days, our mission is clear: Keep the MDG momentum going so we pave the path for an end to extreme poverty. While we've come far, we have farther to go. We have an opportunity in the next 500 days to accelerate action on issues such as poverty, health, access to education, hunger, water and sanitation, and gender equality. We also have the chance to lay a strong foundation for the development agenda that will follow the MDGs.

    "As MDG Advocates, our aim is to foster support for and commitment to these important goals among governments, civil society, and the private sector. We look forward to publishing our MDG Advocates report next month at the UN General Assembly, which will include the viewpoints of leaders from around the globe to help focus our efforts as we move toward the MDG target date. We will need the partnership of leaders from all sectors of society if we hope to continue to make the kinds of gains that we have seen in recent years.

    "While our commitment to addressing the world's most pressing challenges will continue far beyond the next 500 days, we must use this moment to encourage the world to accelerate progress and work with unfailing determination to reach these important targets. Please join us by taking part in the worldwide movement for #MDGMomentum and learn more by visiting www.mdg500.org."

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/12457-un-launches-500-days-of-action-to-build-a-better-world

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  • On Monday, September 15, Executive Producers Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell, Pippin) and Bruce Cohen (American Beauty, Milk, Silver Linings Playbook) will present Uprising of Love: A Benefit Concert for Global Equality at Broadway's Gershwin Theatre.

    Featuring performances by 16-time Grammy Award-winner Sting and two-time Tony Award and two-time Grammy Award-winner Patti LuPone, this event strives to remind global leaders that "the world is watching" and to raise significant funding for grassroots organizations and activists around the world.

    The net proceeds of this event will go directly to Fueling the Frontlines, a three-year, $20 million campaign for global LGBTI rights led by the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice. Astraea is the only philanthropic organization in the United States solely dedicated to advancing LGBTI rights globally.

    Tickets range from $50 – $250 and are now on sale through www.uprisingoflove.org/benefitconcert. The event begins at 8pm.

    The event will be entertaining and inspiring, weaving together stories and performances by activists and artists from around the world, with a script by Academy Award-winner and Uprising of Love co-founder Dustin Lance Black (Milk). The concert will be directed by Schele Williams and produced by Jayson Raitt, with musical direction by Alex Lacamoire. Additional performers and speakers will be announced in the coming weeks.

    Uprising of Love is a global movement to support the safety and dignity of LGBTI people around the world. Co-founded by Melissa Etheridge, Dustin Lance Black, Bruce Cohen, and dozens of prominent individuals in entertainment, sports, business, and politics, the campaign was initially launched leading up to the Sochi Winter Olympics to shine a light on Russia's anti-gay laws. Uprising of Love is now focused on raising awareness and funds for activists making a difference on the ground in every part of the globe where LGBTI safety and dignity is compromised.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/12459-sting-to-perform-at-uprising-of-love-concert

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  • Debbie Reynolds -- actor, singer, dancer, author, champion for the preservation of the artifacts of film history and for the understanding and treatment of mental illness -- has been named the 51st recipient of SAG-AFTRA0s highest honor: the SAG Life Achievement Award for career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment.

    Given annually to an actor who fosters the "finest ideals of the acting profession," the union's highest accolade will be presented to the Oscar, Emmy and Tony-nominated Reynolds at the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, which will be simulcast live on TNT and TBS on Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015 at 8 p.m. (ET), 7 p.m. (CT), 6 p.m. (MT) and 5 p.m. (PT).

    SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard praised Reynolds' artistry over her very accomplished career, saying, "I'm thrilled that SAG-AFTRA is presenting our Life Achievement Award to Debbie Reynolds. She is a tremendously talented performer with a diverse body of screen and stage work, live performances and several hit records. Her generous spirit and unforgettable performances have entertained audiences across the globe, moving us all from laughter to tears and back again. Congratulations, Debbie, on your life achievements."

    Star of more than 50 motion pictures, two Broadway shows, two television series, as well as dozens of television, cabaret and concert appearances here and abroad, the 82-year-old Reynolds is celebrating her 66th year in show business.

    In 1955, Reynolds, along with Jack Haley Jr., Hugh O'Brien and other young stars, founded a charity to fight the stigma of mental illness, calling themselves The Thalians, after the goddess of comedy, Thalia. Over nearly 60 years, The Thalians have raised over $30 million, endowing The Thalians' Mental Health Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. With that center's priorities shifting to other illnesses, The Thalians has shifted its support to UCLA's Operation Mend, which provides medical and mental health support to returning wounded military personnel. Reynolds was elected The Thalians' president in 1957, and for many years alternated between that role and chair of the board with Ruta Lee, and currently serves as the organization's president emeritus. Reynolds has also been a lifelong supporter and fundraiser for the Girl Scouts.

    Over her more than six decades in show business, Reynolds has received numerous accolades for her performing and charitable endeavors. Among them, the Costume Designers Guild honored her with its Presidents Award in 2005 for her collection and conservation of classic Hollywood costumes She has received Lifetime Achievement honors from the American Comedy Awards in 1996 and 1997, the Palm Springs International Film Festival in 1999, the Savannah Film and Video Festival in 2002, and Chapman University in 2006. In 2007, she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the University of Nevada, Reno. Fans can view her stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Palm Springs Walk of Stars as well as her hand and footprints at Grauman's Chinese Theatre. Her philanthropic activities have earned her national honors from the Girl Scouts, a City of Hope Award, The Thalians' Ms. Wonderful award, the National Film Society's Humanitarian Award and a Spirit of Hope medallion from the USO for entertaining the troops during the Korean War.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/12460-debbie-reynolds-to-be-honored-with-2014-sag-life-achievement-award

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  • To include the support of fans who aren't able to make it to Petco Park for this year's Nerd HQ, The Nerd Machine invites you to join us in supporting children's charity Operation Smile by bidding on select memorabilia and one-of-a-kind pieces that will earn you serious bragging rights with friends, while simultaneously providing life-changing surgery for children around the world.

    Among the lots going under the hammer is an Xbox One signed by stars such as Jensen Ackles, Nathan Fillion, Misha Collins, Adam Baldwin, Jared Padalecki, Molly Quinn, Norman Reedus, Mira Sorvino, Jeff Bridges, and many more. Also up for auction are items signed by Zachary Levi and Yvonne Strahovski.

    Operation Smile is an international children's medical charity with a presence in more than 60 countries, whose network of more than 5,000 medical volunteers from over 80 countries is dedicated to helping improve the health and lives of children. Since its founding in 1982, Operation Smile has provided more than 3.5 million healthcare evaluations and conducted over 200,000 free surgeries for children and young adults born with cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities, as well as patients suffering from burns. To build long-term self-sufficiency in developing countries, Operation Smile trains doctors and local medical professionals in its partner countries so they are empowered to treat their own local communities, donates medical equipment and supplies, and provides year-round medical treatment through its worldwide Comprehensive Care Centers.

    The auctions run until August 25, and can be accessed here.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/12461-supernatural-and-castle-stars-sign-items-for-nerd-hq-auction

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  • Bailee Madison (known for her roles on Just Go With It, Once Upon a Time, and most recently on ABC Family's The Fosters) has teamed up with Closets for Causes to raise money for Alex0s Lemonade Stand Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to finding cures for all kids with cancer.

    BAILEE MADISON OPENS HER CLOSET FOR CHARITY
    BAILEE MADISON OPENS HER CLOSET FOR CHARITY

    The young actress is donating eight vintage dresses from her 14th birthday party. In attendance was Bailee's long time friend and former X Factor contestant, Rachel Crow. The singer wore a vintage pink lace dress that Bailee picked out for her which is available in the sale as well.

    Video: Bailee Madison Opens Her Closet for Alex0s Lemonade Stand Foundation

    "I'm so happy to partner with Closets For Causes where I can continue to support Alex and her family to raise awareness of childhood cancer one lemonade stand at a time." says Bailee about Alex's Lemonade Stand.

    Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) emerged from the front yard lemonade stand of cancer patient Alexandra "Alex" Scott (1996-2004). In 2000, 4-year-old Alex announced that she wanted to hold a lemonade stand to raise money to help find a cure for all children with cancer. Since Alex held that first stand, the Foundation bearing her name has evolved into a national fundraising movement, complete with thousands of supporters across the country carrying on her legacy of hope. To date, Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, a registered 501c3 charity, has raised more than $75 million toward fulfilling Alex's dream of finding a cure, funding over 375 pediatric cancer research projects nationally. For more information on Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, visit AlexsLemonade.org.

    "It has been an honor to have the continuing, and unwavering, support of Bailee Madison," said Liz Scott, Co-Executive Director of the Foundation and Alex's mom. "Serving as the Foundation's National Youth Spokesperson, Bailee has gone above and beyond the call of duty, hosting her own lemonade stands, attending Foundation events, visiting hospitals on our behalf, and now opening her own closet for the cause. As is evidenced through her immense support, she is making an impact in the battle against childhood cancer."

    Bailee talked about her birthday party, vintage dresses and donating the pieces to Alex's Lemonade Stand when she appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno late last year. The video can be seen here.

    Along with the eight vintage dresses that will be auctioned off, Bailee is also offering a uniquely curated experience for one lucky bidder; a chance to meet Bailee and have lunch with her in Los Angeles.

    Bailee's auction will be live on closetsforcauses.com on Monday August 25th at 10 am PST.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/12462-bailee-madison-opens-her-closet-for-alexs-lemonade-stand

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  • Two music legends — Neil Young and Willie Nelson — will perform a benefit concert on Sept. 27 on a farm near Neligh, Nebraska that is on the route of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline and also crosses the historic Ponca Tribe "Trail of Tears."

    Proceeds from the "Harvest the Hope" concert will go to Bold Nebraska, the Indigenous Environmental Network and the Cowboy & Indian Alliance, to fund the ongoing fight against the Keystone XL pipeline, as well as a number of small, community-based clean energy projects on farms and tribal land. The afternoon concert will take place in a field on a farm owned by a family who are part of a strong collective of Nebraska landowners refusing to sell their land to TransCanada for the Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline.

    Also performing will be Native American hip-hop artist Frank Waln, and the "Stopping the Pipeline Rocks All-Stars," some of the local Nebraska artists who recorded the benefit album in the solar-powered barn built inside the path of the Keystone XL pipeline last summer.

    "Harvest the Hope" Concert tickets will go on sale the morning of Wednesday, Aug. 20. Find out more here.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/12463-neil-young-and-willie-nelson-to-play-at-harvest-the-hope-concert

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  • Marie Claire magazine is celebrating its 20th anniversary by featuring twenty of the movers and shakers "boldly, bravely, audaciously blazing new paths for women and girls."

    Included on the list are Taylor Swift, Chelsea Clinton, Shakira, Alicia Keys, Barbara Bush, Eva Longoria, Olivia Wilde, Jennifer Hudson, Christy Turlington Burns, Jennifer Garner and more.

    Every inspirational woman on the list is fully profiled, and the feature can be accessed here.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/12464-marie-claire-names-20-movers-and-shakers-in-philanthropy

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  • Two legends are bringing one of tennis' biggest charity events to London for the first time. Long time friends Elton John and Billie Jean King will go head to head as they host the Mylan World Team Tennis Smash Hits to benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

    The battle will commence at 6pm on Sunday, December 7 2014, on finals day of the Statoil Masters Tennis tournament at the Royal Albert Hall.

    The pair will coach a stellar line up featuring former world number one tennis champion John McEnroe, Tim Henman, Kim Clijsters and Sabine Lisicki. The one-night event will be staged during the final session of the IMG-owned and staged Statoil Masters Tennis tournament.

    Since 1993, Mylan WTT Smash Hits has raised more than $12 million for the Elton John AIDS Foundation and various local AIDS charities throughout the United States. This is the first time in the event's 22-year history that it will be staged outside the U.S.

    Elton John, Founder of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, said, "Everyone knows I love tennis, and Mylan World Tennis Tournament Smash Hits is always such a great day. I thank our sponsors, Mylan, Billie, and all our friends in the tennis world who are supporting us. We believe that together we can all help create an AIDS free future, and proceeds from the London event will help us get closer to realising that goal, by giving access to life saving treatment to more people living with HIV in Africa."

    Don't miss out on this landmark event in the surroundings of one of the UK's most iconic venues.

    Tickets from £18.50, available from the Royal Albert Hall Box office.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/12465-elton-john-brings-smash-hits-charity-tennis-to-london

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  • Celebrities, conservationists, political officials and the media recently gathered for a special premiere screening of "The End of the Wild," a new documentary that follows basketball legend and committed conservationist Yao Ming on a fact-finding mission into the heart of Africa's wildlife conservation crisis.

    Both Yao Ming and Peter Knights of WildAid (who accompanied Yao on his 12-day trip through Kenya and South Africa) addressed the media and were joined by representatives from CCTV, which is airing "The End of the Wild," and CITIC Publishing Group, which is releasing the film's companion book, "Journey in Africa."

    Yao visited Kenya and South Africa in August of 2012 to learn about the poaching crisis and witness the dramatic toll that poaching is taking not only on Africa's endangered elephant and rhinoceros populations, but also on the human communities that coexist with them. "End of the Wild" follows Yao as he meets wild elephants and rhinos before encountering the butchered bodies of five poached elephants in Kenya and a poached rhino in South Africa. In Nairobi, Kenya, Yao tours the "ivory room," an underground vault filled with thousands of confiscated elephant tusks and other wildlife remains. He also visits local school children, whose education is funded by revenue from wildlife tourism, and meets with conservationists and government officials working to protect these endangered species.

    "The End of the Wild" aired in two parts on CCTV-9 on August 11 at 9:00 p.m. (21:00 CST) and August 17 at 10:00 p.m. (22:00 CST). Part one focuses on elephants and the ivory trade; part two shines a light on the recent explosion of rhino poaching.

    A BIG STEP IN THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST IVORY AND RHINO HORN

    In April 2013, Yao launched the "Say No to Ivory" and the "Say No to Rhino Horn" campaign with WildAid, the African Wildlife Foundation, and Save the Elephants. He has been a leader in the effort to reduce demand for ivory and rhino horn, and has been featured in television ads and billboards. WildAid's elephant ivory public awareness messages have aired 7,697 times on over 25 television channels in 2013 amounting to US$15 million in-kind broadcast value. This is the amount certified by the media monitoring firm CTR and does not include several major media outlets and could account for only 50% of the actual total broadcast value.

    In March 2014, Yao delivered a petition during the opening session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) asking China's government to ban sales of ivory. The "End of the Wild" documentary is yet another big step in Yao Ming and WildAid's effort to save endangered species by encouraging the public to stop buying wildlife products. In the documentary Yao clearly states his intent, "I believe what people will see in those pictures, [they] will remember it. That's what we're here for: film this, bring it back home … and show everybody the reality."

    "With this film, Yao is helping to spread the word about the ecological and human costs of the illegal wildlife trade," explains Peter Knights, Executive Director of WildAid. "We hope that with more public awareness and support, that China will become a true global leader in conservation and help save elephants and rhinos."

    Yao previously helped to reduce China's demand for shark fin through his campaign with WildAid. He appeared in public service messages that have reached hundreds of millions of consumers throughout China on broadcast and satellite television, LCD screens on trains and in subway and railway stations, airports, airline in-flight entertainment, shopping malls, banks, taxis, and universities and hospitals. Yao's messages helped change public opinion and encouraged President Xi's administration to ban shark fin from state banquets. A 2013 survey revealed that 85% of respondents in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Chengdu had stopped eating shark fin soup within the last three years. Sixty-five percent of those who quit shark fin cited public awareness campaigns as a reason.

    An estimated 33,000 elephants are killed each year for their tusks, and 95% of the world's rhinos have been lost over the past 40 years. Growing demand in China and Southeast Asia is driving sharp increases in poaching. In China, ivory is prized as a status symbol by the nation's growing affluent and middle classes, and the country's legal market perpetuates demand and provides a laundering mechanism for illegal, poached ivory from Africa. Rhino horn is highly sought after for purported health benefits. In Vietnam, rhino horn has a reputation as a cancer treatment and a hangover cure regardless of the fact that the horn is composed of keratin (the same substance as human hair and fingernails).

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/12468-yao-ming-premieres-the-end-of-the-wild

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  • The Hollywood community is once again uniting to support Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), which will stage its fourth biennial fundraising telecast Friday, September 5 (8:00 -- 9:00 PM ET/PT).

    Gwyneth Paltrow, Reese Witherspoon, Pierce Brosnan, Jennifer Aniston, Halle Berry, Jon Hamm, Kiefer Sutherland, Ben Stiller, Will Ferrell, Mark Harmon, Rob Lowe, Danny McBride, Eric Stonestreet, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Tony Hale, Dane Cook, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Marg Helgenberger, Matt Passmore, Rob Riggle, Italia Ricci and Bree Turner will appear in the broadcast, with special performances by The Who, Jennifer Hudson, Lupe Fiasco & Common, Ariana Grande, and Dave Matthews. Additional stars and performers will be announced in the coming weeks.

    Paltrow and Joel Gallen of Tenth Planet Productions will co-executive produce the Sept. 5 broadcast, live from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC, along with ABC Family, American Forces Network, Bravo, Cooking Channel, Discovery Fit & Health, E!, Encore, Encore Espanol, EPIX, ESPNEWS, FOX Sports 2, FXM, HBO, HBO Latino, ION Television, LMN, Logo TV, MLB Network, National Geographic Channel, Oxygen, Palladia, Pivot, SHOWTIME, Smithsonian Channel, Starz, TNT and VH1 are donating one hour of simultaneous commercial-free primetime for the nationally televised fundraising special on Friday, September 5, to be broadcast live from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. The show will stream live on both Hulu and Yahoo.

    Instead of the traditional phone bank staffed by celebrities, the Sept. 5 telecast will feature a "digital lounge" on the set, hosted by Yahoo News Global Anchor Katie Couric. Stars in the digital lounge will reach out to viewers via phone, Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms through an exciting new campaign called "We're Calling You" that SU2C's supporters can sign up for, as of today, at werecallingyou.org.

    "Since we started Stand Up To Cancer in 2008, social media has exploded, creating a whole new way to connect," said Couric, a Stand Up To Cancer Co-Founder. "So in an unprecedented way, we'll have plenty of stars reaching out to donors via social media, thanking them through Facebook messages, digital shout outs, Instagrams and tweets. In other words, this year, we are so 2014!"

    Facebook has collaborated with Stand Up To Cancer since its first telecast in 2008 and is now SU2C's primary social media partner. Over the years, SU2C has continued to expand on its relationship with Facebook through various initiatives to inspire and engage people and connect them with SU2C celebrity ambassadors. With the "We're Calling You" activation, Facebook and Instagram will enable supporters and fans to engage directly with their favorite stars. See more at werecallingyou.org.

    In the on-stage digital lounge, Katie Couric will tap into the Facebook Mentions Box, which allows supporters to share their connection to cancer and receive real-time responses from celebrities. Other celebrities in the digital lounge will participate in Facebook Q&As, using their own pages to respond live to fan questions. Facebook and Instagram will also have a presence on the star-studded red carpet on Sept. 5 with a photo experience that will capture the stars as they make their way into the Dolby Theatre, sharing those images and videos with fans.

    In addition to Facebook, an array of digital and social media platforms and influencers -- ranging from reddit, Nerdist, Tumblr, Yahoo, Hulu, AOL, and The Huffington Post -- are helping support SU2C this year.

    "Cancer affects us all," said Paltrow, who lost her father, Bruce Paltrow, to oral cancer in 2002, "and each and every person can help the scientists who are working 24/7 to save more lives. We want to get that message out in as many ways as possible, so we're excited to use social media to reach supporters from all over who are helping to grow the Stand Up To Cancer movement, and hopefully, get even more people to stand up with us."

    This star-studded appeal continues to help build public support for SU2C's groundbreaking translational research that can provide patients with new therapies to save lives now. SU2C brings together scientists from different disciplines across institutions and international boundaries to collaborate on finding new treatments for a wide range of cancer types.

    For the first time, there will be a Canada-inclusive co-broadcast of the 2014 telecast, which will air simultaneously on all four major English-language Canadian networks: CBC, City, CTV and Global, along with Canadian services AMI, CHCH, CHEK, Fight Network, and Hollywood Suite. All funds received from the Canadian general public during the broadcast will be directed towards the creation of collaborative research teams, as well as education and awareness programs conducted in Canada.

    "It is such an honor to be part of this extraordinary event and movement. Everyone is joining together: the artists are volunteering their talents, the broadcast and cable networks are giving us the time, and the great online community is helping us reach millions of people. It is a powerful and hopeful moment to see so many stand united to turn every cancer patient into a survivor," said Gallen.

    The first three SU2C telecasts took place on September 5, 2008, September 10, 2010 and September 7, 2012, and were made available to more than 190 countries. To date, more than $261 million has been pledged to support SU2C's innovative cancer research programs. Since 2008, SU2C has funded 12 "Dream Teams" of researchers and two translational research teams, as well as 26 young innovative scientists whose high-risk, potentially high-reward projects are aimed at ending cancer's reign as a leading cause of death worldwide.

    SU2C was founded on the belief that collaboration would play an integral role in advancing cancer research. To date, Stand Up To Cancer has brought together more than 750 of the best and the brightest research scientists from 112 institutions in six countries to work together in order to save lives now. SU2C-funded researchers have planned, launched or completed more than 140 clinical trials.

    Researchers supported by SU2C are investigating a wide variety of new approaches to various malignancies, including cancers of the breast, ovary, endometrium, lung, prostate, pancreas, and colon; metastatic melanoma; childhood cancers including leukemia and lymphoma; and cancers resulting from human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, among other forms of cancer.

    Work by SU2C-supported researchers has led to approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of a new combination treatment for pancreatic cancer, as well as FDA "breakthrough therapy" designation— intended to expedite development of especially promising medicines — for a new breast cancer drug.

    The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the world's largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research and its mission to prevent and cure cancer, is the official Scientific Partner of Stand Up To Cancer. In the United States, AACR is responsible for administering the grants and providing scientific oversight in conjunction with the SU2C Scientific Advisory Committee, chaired by Nobel Laureate Phillip A. Sharp, Ph.D., Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT. Vice chairs of the SAC are Arnold J. Levine, Ph.D., Professor, Institute for Advanced Study and Cancer Institute of New Jersey; and William G. Nelson, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center in Baltimore.

    As SU2C's founding donor, Major League Baseball has provided both financial support and countless opportunities to build the Stand Up To Cancer grassroots movement by encouraging fans all over the country to get involved. In addition to MLB, SU2C's "Visionary" donors include Cancer Treatment Centers of America, MasterCard, and The Sidney Kimmel Foundation for Cancer Research.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/12469-stars-announced-for-stand-up-to-cancer-telecast

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  • PETA, whose motto includes "animals are not ours to wear," has closed one of the largest chinchilla fur farms in California: Adams Valley View Chinchilla Ranch in Vista, which described itself as a breeder of "pets" — despite electrocuting, skinning, and then selling the pelts of chinchillas who didn't sell or "work out" as companions.

    Sam Simon inspects dozens of chinchillas awaiting transport to the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA
    Sam Simon inspects dozens of chinchillas awaiting transport to the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA

    "PETA is happy to have saved these fascinating animals from being painfully electrocuted and to have made sure that no coats or blankets would be made from their bodies," says Sam Simon, a PETA patron who paid for the rescue of the animals. "PETA encourages everyone to do their part to help animals like these little individuals by never buying or wearing any animal skins."

    PETA's purchase of the fur farm stock includes the electrocution device and the pelting drum used to stretch the chinchilla skins.

    PETA documented admissions of cruel practices conducted at the farm, as revealed in video footage that's now available at PETA.org.

    Valley View used a toe-to-ear electrocution slaughtering method, deemed "unacceptable" by the American Veterinary Medical Association, as it makes the animals go rigid but doesn't stop brain activity, leaving them to experience all the pain of a full-blown heart attack.

    The owners admitted that they had never provided chinchillas with veterinary care and that they strapped the animals to a table in order to amputate their limbs — using "wire snips" and "six drops of brandy" in lieu of anesthetics. "I usually have so many animals that if I lose one, it's not a catastrophe," one owner said.

    Chinchillas are social animals who live in herds of up to 100 and enjoy burrowing and climbing. At Valley View, they were locked in metal cages — often, in solitary confinement — with little or no enrichment.

    The more than 400 rescued chinchillas are now at the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA, where they will soon be available for adoption in groups of two to four.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/12470-sam-simon-rescues-400-chinchillas-from-cruelty

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  • Oxfam are delighted to announce actor Michelle Dockery as its first ever Humanitarian Ambassador, helping the charity fundraise and highlight their work responding to emergencies around the world.

    Last year Michelle travelled with Oxfam to Jordan to meet with Syrian refugees affected by the awful conflict; on her return Michelle helped launch the charity's "12 Days of Giving" campaign, which raised vital funds to support refugees during the harsh winter. Since her trip Michelle has auctioned her Emmys dress to raise funds for Syria, and more recently supported Oxfam's appeal to get emergency aid to those in desperate need in Gaza.

    Michelle said: "Travelling with Oxfam and meeting families whose lives have been torn apart by the conflict in Syria, stripped of everything they know – just trying to get by each day with the very basics they need to survive – was utterly heart breaking. But thanks to Oxfam and the incredible support of the British public, they're not alone. I witnessed first hand the incredible work Oxfam do every day ensuring those people have the support they need to get back on their feet."

    This announcement comes on World Humanitarian Day, which aims to recognise and celebrate those who face danger and adversity in their work helping others. Oxfam respond to around 40 humanitarian disasters a year. Right now there are over 28 million people in need of humanitarian aid in the Middle East, Oxfam is there providing life saving water, sanitation, food and cash transfers to help people in desperate need. The charity's humanitarian response also currently includes South Sudan, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia.

    Michelle adds: "It is clear that the world is currently experiencing a huge number of humanitarian emergencies and there are millions of people who are suffering as a result, with nowhere to turn and in desperate need of support. I saw for myself how Oxfam won't stop until the last person has access to the basics needed to survive in an emergency but, I also know they cannot do that without the continued support and generosity of the British public.

    "I feel very honoured to be given this role as Humanitarian Ambassador for Oxfam. I hope that in accepting this role, I will be able to help Oxfam raise awareness of their work, what they need to help those in crises and to show those who do donate what an amazing difference their support can make."

    Mark Goldring, Oxfam's CEO said: "Michelle's contribution to helping raise vital funds for Syrian refuges and awareness of their situation over the last year has been unwavering. She is passionate, empathetic and eager to learn more about how we work to support in the best way she can.

    "On World Humanitarian Day, when we celebrate the heroism and commitment of those that work to help support people in dire need, we are thrilled to announce Michelle as our first ever Humanitarian Ambassador. It is an important role that will undoubtedly help us achieve our ultimate goal of keeping people and hope alive in times they need it most."

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/12471-downton-abbey-star-named-as-oxfam-humanitarian-ambassador

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  • A number of stars have put their name to a letter calling on UK broadcasters to improve their representation of ethnic minorities.

    Among the stars to sign the letter – which was sent to BBC director general Tony Hall, ITV chief executive Adam Crozier, Channel 4 chief executive David Abraham, BSkyB chief executive Jeremy Darroch and Philippe Dauman, chief executive of Viacom – include Daniel Craig, Richard Curtis, Idris Elba, Neil Gaiman, Lenny Henry, Matt Lucas, Bill Nighy and many more.

    "We the undersigned are writing you this open letter because together you are responsible for the most powerful broadcasting institutions in Britain and are therefore in a unique position to shape and form the future of British television," reads the letter. "We are dismayed at the poor numbers of Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people both on our screens and working behind the camera

    "Today, only 5% of employees in our creative industries are BAME, despite BAME's making up 12.5% of the total UK population.

    "In order to redress this imbalance, we believe that the training, mentoring and development schemes recently announced, although welcome, are not sufficiently radical to effect significant change.

    "We propose, therefore a solution that would almost immediately stimulate growth throughout the BAME creative community: a ring--fenced pot of money for BAME programmes.

    "The effect of this fund would be to engender and encourage television that would reflect one of Britain's greatest strengths; our diversity.

    "Let us be clear about how this ring-fenced money would work. It is about quality of programming, not quantity: money is only spent when quality projects are identified – not to fill a quota. The major broadcasters have already set targets for the number of programmes produced outside London, and in the nations.

    "To increase ethnic diversity we are asking you to look at what has worked before and extend it for BAME communities. Ring-fencing money would not only guarantee results, but also create a more stable space for BAME talent on screen and behind the camera."

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/12472-stars-write-to-broadcasters-for-diversity

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  • The entertainment industry has once again joined together to lend support to the MDA Show of Strength Telethon, benefiting the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

    The 49th broadcast of the television fundraising event will air in primetime on ABC, Sunday, Aug. 31 (9 p.m. ET /PT, 8 p.m. CT/MT).

    Delivering one-of-a-kind performances of their new, hit or classic songs are Grammy winners Rascal Flatts and LeAnn Rimes, plus Aloe Blacc, American Authors, Bret Michaels, Fall Out Boy, Jason Derulo, Matt Nathanson, R5 and Sara Evans.

    The long-standing Labor Day weekend tradition combines performances and celebrity presenters to engage viewers with powerful "stories of strength" and moving calls-to-action to help families affected by muscle diseases.

    Celebrity presenters on the telethon include Alyssa Milano, Brad Paisley, Chip Esten, Chris Powell, Jann Carl, Jordin Sparks, Josh Groban, Ke$ha, Kevin Frazier, Laila Ali, Ludacris, Nancy O0Dell, Pete Wentz, ABC's Dr. Richard Besser, Susan Lucci, Terry Fator, Tom Bergeron and Victor Ortiz.

    "MDA's telethon gives us a chance to celebrate the compassionate support of our celebrity friends, sponsors and individuals in communities across the country who give generously to help save and improve lives of those fighting muscle disease," said MDA President and CEO Steven M. Derks. "With clinical trials of potential new therapies underway, this is a time of hope and progress for the children and adults we serve. We urge families and friends to gather together on Aug. 31 to watch, whether via broadcast or online, and see the fantastic performers and inspiring stories of those who are fighting muscle disease with grace and courage."

    Next week, telethon premiere parties will take place in communities in every state in the nation to rally MDA families, sponsors and volunteers, as well as to engage new supporters. Public service and promotional campaigns to help promote the show have already started to air.

    While the telethon has consistently enjoyed robust support from some of the biggest celebrities in show business, MDA says the real stars on the broadcast are the individuals and families served by MDA, including five families who will share their stories and give the public a glimpse of what it means to live with a muscle disease during the 2014 broadcast.

    MDA supporters are encouraged to visit mda.org/showofstrength to enhance their telethon viewing experience. On Sunday, Aug. 31, the site will have an online telethon tote board keeping track of all donations associated with the televised fundraiser, including those made by national sponsors, direct marketing donors and through calls, texts and online donations made during the broadcast.

    New this year, site visitors can submit their favorite MDA memories by sharing favorite stories and remembrances of how MDA and its telethon have touched their lives throughout the decades and years. The campaign is being tracked by the hashtag #MDAmemories and is being shared on MDA's Instagram page and on mda.org.

    Additionally, visitors also can check out and share exclusive behind-the-scenes footage from the telethon with celebrities and MDA families and sign on to be a "Muscle Maker" for $11 a month. MDA social channels include Facebook at facebook.com/MDANational, Twitter at twitter.com/MDAnews, Google+ at mda.org/plus, Instagram at instagram/mda_usa and Pinterest at pinterest/mdanational.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/12473-star-lineup-set-for-mda-show-of-strength-telethon-this-labor-day-weekend

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  • The ALS Association would like to thank President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, for showing their continued support for people living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) by taking the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

    Video: ALS Ice Bucket Challenge - George W. Bush

    In 2008, President Bush signed the National ALS Registry into law (Public Law 110-373) which established the first ever national registry of people living with the disease.

    The bill had broad bipartisan support in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. The House of Representatives passed the legislation by an overwhelming 415-2 vote, and the Senate passed it by unanimous consent.

    President and CEO, Barbara Newhouse said, "In addition to President Bush, we also extend our appreciation to the many other elected officials who took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and continue to support policies that help people who are currently living with Lou Gehrig's disease."

    The Association championed the National ALS Registry, which was launched in October 2010 by the federal Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and it is the only ALS registry mandated by Congress.

    The National ALS Registry, which serves as a research engine, is helping to advance the search for the cause and treatment of ALS through risk factory surveys, connecting people living with ALS to clinical trials and studies, and funding independent research projects.

    As of Thursday, August 21, The ALS Association has received $41.8 million in donations compared to $2.1 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 21). These donations have come from existing donors and 739,275 new donors to The Association.

    To learn more about the National ALS Registry please visit the ALS Registry website at www.cdc.gov/als or The ALS Association's website at www.alsa.org/registry/. You also may contact your local Chapter here.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/12475-george-w-bush-takes-als-ice-bucket-challenge

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  • Toys"R"Us has announced the release of its 20th Anniversary edition of the ToysRUs Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids, an easy-to-use toy selection resource for those who know, love and shop for children with special needs.

    ALBERT PUJOLS SUPPORTs THE 2014 TOYSRUS TOY GUIDE FOR DIFFERENTLY-ABLED KIDS
    ALBERT PUJOLS SUPPORTs THE 2014 TOYSRUS TOY GUIDE FOR DIFFERENTLY-ABLED KIDS

    Now in its second decade of annual publication, the complimentary shopping guide is a go-to for families, friends and caregivers involved in the special needs community, and is available in Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us stores nationwide, as well as online at Toysrus.com/DifferentlyAbled in both English and Spanish.

    This year, Toys"R"Us is teaming up with baseball World Champion, proud father and special needs advocate, Albert Pujols, who appears on the cover alongside Cameron Withers, a 5-year-old boy from Southern California.

    While Pujols is known for his passion on the diamond, his dedication to the special needs community is even greater. As a parent to a daughter with Down syndrome, Pujols serves as a vocal advocate for children with special needs through the Pujols Family Foundation. Since 2005, the Pujols Family Foundation has worked diligently to provide children and families living with Down syndrome with the tools they need to thrive. As part of the launch of this year's Guide, Pujols will bring that same devotion to his partnership with Toys"R"Us in helping to reach its customers nationwide and raise awareness of this one-of-a-kind resource.

    "As a proud dad to my beautiful daughter, Bella, who lives with Down syndrome, I understand how important it is to have resources like the Toys"R"Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids to help in making informed choices to support a child's development. And, as a professional athlete, I truly value the importance of play and recognize the impact it has in the lives of children who face everyday challenges -- for these kids, playtime is not just about fun, it's an opportunity to explore their strengths and experience success in reaching each new milestone," said nine-time All-Star baseball player, Albert Pujols. "I have a tremendous amount of passion for this cause, and I'm excited to partner with Toys"R"Us to make it easier for gift-givers to find toys for the special needs children in their lives that will inspire their imagination, encourage inclusive play and help them develop new skills."

    Serving as a trusted resource for family, friends and caregivers of children with special needs, the Guide is packed with everyday playthings selected for their unique ability to help kids build critical skills, such as creativity, fine and gross motor and self-esteem, during playtime. Each of the toys featured in the 63-page buying guide has been vetted in partnership with the National Lekotek Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to making play accessible for children of all abilities.

    "For two decades, the Toys"R"Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids has been a valuable resource for parents looking to find toys that help build specific skills for their children," said Kathleen Waugh, Chairman, Toys"R"Us Children's Fund. "We're honored to partner with Albert Pujols in our goal to bring joy to children of all abilities. Toys"R"Us has a long-standing commitment to ensuring tools like the Guide are accessible and available for parents and children everywhere."

    Through the Toys"R"Us Children's Fund, Toys"R"Us, Inc. has long supported the special needs community via organizations such as: American Society for Deaf Children, Autism Speaks, the Pujols Family Foundation, HollyRod Foundation, Muscular Dystrophy Association, National Down Syndrome Society, National Lekotek Center, National Organization of Parents of Blind Children, National Center for Learning Disabilities, Special Olympics, Spina Bifida Association and United Cerebral Palsy. For more information, please visit www.toysrusinc.com/charitable-giving/.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/12466-albert-pujols-supports-toys-r-us-toy-guide-for-differently-abled-kids

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  • Acclaimed Actress Amy Brenneman may play a silenced police chief's wife in her new role on "The Leftovers," but she generously lends her voice to help raise awareness for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis in a newly refreshed public service awareness campaign.

    Video: Help Someone You Know

    The campaign features Brenneman, who has suffered from ulcerative colitis, and is now a proud supporter of the Crohn0s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA). The goal of campaign is two-fold: 1. To highlight the prevalence of these diseases and 2. To reinforce the seriousness of these diseases. Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are chronic diseases that affect nearly 1 in 200 Americans. The physical and emotional toll they take on patients is significant.

    "I know firsthand how devastating these diseases can be," Amy Brenneman said. "So, when CCFA asked me to help I was more than happy to get involved. If my support can help even one person, I'd be happy."

    Many patients suffer in silence from inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), and with Ms. Brenneman's support, hopefully that will change. IBD are painful, medically incurable diseases that attack the digestive system. Symptoms may include abdominal pain, persistent diarrhea, bleeding, fever, severe fatigue and weight loss. Many patients require numerous hospitalizations and surgery. The fastest growing patient population is children under the age of 18.

    "By putting this issue front and center, we want to engage people, raise awareness, and demonstrate our commitment and compassion to finding cures and improving the lives of our patients," said Richard J. Geswell, President and CEO of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America. "We know these diseases extend far beyond the bathroom, but it's a compelling way to get the conversation started."

    For the second year in a row, CCFA enlisted the pro-bono help of the global advertising agency, FCB Health. In addition to the :30-second and :60-second TV spots, the campaign consists of radio, print, out-of-home and digital assets.

    The campaign utilizes the bathroom for a simple reason -- it's easy to recognize. And empathize. The campaign is about helping people understand how difficult it is to live with IBD, while reminding people that have IBD that there's no reason to hide a normal daily activity. The campaign is designed to raise awareness to help those in need by visualizing the constant disruption of IBD. Showing different feet under the doors of bathroom stalls is meant to highlight the growing rate of IBD, not explain all the symptoms. CCFA is also leveraging social media, asking patients to share their stories online using #IBDselfie to #HelpSomeoneYouKnow.

    "We had so many great insights to work with. Evolving a campaign that resonates and motivated people is tricky -- you want to improve everything without touching the DNA of what made the concept work in the first place," said Mike Devin, Executive Vice President, Creative Director.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/12474-amy-brenneman-raises-awareness-of-crohns-and-colitis

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  • Tickets are now on sale for UNT Health Science Center's annual An Evening with a Legend fundraiser, this year featuring Jay Leno, the renowned comedian and 22-year host of "The Tonight Show."

    The performance benefits the UNT Health Science Center Foundation in support of the university's research, education and health care mission. Presented with a generous gift by Chase and J.P. Morgan, "An Evening with a Legend" begins at 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6, at Fort Worth's Bass Performance Hall.

    The chairs for this year's event are Pati and Bill Meadows. The honorary chairs are Kay and Ben Fortson. The annual event celebrates the time-honored partnership between UNT Health Science Center and the Fort Worth community.

    Ticket options are as follows:
    * Premium tickets ranging from $150 to $1,000 are available at www.eveningwithalegend.com, via email at legend@unthsc.edu or by calling 817-735-2445.
    * Information about corporate and group sponsorships also is available at www.eveningwithalegend.com, by email at legend@unthsc.edu or by calling 817-735-2445.
    * Additional tickets ranging from $70 to $110 in the upper gallery, upper gallery preferred and lower gallery sections are available through Bass Hall's ticket office.

    Leno, who is the recipient of The Kennedy Center's 2014 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, spent more than two decades behind the most revered desk in late-night comedy. He is a 15-time Emmy Award nominee, winning twice, including the 1995 Emmy for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series for "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/12476-tickets-to-jay-leno-an-evening-with-a-legend-available-now

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  • The "Get Lucky for Lupus LA!" celebrity poker tournament and party will feature a silent auction with priceless memorabilia from sports, music, TV and film stars.

    Nick Cannon will be presented with the Ace Award by six-time Grammy Award Winner, Toni Braxton.

    Poker players will have the chance to win a $10,000 poker seat at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event in the Bahamas and a Las Vegas experience at Beacher's Madhouse. Guests will also enjoy a photo booth, food carts, and casino favorites like blackjack and roulette.

    Where: Avalon Hollywood
    1735 Vine St.
    Los Angeles, CA 90028

    When: September 18th, 2014

    Red Carpet Arrivals: 7:00 p.m. -- 8:00 p.m.
    Poker Tournament Begins: 8:00 p.m.

    Lupus affects 1.5 Million people in the US, which is more than cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis combined. More then 90 percent of people with lupus are women between the ages of 15 and 45. Lupus is the leading cause of premature cardiovascular disease, kidney disease and stroke among young women. Lupus is difficult to diagnose because its symptoms come and go, mimic those of other diseases, and there is no single laboratory test that can definitively identify the illness. The "Get Lucky for Lupus LA!" poker tournament and raises funds for Lupus LA, which promotes lupus research, awareness, and education, and serves the needs of people with lupus and their families in California. In previous years, the event has raised as much as a quarter of a million dollars for the cause. To learn how you can "Get Into The Loop" or purchase tickets please visit lupusla.org or call 310.657.LOOP.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/12477-nick-cannon-to-be-honored-at-get-lucky-for-lupus-la-event

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  • Former Baywatch star and Bigg Boss alum Pamela Anderson was delighted to learn that after banning the testing of cosmetics and their ingredients on animals, India's Ministry of Health & Family Welfare is now considering amending The Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945, to include a ban on the import and sale of cosmetics that have been tested on animals anywhere in the world.

    That's why Anderson has written to Indian Health Minister Harsh Vardhan to urge him to have a heart for animals and go forward with extending the animal-testing ban.

    In her letter, Anderson writes, "Please resist special interests and ‘dinosaur' companies who still test in crude and cruel ways and do the right, kind thing. Please pass the proposed ban on the import and sale of cosmetics if they or their ingredients have been tested on animals without delay".

    If introduced into The Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945, the new rule could state, "135-B. Import of cosmetics tested on animals prohibited. — No cosmetic tested on animals shall be imported". A decision to ban the import and sale of cosmetics if they or their ingredients have been tested on animals would bring India in line with Israel and the European Union, which have already passed similar bans.

    "The European Union and Israel have already banned the marketing and sale of cosmetics if they or their ingredients were tested on animals, and more than 1,400 companies around the world have also banned all animal tests in favour of modern, non-animal and human-relevant test methods", writes Anderson. "They no longer drip substances into rabbits' eyes, smear them onto guinea pigs' abraded skin, spray them into dogs' and monkeys' faces, and force them down animals' throats, the thought of which makes me sick."

    After learning about the issue from PETA India, many other stars -- including Raveena Tandon-Thadani, Jacqueline Fernandez, Dia Mirza, R Madhavan, Rahul Khanna, Sunny Leone, Pooja Bhatt, Lara Dutta, Trisha Krishnan, Dino Morea and Esha Deol-Takhtani -- petitioned India's Ministry of Health & Family Welfare in support of a sale ban on cosmetics and household products tested on animals.

    This is not the first time that Anderson has spoken up for animals. Among dozens of international actions over the years, she recently supported PETA India's successful campaign to free the chained temple elephant Sunder, who now lives in a spacious elephant park. While she was in India filming Bigg Boss, Anderson adopted a desi dog she named Pyari. The long-time vegan also wrote to then-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2010 and asked him to help the cows who are abused and slaughtered in the gruesome leather trade.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/12478-pamela-anderson-urges-india-to-ban-import-of-animal-tested-cosmetics

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  • A new single by actress, singer and busy mom Hilary Duff will be featured in a March Of Dimes public service announcement (PSA).

    Video: Hilary Duff March of Dimes Mission PSA

    "As a mom, I know there is nothing more important than the health of our babies," says Ms. Duff, mother of two-year-old Luca. "That's why I'm proud to support the March of Dimes in fighting the serious problems of birth defects and premature birth. Sharing my song with the March of Dimes to use will let my fans know how important the March of Dimes mission is to me and I hope they'll support it, too."

    After her son was born, Ms. Duff attended a March of Dimes celebrity event and learned about the important March of Dimes education, research and community programs that help women have full-term-pregnancies and healthy babies. She serves as a March of Dimes celebrity volunteer for the organization's largest fundraiser, March for Babies.

    "At the March for Babies walk, I met and volunteered alongside thousands of families whose babies were helped and whose lives were touched by the March of Dimes," she explains.

    Her single "Chasing the Sun" was released by RCA July 29th. Ms. Duff also says she will support the March of Dimes by reaching out to her millions loyal fans and followers on social media and through local events.

    Hilary Duff is best known for her role in the Disney Channel series Lizzie McGuire and its motion picture The Lizzie McGuire Movie. She also has appeared in other feature films, including Agent Cody Banks, Cheaper by the Dozen, A Cinderella Story and Cheaper by the Dozen 2.

    Ms. Duff is set to grace the silver screen once again in her role as twenty-something Kelsey in TV Land's newest original series "Younger," starring alongside Tony Award winner Sutton Foster, Debi Mazar and Miriam Shor. In addition to her acting, Duff also has a global prolific and successful singing career, entering the Top-40 music charts with the singles "So Yesterday" and "Come Clean." Her first album "Metamorphosis," reached #1 on the Billboard 200, selling four million copies. Overall, Hilary has sold more than 15 million records worldwide. She has won two platinum awards and her concerts are routinely sold out across the country as she attracts a large and loyal fan base. In 2014, Duff signed with RCA Records and is currently finalizing her fifth studio album, which is slated for a fall release and marks her first original material since 2007.

    The new March of Dimes PSA featuring "Chasing the Sun" is being distributed to stations nationwide and through March of Dimes partner outlets and social media.

    The March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. For more than 75 years, moms and babies have benefited from March of Dimes research, education, vaccines, and breakthroughs. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com or nacersano.org.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/12467-hilary-duffs-new-song-featured-in-march-of-dimes-psa

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