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  • James Franco talks about why farm animals deserve the same respect and consideration as dogs and cats, and why he supports the work of Farm Sanctuary, a national organization dedicated to protecting farm animals from cruelty and changing the way society views and treats farm animals.

    James Franco Speaks Out for Farm Animals

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  • Providing year-round sports training and athletic competition to more than 2.2 million people with intellectual disabilities in more than 150 countries

    Celebrity supporters

    Special Olympics has 67 known supporters, including Bono, Sting, and Madonna

    Areas of work

    Read more about Special Olympics0s work and celebrity supporters.
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  • The 22nd annual Cinema Against AIDS gala raised more than $30 million last week in support of amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, and its pursuit of a cure for HIV/AIDS.

    Video: amfAR: The 22nd annual Cinema Against AIDS gala in Antibes, France

    The star-studded black-tie event, held at the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes, France, during the Cannes Film Festival, was presented by Harry Winston and Bold Films.

    Event Chairs included amfAR Chairman Kenneth Cole, Harvey Weinstein, Jake Gyllenhaal, Carine Roitfeld, Isabella Rossellini, Frances McDormand, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Abhishek Bachchan, Diane Kruger, John C. Reilly, Michel Litvak, amfAR Global Fundraising Chairman Milutin Gatsby, Len Blavatnik, Nayla Hayek, Remo Ruffini, and Vin Roberti.

    Other guests in attendance, many of whom participated in the evening's auction included: Antonio Banderas, Matt Bellamy, Andrea Bocelli, Adrien Brody, Marion Cotillard, Xavier Dolan, Lily Donaldson, Jourdan Dunn, Michael Fassbender, Tom Ford, David Gandy, Melissa George, Madalina Ghenea, Jake Gyllenhaal, Bella Hadid, Gigi Hadid, Lewis Hamilton, Eva Herzigova, Chanel Iman, Kendall Jenner, Harvey Keitel, Karlie Kloss, Zoe Kravitz, Karolina Kurkova, Adriana Lima, Eva Longoria, Sienna Miller, Petra Nemcova, Rita Ora, Barbara Palvin, Michelle Rodriguez, Irina Shayk, Paolo Sorrentino, Dita Von Teese, Mario Testino, Robin Thicke, Chris Tucker, Alicia Vikander, Binx Walton, and Lindsey Wixson, among many others.

    The undisputed highlight of the evening's live auction, led by auctioneer Simon de Pury, was a stunning 18½ foot tall sculpture by Jeff Koons, titled Coloring Book. This magnificent artwork was on display at the Hôtel du Cap for guests to admire against the backdrop of the Mediterranean. After a lively round of bidding, the work, part of Koons's Celebration Series, sold for over $13 million.

    Another outstanding work by one of the world's best known artists, legendary Columbian painter and sculptor Fernando Botero, was also on display throughout the event. Titled Donna su Cavallo, and introduced by John C. Reilly and Eva Herzigova, the statue went for $2.2 million.

    Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai Bachchan introduced an exquisite bespoke diamond necklace, designed exclusively for amfAR and Cinema Against AIDS by Harry Winston in recognition of their new milestone partnership with amfAR. Recalling the teardrop silhouette of the famed Taylor-Burton diamond, the necklace was comprised of 191 round brilliant and marquise diamonds and weighed in at 33 carats. Titled "Epic Cluster," it was purchased by a winning bidder for $500,000.

    A work by Banksy, the world's most famous and mysterious street artist, was donated to the auction by Leonardo DiCaprio from his private collection and sold for over $1 million. Titled Smiling Copper on Cardboard, it was introduced by Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard. Mr. DiCaprio also contributed a one-of-kind experience to the auction by offering a seat at his table at the upcoming gala for the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation in St. Tropez. The surprise package, which also included a private dinner with Mr. DiCaprio, sold for $280,000.

    A stunning feature of the evening was a Black and White fashion show curated by longtime amfAR supporter Carine Roitfeld. The dazzling collection featured one-of-a-kind looks, half in black, half in white, from the world's most celebrated fashion houses. Participating designers included Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Gucci, Prada, Céline, Balmain, Giorgio Armani, and Tom Ford, among others. Forty of the world's top models participated in the runway presentation, including Event Co-Chairs , Adriana Lima, Irina Shayk, and Karolina Kurkova, as well as Barbara Palvin, Bella Hadid, Gigi Hadid, Binx Walton, Chanel Iman, Izabel Goulart, and Lily Donaldon, among others.

    The Black and White collection was subsequently auctioned off in its entirety by Tom Ford and Eva Longoria, selling for nearly $1 million.

    For the second year in a row, internationally acclaimed Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli donated a dinner for 12 people at his private residence, either on the coast of Tuscany or in Miami Beach. Auctioned by Chris Tucker and Petra Nemcova, the lot sold twice for over $1 million each. To give the winners a sneak peek of the intimate performance they would be treated to as part of the experience, Mr. Bocelli took to the stage for a moving, impromptu performance of "Por Ti Volare."

    The unforgettable evening also featured live performances by internationally renowned musical acts. Grammy-nominated British pop sensation Charli XCX kicked off the evening with an explosive performance of her top hits "Break the Rules" and "Boom Clap". Multi-platinum selling and nine-time Grammy Award-winner Mary J. Blige got the crowd on their feet with a performance of her classic hit "Family Affair." The evening culminated in an electrifying performance by Grammy Award-winning rock band Imagine Dragons, who performed hits such as "It's Time," "Demons," and "Radioactive."

    In other highlights of the auction:
    * A priceless pencil drawing by Pablo Picasso titled "L'Etreinte," signed and dated by the artist, sold for $800,000.
    * An Andy Warhol portrait of Elizabeth Taylor, amfAR's Founding International Chairman, sold to Eva Longoria for $600,000.
    * An untitled work by one of the most acclaimed and influential artists of the 20th century, Alexander Calder, auctioned off by Frances McDormand, also sold for $600,000.
    * The final auction lot of the evening was a private portrait sitting with legendary fashion photographer Mario Testino. Taking the stage with top models Karlie Kloss, Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, and Jourdan Dunn, Mr. Testino helped sell the experience for nearly $1,000,000.

    In his remarks, amfAR Chairman Kenneth Cole acknowledged the enormous success of Cinema Against AIDS in generating funds to advance amfAR's AIDS research programs. "With your help," said Cole, "we have recently mounted an all-out effort to find a cure for AIDS, and are poised to write the final chapter on this deadly epidemic."

    Cinema Against AIDS 22 was presented by Harry Winston and Bold Films. The Weinstein Company was Signature Sponsor. MoëtHennessy is amfAR's Official Wine and Spirits Partner. Delta Air Lines is the Official Airline of amfAR.

    After the Cinema Against AIDS dinner, guests were invited to an exclusive After Party presented by Moncler featuring DJ Mark Ronson, whose latest hit "Uptown Funk" with Bruno Mars spent 14 consecutive weeks at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100.

    Since amfAR's late Founding International Chairman Dame Elizabeth Taylor hosted the first Cinema Against AIDS in 1993, the event has become the most coveted ticket in Cannes. Past events have been chaired by amfAR Global Campaign Chair Sharon Stone, President Bill Clinton, George Clooney, Matt Damon, Nicole Kidman, Robert De Niro, Sir Elton John, Demi Moore, and Madonna, among many others.

    amfAR's annual Cinema Against AIDS events have been important and successful fundraising events for the Foundation for over two decades, generating more than $140 million for amfAR's life-saving research programs and keeping the fight against AIDS in the global media spotlight. amfAR continues to fund HIV/AIDS researchers worldwide, and works to translate their research into effective policy, prevention, and treatment education programs around the globe. Additionally, amfAR recently launched "Countdown to a Cure for AIDS," a research initiative aimed at developing the scientific basis for a cure by 2020. "Countdown to a Cure" is designed to intensify amfAR's cure-focused HIV research program with plans to strategically invest $100 million in cure research over the next five years.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/13735-cinema-against-aids-raises-over-30-million

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  • Scottish band Wet Wet Wet were in London last week to help kick off Nordoff Robbins0 40th anniversary celebrations, and took the time to visit the music therapy charity's centre.

    During their visit, they got to meet Romano, an 11-year-old who has autism and global developmental delay. He has been attending the centre for around five years and his music therapy sessions have helped him hugely with personal skills (building confidence and reducing anxiety), developing cognitive skills (increasing self-awareness and speech development) and physical co-ordination.

    Romano got to experience an extra special session yesterday when he performed the band's timeless number one hit, Love Is All Around, with the men themselves! With Tommy on drums, Neil at the piano, Graeme on guitar and Marti on vocals, the band embraced their new fifth member!

    Wet Wet Wet, a band who have sold in excess of 15 million records whilst notching up over thirty UK chart hits including three number 1's, has a long history with Nordoff Robbins dating back to when they received a Silver Clef award for new music in 1988. At this point band members Graeme, Tommy, Neil and Marti were introduced to the inspiring work that the charity does, using music to help people express themselves and communicate. The band went on to perform at the Royal Albert Hall in 1992 in aid of Nordoff Robbins, funds from which opened a much needed library at the London-based music therapy centre in 1993. The facility is still used to this day by Nordoff Robbins students and therapists alike. The band have since been staunch supporters and decided to mark the longevity of their relationship with Nordoff Robbins, in what is the 40th birthday year for the charity, with a very special show last week.

    The band are a renowned live act having played to over four million people across 25 countries and although they are normally seen performing in massive arenas, the smaller surroundings of the Koko gig allowed fans to get a lot closer than normal. With a massive catalogue of much loved songs including Julia Says, Somewhere Somehow, Sweet Little Mystery and Goodnight Girl, this was a chance to see how the band earned their reputation as one of the most powerful live artists around.

    Marti Pellow, lead singer of Wet Wet Wet, said "We get to do two things we love – play live to our fans and support a charity we have believed in since day one. The work Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy does is special and it works. They are so dedicated and we wanted to wish them happy birthday by putting on this show."

    Drummer Tommy Cunningham added "Music has given us a lot in life, and it's great to be able to use music to give something back, we are very proud of our association with Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy."

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/13736-wet-wet-wet-visit-nordoff-robbins-music-therapy

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  • Written by Elizabeth Willoughby

    A Washington Post article this month stated that elephants, hippos, rhinos, gorillas and other large herbivores are disappearing at an alarming rate, but we already know that. The shocking part of the article was this statement: "The situation is so dire, according to a new study, that it threatens an ‘empty landscape' in some ecosystems ‘across much of the planet Earth'."

    Such slow-breeding, long-living species are known to be vulnerable to human activities -- from encroachment, cultivation, deforestation and livestock, as well as overhunting for meat and seeking out the biggest and strongest trophies instead of targeting the sick or old as occurs in nature.

    In Africa, 100 thousand elephants were poached from 2010-12 and the western black rhino was declared extinct in 2011 according to the study. In the poaching industry their horns are worth more than gold, diamonds and cocaine. But without the herbivores, there will be ecological consequences. During his first visit to Washington DC, Prince William spoke at the World Bank about the situation.

    "One of the most insidious forms of corruption and criminality in the world today is the illegal wildlife trade. Here, criminal gangs turn vast profits from illegal killing or capture of wildlife. Armed groups and terrorists swap poached ivory for guns. And middlemen oil the wheels of the trade in return for reward. Together they loot our planet to feed mankind's ignorant craving for exotic pets, trinkets, cures and ornaments to writhe from the worlds vanishing and irreplaceable species. […]

    "As we consider the growing threat to wildlife, the corrosive impact of the trade on human dignity and development worldwide, and all the means we have at our disposal to combat it, we should be utterly determined to see this go through to success. […]

    "I am determined not to let the world's children grow up on a planet where our most iconic and endangered species have been wiped out, impoverishing us all. I hope you will join me."

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/13737-prince-william-asks-world-bank-for-help-against-poaching

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  • Retired Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel, actor and comedian Rob Riggle stars in the third installment of Easter Seals Dixon Center's award-winning PSA series.

    Video: What to Wear-Easter Seals Dixon Center PSA

    Released to coincide with Memorial Day, "What to Wear" uses light humor to highlight the strengths of returning veterans while reinforcing the valuable contribution they make in America's workforce.

    "Changing the conversation about how Americans perceive veterans is really important," says Riggle, with 20+ years of military service. "These are hardworking, dedicated, innovative people who deserve quality employment when they return home from their military service."

    Riggle stars as an executive interviewing a job candidate who happens to also be a Marine Corps veteran (played by Air Force veteran Brice Williams). Riggle questions whether the interviewee has the right skill set to match the job's various challenges. Throughout, Williams has flashbacks to his time in action, recalling experiences that prove he's highly qualified. Riggle asks one final question that shakes the interviewee's confidence for a moment before William's answers like a true military veteran.

    Easter Seals Dixon Center worked with its partner Veterans in Film and Television (VFT), a networking organization that unites current and former members of the military working in the film and television industry, to recruit a filmmaker for a special career-building opportunity to direct this PSA and received a mentorship session from award-winning director, producer and writer Judd Apatow.

    More than 50 directorial candidates -- all veterans -- applied. Former Air Force Combat Camera Officer Jim Fabio was carefully selected based on criteria including an original PSA concept, video pitch, prior experience and film portfolio. In February 2015, Fabio spent time discussing the PSA with the influential director.

    "I like Easter Seals Dixon Center's approach. They're using comedy to remind us that American veterans are highly skilled, disciplined and comfortable managing high-stress situations as a way to reinforce that veterans make strong employees," says Apatow, the award-winning comedic power behind numerous films including "Anchorman," "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" and "Bridesmaids."

    Apatow, a passionate supporter of veterans, actively works with Easter Seals Dixon Center and VFT to hire veterans on his films and productions.

    "Meeting with Judd Apatow and then having the chance to direct Rob Riggle has been an incredibly rewarding opportunity, and I'm grateful to Easter Seals Dixon Center and VFT for making this possible," adds Fabio.

    The PSAs are made possible through the Easter Seals Dixon Center and VFT partnership with support from Los Angeles-based cause marketing agency, CK&D. The trio of organizations is dedicated to helping veterans find career-driven employment.

    "This latest PSA will continue to celebrate the unique, successful qualities of our veterans when they return from active duty, reminding employers they are among the best and brightest," says David W. Sutherland, Colonel David W. Sutherland, U.S. Army (ret.), Chairman, Easter Seals Dixon Center and Chief Strategist, Easter Seals Military and Veterans Services. "We're thrilled to work with Judd Apatow, Rob Riggle and Jim Fabio to break down barriers and connect individuals and organizations with solutions veterans and military families need to access meaningful employment, education, and healthcare in their communities."

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/13738-rob-riggle-stars-in-easter-seals-psa

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  • McCann Worldgroup & The Paley Center for Media are very proud to announce that the critically revered film, theater and TV actress Viola Davis will be joining the "Creativity is the Only Way to Survive" seminar they are hosting at the 2015 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity on Monday, June 22, 2015 at 1pm.

    A two-time Tony winner who has also been twice nominated for Academy Awards, Ms. Davis's current role in the new ABC Studios hit show How to Get Away with Murder has already earned her the current top Screen Actors Guild, People's Choice, and NAACP Image Awards.

    Ms. Davis will be joining the TV program's Executive Producer Betsy Beers and its Executive Producer and Creator Pete Nowalk for an intimate and candid conversation exploring lessons learned from failure, creativity prevailing against all odds, and the strength of character required to trust one's own creative process in order to succeed artistically in a rapidly evolving — and often judgmental industry. By including three of the TV shows' principals reflecting different perspectives, the panel will be able to cover multiple aspects of the creative process.

    Ms. Davis is currently starring as Annalise Keating on the drama How to Get Away with Murder, from ABC Studios and Shondaland, one of the highest-profile new series of the fall 2014 season in the U.S. In 2015, Davis received the Screen Actors Guild Award for "Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series." The series, which drew 14.24 million viewers during its premiere, is a sexy, suspense-driven legal thriller that centers on ambitious law students and their brilliant and mysterious criminal defense professor (Davis) who becomes entangled in a murder plot. Season 2 will premiere later this fall. Ms. Davis's next film, "Lila & Eve," will be released in July. She is also an Executive Producer.

    Rob Reilly, Global Creative Chairman, McCann Worldgroup, who will be introducing the seminar commented, "Creativity isn't just an award show word, it's how we solve really hard problems. For a brand, an institution or a TV show." He added, "Thanks to our great friends at The Paley Center for Media, we are fortunate to bring three extraordinarily talented artists to the stage in a powerful demonstration of why creativity is the only way to survive. Their personal stories will not only inspire us individually but show us that there is no limit to what we can do for our clients' brands when our only option is courageous creativity."

    "The Paley Center for Media leads the discussion about the cultural, creative, and social significance of media, and we are thrilled to partner with McCann Worldgroup to present a Cannes Lions seminar with three of the leading champions of creative expression on television," said Maureen J. Reidy, President and CEO of The Paley Center for Media.

    Betsy Beers is also the Executive Producer of the hit ABC Studios shows Grey's Anatomy and Scandal. Ms. Beers partnered with Shonda Rhimes and her company Shondaland to develop and produce additional feature film and television projects. In 2014, Beers and Rhimes were honored by the Directors Guild of America with the rarely awarded Diversity Award, for their long record of providing jobs and opportunities to women and minorities.

    Previously, Pete Nowalk was a Writer on Scandal, Grey's Anatomy, and Private Practice. In addition to writing for ABC, Nowalk sold a pilot to NBC in 2012. Nowalk also co-wrote The Hollywood Assistants Handbook, published by Workman Books in 2008, based on his own experiences working at various entertainment companies which included Columbia Pictures, Red Wagon Entertainment and the Endeavor Agency.

    As her credits attest, Davis is in constant demand for a wide variety of roles. In January 2015, she appeared in Legendary Pictures and director Michael Mann's Blackhat, a contemporary thriller set in the world of computer hacking which also stars Chris Hemsworth and Holt McCallany. She is currently in production on the highly anticipated Suicide Squad which also stars Will Smith, Margot Robbie and Jared Leto.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/13739-viola-davis-creativity-is-the-only-way-to-survive

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  • Scholarship America hosted their inaugural From Dreams to Degrees Education Dinner – honoring Katie Couric – on May 19, 2015 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

    Video: #DreamsToDegrees: Celebrating Katie Couric and Scholarship America Dream Award Recipients

    Proceeds from the event will go toward the Scholarship America Dream Award, a completion-based scholarship program for students who are entering their second year or higher of education beyond high school.

    More than 300 individuals attended the event, which honored Katie Couric, journalist and author; Donald Graham, CEO of Graham Holdings Company; and the General Motors Foundation for their efforts in helping students achieve their education dreams. Rehema Ellis, NBC national education correspondent, emceed the evening's program, which was chaired by Rodney O. Martin, Jr., chairman and CEO of Voya Financial.

    During the event, Martin surprised Scholarship America with a $25,000 gift from Voya Financial's philanthropic arm, the Voya Foundation, to support the Scholarship America Dream Award.

    "As a leader in helping Americans get ready for retirement, you might think that our main focus would be on helping people after they've begun their careers," said Martin. "However, we know that the success of our customers hinges on circumstances, accomplishments and investments much earlier in life. That's why Voya Financial and the Voya Foundation are committed to advancing children's education and financial literacy. We are extremely proud to be part of the community that Scholarship America brings together -- to literally change lives."

    The evening's honorees were selected for their deep commitment to advancing education beyond high school for those students who need the most help. Students impacted by these important programs were present to help Scholarship America honor these individuals and organizations:

    Katie Couric, honored for Philanthropic Innovation after donating the proceeds of her book, The Best Advice I Ever Got: Lessons From Extraordinary Lives to the Scholarship America Dream Award, said, "The American Dream is alive in the hearts and minds of all the young people that Scholarship America helps year after year."

    Donald Graham, honored for Impact & Advocacy for his commitment to undocumented and low-income students, praised scholarship programs and students: "Scholarship America opens the door, but the heroes of the program are the students."

    General Motors Foundation, honored for Social Responsibility; their Buick Achievers Scholarship Program is one of the largest and most impactful scholarship programs in the country, and was developed in effort to strengthen the country's workforce pipeline with the next generation of leaders and innovators. "Through programs like the Buick Achievers Scholarship, we've made a lasting difference in the lives of thousands of students through more than $27 million in scholarships," said Greg Martin, executive director of GM Global Public Policy and GM Foundation board member. "We are honored to join like-minded individuals such as Katie Couric and Donald Graham and to be recognized for our deep commitment to educational advancement."

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/13740-katie-couric-honored-by-scholarship-america

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  • Susan Sarandon has arrived in Nepal to help victims of the devastating earthquakes that hit the country.

    Michelle Yeoh In Nepal
    Michelle Yeoh In Nepal

    The actress is visiting with Live To Love International, and is following a visit by Michelle Yeoh last week.

    Sarandon is encouraging tourists to keep visiting Nepal to ensure the country's tourism industry survives.

    "It is important to emphasize that by the fall, when monsoon ends, people should make their reservations now if they want to help and they want to come and visit because it is very, very important to keep all these jobs alive," said Sarandon. "I think that would be the next wave – to think of Nepal not as an ongoing disaster, but as a country that has found its way back and has many monuments that haven't fallen and many beautiful areas that can be still safe to trek."

    Last week, Michelle Yeoh – a Live To Love ambassador – announced the construction of community halls, in a collaboration with on-ground partners like the Panchakanya group and the Drukpa Kung Fu Nuns, to house victims of the Nepal earthquakes, a crucial need as monsoon season nears and dry shelter becomes scarce.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/13741-susan-sarandon-and-michelle-yeoh-visit-earthquake-victims-in-nepal

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  • The 10th annual Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) Courage Awards & Benefit Dinner presented by First Data Corporation and the Joe Plumeri Foundation, with the generous support of USAA, is being held on Thursday, May 28, 2015, at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.

    This fundraising gala will bring together injured service members, their caregivers and families, and the most influential WWP supporters.

    During the dinner, four awards will be given to recognize and honor the awardee for their support of WWP's mission to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. The awards will be presented as follows.

    • The James Gandolfini Award is the newest award and was founded in memory of James Gandolfini, who passed away on June 19, 2013, and is meant to continue to honor his invaluable work and support of WWP's mission. The award recognizes the outstanding character in service to injured veterans, their caregivers, and families. This year's award will be presented to Mark Wahlberg for his participation in commercials which raised a tremendous amount of awareness for WWP and the challenges injured service members face as they transition back into civilian life. In 2010, Wahlberg became an advocate for veterans' issues and even visited with troops in Afghanistan. In 2014, Wahlberg starred in the film, "Lone Survivor," which is an American war film based on the conflict in Afghanistan. Through his personal and professional work, Wahlberg is truly living the WWP mission to honor and empower Wounded Warriors.
    • The Talkhouse Award for Community Service is given to honor an individual or corporation whose efforts personify patriotism, demonstrate compassion and have helped further the mission of WWP. This year's award will be presented to Peter Hill, CEO and Chairman of Billy Casper Golf which hosts The World's Largest Golf Outing (WLGO), the most successful WWP Proud Supporter event in organization history. With nearly 40,000 participants in four years, including hundreds of injured service men and women and their families, the grassroots effort has raised more than $2 million since 2011, showing Americans can combine their passion for golf with making a meaningful difference in the lives of our nation's heroes.
    • The Tony Snow Award is designed to recognize a company or individual who has made a significant difference in the lives of injured servicemen and women and demonstrated an unwavering commitment to WWP and its mission. This year's award will be presented to Bank of America for their unparalleled commitment to those we serve by arranging financial planning seminars and supporting the Warriors to Work program, which have helped WWP Alumni, their caregivers and families meet financial goals and find rewarding civilian careers. Since 2012, the "Express Your Thanks" campaign has generated more than $1 million in support of WWP programs and services.
    • The George C. Lang Award for Courage was founded in memory of George C. Lang, Congressional Medal of Honor recipient and friend of WWP, who passed away March 16, 2005. This award salutes an individual who best exemplifies George's spirit and virtue; he was a humble, unyielding, behind-the-scenes advocate for all veterans -- especially those with disabilities. The recipient of this award will be announced the night of the event.

    "With the tremendous amount of work that still needs to be done to support the ongoing needs of our injured service members, I am honored to present the awards to Wahlberg, Bank of America and Bill Casper Golf for their help in raising awareness of the WWP mission to honor and empower Wounded Warriors," stated Steve Nardizzi, chief executive officer, Wounded Warrior Project.

    Individuals and corporations who want to attend and demonstrate their support for WWP can click here.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/13742-mark-wahlberg-to-be-honored-with-james-gandolfini-award

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  • For today's leading ladies, glamour and compassion for animals go hand in hand — for proof, look at Eva Mendes, whose new makeup line, CIRCA, has just provided PETA with assurance that it does not conduct, commission, or pay for tests on animals anywhere in the world.

    This move has landed CIRCA in PETA's Beauty Without Bunnies guide to cruelty-free cosmetics, alongside Drew Barrymore's FLOWER, Jessica Alba's The Honest Company, Miranda Kerr's KORA Organics, and Alicia Silverstone's past lines for Juice Beauty and EcoTools. PETA has also sent Mendes a thank-you gift of delicious vegan chocolates.

    "Eva Mendes' commitment to cruelty-free cosmetics prevents animals from being used in deadly poisoning tests and reminds us all to make kind choices for animals when we shop, too," says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. "Eva shows us that she is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside."

    Every year, hundreds of thousands of animals around the world are force-fed chemicals or have substances dripped into their eyes or rubbed onto their raw, abraded skin in archaic, unreliable cosmetics tests, which are not required by law in the U.S. and have been banned in the European Union, Israel, and India.

    As documented by PETA, whose motto reads, in part, that "animals are not ours to experiment on," while some companies test their products on animals, more than 1,700 compassionate companies — including CIRCA as well as Urban Decay, Paul Mitchell Systems, and The Body Shop — use only modern non-animal methods to test their products and ingredients.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/13748-eva-mendes-shows-kindness-to-bunnies-with-cruelty-free-makeup-line

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  • More than 600 guests donned their best and boldest looks in support of children battling cancer and other life-threatening diseases at the 13th annual St. Jude Children0s Research Hospital FedEx/St. Jude Angels and Stars Gala held at the JW Marriott Marquis Miami on Saturday, May 16.

    Gala co-founder Daisy Fuentes and patient Stephan
    Gala co-founder Daisy Fuentes and patient Stephan

    The Gala was founded by Daisy Fuentes.

    This year, the event raised nearly half-a-million dollars in support of the children of St. Jude.

    Chilean-born television icon Don Francisco was recognized for his worldwide commitment to giving back to others. Don Francisco is the host of "Sábado Gigante," Univision's longest-running program that will end its successful on-air stretch of more than 53 years this coming September.

    "I feel very honored to have been recognized by this prestigious hospital," said Don Francisco. "I was well aware of the amazing work that they do but even more impressive is the fact that St. Jude freely shares their breakthroughs. This means doctors and scientists around the world can use that knowledge to save thousands more children."

    Guests enjoyed an evening that included a special testimony by a St. Jude family, live and silent auctions, and a performance by one the most famous groups of Cuban reggaton in today's music industry, Gente D' Zona. The evening also featured additional live performances by Latin crossover R&B star Frankie J., and the man known as the "DJ of the Stars," DJ Africa.

    Celebrity presenters for the evening included Alberto Sardiñas, Enrique Santos, Gaby Espino, Ismael Cala, Lili Estefan, Rashel Diaz, and FannyLu.

    In the past, the gala has honored some of the most recognized and celebrated artists in Latin music and entertainment for their humanitarian work, such as Romero Britto, Juanes, Emilio and Gloria Estefan, Luis Fonsi, Juan Luis Guerra, Tommy and Thalia Mottola, Chef Adrianne Calvo and Coach Don Shula.

    This year's gala sponsors included: FedEx Express, Sammy Sosa, Carnival, Visa, Zoological Wildlife Foundation, International Dermatology Research, Neutrogena, Fortune, Univision, Andreas and Kalkidan Kaiafas, Hola America, Ministerio de Fomento, YEZZ, The Al-Rashid Family, American Tower Corporation, Arven Financial, Arteasans Beverages, LLC., Powerful Yogurt, Leon Medical Centers, DDB Latina, Byblos Group, Ernst & Young, The Tamer Family, Bacardi, Nuage Designs, Casa Diris, Nassab A. Ahmadieh Graphic Design & Photography, People en Español, Amor 107.5 FM, Mix 98.3 FM, Radio Mambí 710 AM, Univision America 1140 AM, and The Dream Team Agency.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/13744-stars-shine-at-13th-annual-fedex-st-jude-angels-and-stars-gala

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  • Tourpedo, Inc., a Raleigh, North Carolina-based software company, will be live streaming the Mountain Jam Music Festival in Hunter, New York, on June 4-7, 2015.

    Mountain Jam will feature some of the best artists in live music such as The Black Keys, Robert Plant, Alabama Shakes, Gov't Mule, Michael Franti, moe., and forty other acts.

    Proceeds from the live stream will benefit Teen Cancer America, a charity founded by Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend of The Who which aims to educate and support hospitals and outpatient facilities in the development of specialized units for teenagers undergoing cancer treatment.

    At Mountain Jam next week, fans will be able to live stream four days of live music. Viewers can donate what they want ($5 per day minimum) to watch the festival live with proceeds supporting the charity. Also, fans will be able to tip the artists during their performances and the high tipper during certain sets will receive a prize pack containing signed artist memorabilia. The live stream will be broadcast in HD and will be available on computers, televisions and mobile devices. Fans can tweet, post, and chat with others who are enjoying the festival as well. To watch the festival, click here.

    According to Matt Henderson, co-founder of Tourpedo, "We are proud to be partnering with Mountain Jam for the second year in a row to live stream this awesome festival. It's a good feeling to know that you can provide fans with over 30 hours of live music while also raising money to support Teen Cancer America through our versatile streaming platform. The artists and Tourpedo are excited to be a part of such a great festival that supports a great cause."

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/13745-mountain-jam-music-festival-to-be-live-streamed-in-support-of-teen-cancer-america

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  • Are you ready to rumble? Coming soon to knock out prostate cancer is boxing legend and five-time heavyweight champion of the world, Evander Holyfield.

    Since his retirement from boxing in 2011, Holyfield has dedicated his time to philanthropic activities through Team Holyfield, and will be featured in a public service announcement for the Prostate Cancer Foundation that encourages African-American men to get regularly checked for prostate cancer. Providence-based multi-disciplinary brand culture and communications firm (add)ventures will direct, film and edit the public service announcement -- donating a significant portion of the public service announcement's production costs. Holyfield is donating his time on the public service announcement -- an endeavor that marks his commitment to serving as a goodwill ambassador for the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

    The public service announcement, which will be filmed on May 28 at a location to be announced, will feature Holyfield in his natural element – the boxing ring – as he tells his story of perseverance in the ring and in life. The piece will showcase that while strength, speed and stamina can be drawn upon to beat an opponent in the ring, other resources must be used when fighting an unseen force like prostate cancer -- an opponent that could wind up causing a fight for life. The public service announcement will include a message from Holyfield that encourages African-American men to get checked for prostate cancer and directs them to www.pcf.org, the Prostate Cancer Foundation's website.

    Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer among men, affecting a staggering one in seven men in the United States. Studies point to several factors that could influence an individual's chance of developing prostate cancer including age, race and family history. Among the reasons that prompted Team Holyfield to champion prostate cancer awareness is the fact that African-American men are 1.6 times more likely to develop prostate cancer than Caucasian men, and 2.4 times more likely to die from the disease.

    "When prostate cancer is detected early enough, it is 100 percent treatable," said Barbara J. Parsky, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of the Prostate Cancer Foundation. "Getting regularly checked for prostate cancer is a surefire way to detect it early enough to offer all men more treatment options with potentially fewer side effects than if prostate cancer remains undetected or found at a later stage. We can't thank Evander enough for lending his voice, influence and passion to raise awareness about this disease and the benefit of early detection."

    Since hanging up his gloves in 2011, Holyfield has dedicated himself to doing service-based work that reflects his values and strong faith, which led him to establish Team Holyfield. Team Holyfield's mission is to create and sustain relationships with individuals, companies and organizations that support altruism, community relations and humanitarian efforts and reflects Holyfield's core values of "faith, family, foundation and future." Holyfield is particularly interested in supporting initiatives that affect the African-American community. Prostate cancer is one such initiative.

    "We want to tell people to spread the word and encourage their fathers, brothers, sons and friends to get checked for prostate cancer," said Holyfield. "This is an issue that affects all men and is in line with our mission to partner with incredible organizations and invest in their important work. I'm honored to go the distance for the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Together, we can spread the word and hopefully knock out prostate cancer for good."

    Upon learning of Team Holyfield's interest in the cause, (add)ventures President and CEO Steve Rosa conceptualized a national awareness campaign around prostate cancer with the donation of (add)ventures' public service announcement effort as part of his firm's corporate philanthropy program – (add)love.

    "I grew up diagonally across the street from live boxing at Manny Almeida's Ringside Tap in Fox Point so I know Providence's rich boxing tradition well," said Rosa. "I remember the stories of champions like Sugar Ray Robinson, Joe Louis and Rocky Marciano coming to my neighborhood so it makes me proud to bring another legendary champion to Providence – especially for such an important cause. Evander Holyfield is truly ‘The Real Deal' in the ring and in life. Prostate cancer has attacked family and friends alike. I was happy to have our firm join Team Holyfield and the Prostate Cancer Foundation in this fight. Any fight is winnable with a champ like Evander in your corner."

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/13746-evander-holyfield-gets-ready-to-knock-out-prostate-cancer

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  • Sir Ian McKellen is to be honored at TrevorLive in New York on June 15th at the Marriott Marquis, presented by Wells Fargo.

    McKellen will be honored for his ongoing support of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) community. Maine's Ryan Fecteau, the youngest openly gay state legislator, will be named the Youth Innovator Honoree for his on-going advocacy and commitment to equality, and Johnson & Johnson will be honored with the 20/20 Visionary Award.

    The awards will be presented at The Trevor Project's high-profile evening of music, comedy and entertainment which brings together top entertainers, advocates and corporate leaders to support the organization's life-saving, life-affirming work for LGBT and questioning youth in crisis.

    "The Trevor Project is proud to honor longtime supporters and allies Sir Ian McKellen, Maine Representative Ryan Facteau, and Johnson & Johnson. We want to acknowledge their dedication and support for the LGBTQ community," states Abbe Land, executive director and CEO of The Trevor Project. "We have felt the progress of their commitment to raise awareness for the issues the LGBTQ community faces, to promote advocacy for equal rights, and to foster the responsibility that every person should provide service for their community. We look forward to celebrating these great honorees at TrevorLIVE New York."

    Among the performers will be Broadway Inspirational Voices, Emily Skeggs, Celisse Henderson and Well Strung. Susan Sarandon and TR Knight are expected to attend.

    Find out more here.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/13747-ian-mckellen-to-be-honored-at-trevorlive-new-york

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  • WNET, the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW and operator of NJTV, announced plans for its annual Gala Salute, continuing its commitment to lifelong learning and meaningful experiences for the tri-state area and beyond.

    The honorees are visionary architect David Adjaye; Chairman of the MCJ Amelior Foundation Ray Chambers, who is the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Financing the Health Millennium Development Goals and for Malaria; philanthropic corporation Johnson & Johnson; supporter of the arts and longtime WNET trustee Ann Tenenbaum; and award-winning actor and advocate Alfre Woodard. The event will celebrate their commitments and contributions, which allow WNET to provide on-air and on-line programming and educational initiatives that inspire curiosity, encourage action and nurture dreams.

    Each of the honorees has been selected as a recipient for this honor as a result of their dedication to social responsibility and civic engagement.

    "The work of these five distinguished honorees is making an impact on the lives of people in this community and beyond," said WNET Board Chairman James S. Tisch. "Their actions are directly in line with WNET's mission to touch the lives of viewers through the power of public media."

    The Gala Salute will take place on Tuesday, June 9 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. PBS NewsHour Weekend anchor and SciTech Now host Hari Sreenivasan and NYC-ARTS co-anchor and veteran television journalist Paula Zahn will co-host the evening.

    The Gala will begin with an opening cocktail reception, followed by dinner. The live program for the evening will include a specially produced video interview with each of the honorees. The evening will also feature a special performance by A Silent Film, an indie rock band hailing from Oxford, England.

    "It's only through the generosity of, and collaboration with, community leaders, organizations and supporters of our mission that we're able to continue to create innovative programming and offer those vital educational services that make such a difference in the lives of viewers in New York and beyond," said Neal Shapiro, President and CEO of WNET.

    Past honorees have included Alan Alda, Julie Andrews, Antonio Banderas, Tony Bennett, Michael Bloomberg, Tom Brokaw, Ken Burns, Kathryn and Kenneth Chenault, Joan Ganz Cooney, Placido Domingo, the Henson Family, Gwen Ifill, Kevin Kline, Henry Kravis, Yo-Yo Ma, Robert MacNeil, Peter Martins, Cheryl and Philip Milstein, Bill Moyers, Steven Rattner, Charlie Rose, Rosalind P. Walter, and Elie Wiesel among others.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/13749-alfre-woodard-to-be-honored-at-wnet-gala-salute

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  • Genius Brands International proudly announce the winners of the 4th annual Warren Buffett0s Secret Millionaires Club "Grow Your Own Business Challenge" sponsored by the Fairholme Foundation.

    Congratulations to Individual Winner Miroslav Bergam, 14 of Short Hills, NJ and Group Winner Team Keep Track Sticky Back: Emily Harkins, 12 and Bryn Hansen, 11 of Omaha, NE.

    Over 4,000 kids from all over the country entered their innovative business ideas for a chance to win $5,000 and meet Warren Buffett. Mr. Buffett also awarded all of the finalists 10 shares of Berkshire Hathaway B Stock. The two winning ideas were picked by the judges for their creativity, entrepreneurship and ingenuity. To learn more about their winning ideas visit www.smckids.com.

    Miroslav's winning idea was Beyond the Books. He developed a free education website that offers educational courses for students anywhere in the world.

    "I've never been to a competition like this," said Miroslav Bergam. "This competition has brought me into a whole new world. It was just amazing."

    Team Keep Track Sticky Back: Emily Harkins and Bryn Hansen's grand prize winning entry is a plastic pouch with pockets that help organize people by having a sticky back to the pouch that will attach to anything.

    "It was absolutely mind blowing when we won," said Emily Harkins and Bryn Hansen. "Being at this competition has been a once in a lifetime opportunity and we will never forget it."

    The program and competition were created to encourage kids to be entrepreneurial and practice good financial habits from an early age. The SMC "Grow Your Own Business Challenge" is open to kids 7--14. The competition, sponsored by the Fairholme Foundation to further its mission of improving [financial] education, launched on October 20, 2014, and ended on January 31, 2015.

    Five individuals and three groups were selected as finalists to present their business concepts to Warren Buffett and a panel of VIP judges in Omaha, NE on May 18, 2015. This year judges included:
    Otha Thornton, President of the National PTA
    Artis Stevens, Chief Marketing Officer of 4-H
    Ed Grocholski, SVP of Junior Achievement
    Roberta Wilhelm, Executive Director at Girls Inc.
    John Ziegelman, Portfolio Manager at Wolverine Asset Management, LLC.
    Andy Heyward, CEO of Genius Brands International
    Jake Johnson, SMC's individual winner from last year

    The grand prize winning individual and members of one grand prize team each received $5,000. The runners up received $500. All finalists nominated a teacher/mentor who was inspirational to them in the process to join them in Omaha. The teachers of the grand prize winners also received $1,000.

    "My advice to all young entrepreneurs is to select someone they greatly admire as a role model and use them as a guide in their life," said Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. "My role models are my dad, Benjamin Graham and Tom Murphy. They gave me guidance that helped me to shape my life and make smart business decisions. They, in fact, helped change the course of my life to make me the person that I am today."

    The "Grow Your Own Business Challenge" is a part of the Secret Millionaires Club Learn and Earn financial literacy promotion which is sponsored exclusively by the Fairholme Foundation and reaches over 250,000 classrooms and youth organizations with free tools and lessons for teaching good financial habits to youth.

    The Secret Millionaires Club animated series, created in partnership with and starring an animated Warren Buffett, features a group of kids who have adventures in business. Secret Millionaires Club empowers kids by helping them understand the world they live in, teaching them about the impact their decisions have on their own lives…and teaching them to have the confidence to be the best they can be. The series makes it fun for kids to learn to think like entrepreneurs and features a robust list of guest talent including, Bill Gates, Jay-Z, Shaquille O0Neal, Nick Cannon, Gisele Bundchen and Kelly Rowland. The celebrities play themselves; provide their own voiceovers and lend the lessons of their own life experiences in the context of stories that are relatable and inspirational to kids.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/13743-warren-buffetts-secret-millionaires-club-announces-grand-prize-winners

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  • Stars of stage and screen have joined Liberty and its members in calling on the Government to scrap plans to repeal the Human Rights Act.

    In a series of short films, actors Benedict Cumberbatch, Indira Varma, David Harewood, Simon Callow and Vanessa Redgrave have lent their voices to the stories of ordinary people who have held the powerful to account using human rights laws.

    Cases include those of:
    * Sharon Hardy and Khristina Swain, whose sister Anne-Marie Ellement was viciously bullied after reporting being raped by two military police colleagues. In October 2011, she took her own life. A brief inquest failed to thoroughly examine the issues around her death. Using the HRA, Liberty secured a fresh inquest and new rape investigation. The Coroner also made a number of recommendations -- accepted by the Ministry of Defence -- that will have the effect of improving support to victims of rape and sexual assault in the military.
    * Patience Asuquo, who was brought to the UK as a domestic worker and abused mentally and physically for years. She was never paid, and her "employer" withheld her passport. When she managed to escape, police refused to take Patience's allegations seriously and returned her to her employer. Liberty used the HRA to force officers to investigate and Patience's employer was prosecuted.
    * Jenny Paton, after an anonymous tip-off, Poole council spied on and tailed Jenny, her partner and her children to check whether they lived in a particular school catchment area. Using the HRA, Jenny and Liberty were able to hold the authority to account.

    The Human Rights Act enshrines fundamental freedoms into UK law and allows the British public to challenge abuse, neglect or mistreatment. Its introduction in 1998 triggered fundamental positive changes in legislation and public policy UK-wide, ensuring all of our authorities treat people with fairness, dignity and respect.

    The Government intends to replace the Act with a "British Bill of Rights and Responsibilities", which would diminish rights protections for everyone in the UK and limit the use of the law to cases politicians consider "most serious", ending the universality of human rights.

    Benedict Cumberbatch said: "Our Human Rights Act belongs to all of us. It's not for politicians to pick and choose when they apply or who deserves protection. Repealing it will mean less protection against state abuse or neglect, and weaken the rights of every single one of us -- and the vulnerable most of all."

    Indira Varma said: "Our Human Rights Act protects every one of us -- young or old, wealthy and poor, civilian or soldier. It is a cause for pride and celebration, not a pawn in a dangerous political game. It is ours and no one is taking it from us without a fight."

    Simon Callow said: "The Human Rights Act is one of the few laws that enables us to hold the powerful to account. No surprise then that the Government wants to scrap it. The Act is a triumph of British values; we abandon it at our peril."

    Liberty Director Shami Chakrabarti, who also features in the films launched today, said: "These films tell just a few of the stories of our Human Rights Act giving a voice to some of the most vulnerable people‎ in our country. Soldiers, journalists, victims of rape, domestic violence and slavery all found justice thanks to Churchill's Legacy. Government plans to scrap the Act play populist games with hard-won freedoms and undermine the United Kingdom at home and abroad."

    To watch the videos, click here.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/13750-benedict-cumberbatch-joins-stars-in-speaking-up-for-human-rights-act

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  • Sharon and Kelly Osbourne have joined the Pink Army for Cancer Research UK0s Race For Life.

    Sharon and Kelly Osbourne Join Pink Army
    Sharon and Kelly Osbourne Join Pink Army

    "I'm honoured to be supporting Cancer Research UK's Race for Life this year," said Sharon. "As a cancer survivor myself, I know it takes all your strength and the support of your family and friends to overcome this disease. I'm asking every woman – mother, daughter, grandmother, sister and auntie in the UK to step forward and unite to defy cancer. Let's show cancer that hell hath no fury like a woman in pink."

    Cancer Research UK's Race for Life is a series of women-only events raising money for research into all 200 types of cancer. To find out more, click here.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/13751-sharon-and-kelly-osbourne-join-pink-army-for-cancer-research-uk

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  • Actor and humanitarian Matthew Perry will receive the "2015 Phoenix Rising Award" and former Los Angeles Mayor and civic leader, the Honorable Antonio Villaraigosa, the "2015 Public Service Award" at the 12th Annual Triumph for Teens Awards Gala, Monday, June 15th, 2015 at the Montage Beverly Hills.

    The event celebrates the victories of young people in overcoming their addiction and related ailments and recognizes contributions and accomplishments which have positively influenced the health and welfare of our communities, especially our at risk youth.

    KCBS/KCAL weather anchor/reporter Kaj Goldberg hosts the dinner and award ceremony with Don Felder, former lead guitarist for The Eagles, performing. Michael Dwyer, DeeDee Gordon and Michael Kraus are the Gala Co-Chairs.

    "Each of our honorees has demonstrated a long-standing commitment as a role model for civic involvement," said Pouria Abbassi, P.E., Regional Director and President of Phoenix Houses of California. "With the care, compassion and generosity of our honorees and supporters, we are able to provide young people with a stabilizing recovery from addiction and related disorders, help to renew family relationships and reintegrate them into the community."

    For more than 35 years, Phoenix House has been a beacon of hope in Southern California for the most vulnerable men, women, and teens – rebuilding lives, reuniting families, and creating stronger communities. Today, Phoenix Houses of California serves over 4,000 individuals a year plus their family members and reaches more than 30,000 community members through outreach, volunteerism, and prevention and education services.

    Awards Gala produced by Scott Mauro Entertainment, Inc.

    Sponsorship Packages begin at $5000; individual tickets, $500.

    Find out more here.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/13752-matthew-perry-to-be-honored-at-triumph-for-teens-gala

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  • The Grand Ole Opry and iHeart Radio are readying their rosters as they prepare to strike out cancer at the City of Hope Celebrity Softball Game.

    More than 25 music and sports stars will step up to the plate for this 25th anniversary event, taking place June 13 from the new First Tennessee Park during CMA Music Festival. Tickets are available now here.

    Country standouts Angie Johnson, Bret Michaels, Bucky Covington, Deana Carter, JT Hodges, Phil Vassar and The Bobby Bones Show, along with Titans cornerback Perrish Cox and current and former Nashville Predators players Seth Jones and Stu Grimson, will play alongside previously announced participants Aaron Watson, Charles Esten, Chuck Wicks, Lauren Alaina, Lindsay Ell, Little Big Town, Love and Theft, and Vince Gill to strike out cancer with City of Hope. Winning StageIt performers SaraBeth and Doug McCormick will also take to the field for the anniversary event. CMT After Midnite's Cody Alan and The Crook and Chase Countdown's Lorianne Crook will emcee and offer play-by-plays for the thousands of fans in attendance.

    • Team Opry: Aaron Watson, Bucky Covington, Charles Esten, Chuck Wicks, Deana Carter, Eric Gunderson (Love And Theft), JT Hodges, Jimi Westbrook (Little Big Town), Kimberly Schlapman (Little Big Town), Phil Vassar, SaraBeth, Stu Grimson and Vince Gill.
    • Team iHeart Radio: Angie Johnson, Bret Michaels, Doug McCormick, Karen Fairchild (Little Big Town), Lauren Alaina, Lindsay Ell, Perrish Cox, Phillip Sweet (Little Big Town), Seth Jones, Stephen Barker Liles (Love And Theft) plus The Bobby Bones Show's Bobby Bones, Eddie and Lunchbox.

    Joining the lineup is Music City native Stephen Bess, who received lifesaving treatment for acute lymphocytic leukemia more than two years ago at City of Hope. He and his genetically matched stem cell donor, who reside nine time zones apart, will meet for the very first time in a special ceremony before taking the field at the 25th annual Celebrity Softball Game.

    A pioneer in the treatment of bone and blood marrow diseases, City of Hope has performed more than 12,000 lifesaving bone marrow transplants. It also is a leading biomedical research institute for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening illnesses. The City of Hope Celebrity Softball Game, presented by Staples and sponsored by PEOPLE Country, raises funds for that research.

    Each year, the Celebrity Softball Game regularly features some of Country Music's biggest and hottest stars. Over the years, Carrie Underwood, Darius Rucker, Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Scotty McCreery, Vince Gill and many more have taken to the field in support of City of Hope's lifesaving mission.

    City of Hope is an independent biomedical research institution and comprehensive cancer center where scientists and physicians quickly transform scientific discoveries into better treatments and prevention strategies for people around the world. Support from the Nashville community and its country music artists directly benefit City of Hope's mission to find cures for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases.

    Tickets for the game can be purchased through Ticketmaster. Get more information on the game and the line-up of celebrities at www.cityofhope.org/softball. Those not able to attend the game can still support the cause. A variety of unique merchandise and experiences, including meet-and-greets with the hottest artists, will be available for bid at charitybuzz.com. The proceeds will benefit City of Hope's mission to eradicate cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/13753-city-of-hope-to-host-celebrity-softball-game

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  • Written by Renita Manley-Garrett

    When former Tonight Show Host Jay Leno is not busy performing stand-up comedy for large scale arena crowds, he is busy helping to make wishes come true.

    On March 16th, Jay Leno supported The Make-A-Wish Foundation annual black tie gala. This annual benefit helps raise funds to assist The Make-A-Wish Foundation's mission to grant wishes that change the lives of eligible kids and be creative in exceeding the expectations of every wish kid easier to achieve.

    Veteran Tonight Show host and comedian, Jay Leno, has been an active wish granter for Make-A-Wish. Last summer, Leno granted a wish to an Illinois wish child, Robert, who was interested in Jay's car collection. Immediately after his performance, Jay auctioned off packages to visit his Big Dog Garage, raising an additional $100,000 for Make-A-Wish Illinois as stated on the Make-A-Wish website.

    Visit wish.org to learn more about Make-A-Wish Foundation.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/13754-jay-leno-helps-wishes-come-true

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  • Robbie Williams and Bonhams announce a charity auction of 150 of his personal possessions on July 15 in aid of The Donna Louise Children's Hospice.

    Robbie Williams – in conjunction with Bonhams -- is spearheading a charity auction titled: "Doing it for the Kids". Proceeds of the sale will be donated to children's charity The Donna Louise Children's Hospice, of which Williams is a patron.

    "It's a privilege for me to be a patron of The Donna Louise Children's Hospice; it makes a real difference to these children whose lives have been tragically limited. The sale gives a great opportunity for bidders to know their money will go to such a fantastic charity, whilst also taking home some of my most prized possessions that have been personal markers of my career and life so far," said Williams.

    Robbie, who has sold over 60 million albums during his solo career and won more BRIT Awards than any other artist in history, has provided a selection of over 150 personal artefacts for the auction. The items to go under the hammer at Bonhams Knightsbridge include awards, stage costume and handwritten lyrics from across Robbie's whole career, dating back to the early 1990s.

    Items featured in the sale include:
* A set of handwritten lyrics for one of Robbie's bestselling singles Let Me Entertain You -- estimate £4,000-6,000
    * The cream two-piece suit worn by Robbie Williams in the music video for the single Radio -- estimate £5,000-7,000
    * Take That: An MTV video music award -- estimate £2,000-3,000
    * A multi-platinum award for the album I've Been Expecting You -- estimate £2,500-3,000
    Bonhams Robbie Williams Charity Sale "Doing it for the Kids" will be streamed live via the Bonhams website.

    Entry to the Bonhams sale is by catalogue purchase only. To order the catalogue at a reduced rate, fans can visit the RobbieWilliams.com site here.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/13755-robbie-williams-announces-massive-charity-auction

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  • Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc. in partnership with leading mental health advocacy organizations and singer, songwriter and mental health advocate Demi Lovato has announced the launch of the Be Vocal: Speak Up for Mental Health initiative.

    Demi Lovato - Be Vocal
    Demi Lovato - Be Vocal
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    Encouraging others to speak up for mental health, Sunovion and Lovato are joined by the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, The JED Foundation, Mental Health America, the National Alliance on Mental Illness and the National Council for Behavioral Health. The initiative is designed to empower adults living with mental health conditions to speak up when talking with their support team and for everyone to speak up as a community to advance mental health in America.

    "Over time, I've learned to live well with bipolar disorder, but for me, the key is speaking up and being open and honest about how I'm feeling with my family, friends and health care professionals," said Lovato. "Through Be Vocal, we want to help others speak up as part of their own effort to live well and in support of the mental health community."

    Approximately 44 million adults -- 1 in 5 individuals -- of every race, gender and socio-economic status are affected by a diagnosable mental health condition every year in the United States. Historically, the silence and misunderstanding around mental health in America has left many feeling isolated and disconnected from their communities. For individuals affected by a mental health condition, speaking up can help create a strong support system, reduce time to diagnosis and increase the ability to receive appropriate care.

    Be Vocal is kicking off with a public service announcement viewable on www.BeVocalSpeakUp.com. The initiative's website also includes tools to help those living with a mental health condition speak up about how they're feeling with their support team, as well as a library of resources for those looking to make a difference in the mental health community.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/13756-demi-lovato-wants-you-to-be-vocal-and-speak-up-for-mental-health

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  • On June 1, the founders of Keep Music Alive will launch Volume 1 of their new book series, 88+ Ways Music Can Change Your Life.

    88+ Ways is filled with more than 150 inspirational stories, quotes and anecdotes from musicians, music educators and music lovers from all over the world; their stories are designed to make readers laugh, cry and remember the power of music.

    Contributors include more than a dozen Grammy-winning and platinum-selling artists, composers and songwriters. Among them are Rob Parissi (songwriter and vocalist for "Play That Funky Music" for Wild Cherry), Bobby Kimball (original vocalist for Toto with "Hold the Line," "Africa," "Rosanna" and more) and Vanessa Carlton ("A Thousand Miles" and "White Houses").

    Keep Music Alive was founded last summer to help raise awareness of how important music is educationally, therapeutically and for the overall happiness of society. According to cofounder Vincent James, the organization was created in response to three changes that have made music less valued. They include cuts in music and arts education in schools, fewer venues available for musicians to perform live and the recent changeover to the streaming business model. The latter has affected how musicians and songwriters are paid, and effectively lowered their income potential.

    James says, "I really felt we needed to do something to help turn this ship around a bit, so society as a whole will remember how important music really is in all of our lives."

    88+ Ways Music Can Change Your Life will be available on Amazon.com beginning June 1 and on BN.com shortly thereafter. 88+ Ways was authored by KMA cofounders Vincent James and Joann Pierdomenico. For more information, please visit www.KeepMusicAlive.org.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/13757-musicians-reveal-88-ways-music-can-change-your-life

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  • Dozens of stars from TV, sports, music and film will ante up and bet big to support talented young cancer researchers and change the future of cancer at Tower Cancer Research Foundation's (TCRF) 2nd Annual Ante Up for a Cancer Free Generation Poker Tournament and Casino Night on Saturday, June 6, 2015 at the Sofitel Hotel, Riviera 31, 8555 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048.

    The event has attracted the support of numerous celebrities, including (alphabetically by first name) Corey Maggette (Former NBA Star/Current Clippers Commentator), Dennis Haskins (Saved by the Bell), Erik Valdez (General Hospital), Gilles Marini (Switched at Birth/Dancing With The Stars/Sex and the City), Karina Smirnoff (Dancing with the Stars), Maryse Ouellet (WWE Diva), Mekhi Phifer (ER/Torchwood: Miracle Day/White Collar); Randy Couture (UFC Champion/Dancing with the Stars); Rich Sommer (Mad Men); Roger Cross (24/Continuum/Motive); Shanna Moakler(Gilmore Girls/Sons of Anarchy); Tito Ortiz (UFC Champion); Verne Troyer (Austin Powers & numerous other movies & TV shows).

    Cancer Free Generation (CFG) is the young leadership division of TCRF. CFG seeks to identify, among their peers in the Southern California region, visionary and innovative doctors, medical professionals and researchers and enable them to discover and implement new ideas and techniques to conquer cancer. Additionally, CFG's efforts support young people and their families who have been impacted by cancer, so that they may approach life with renewed strength and optimism. With this dual approach, CFG's goal is to help ensure that the next generation becomes the first cancer free generation. CFG's executive committee consists of young professionals working in a variety of fields including finance, law, real estate, entertainment, and medicine. Many members of CFG's leadership are, themselves, young cancer survivors. Their common vision is the desire to build a more inspired community via connecting fascinating and passionate young people who make a difference in the world.

    TCRF has been the Southern California cancer patient's greatest ally since 1996. The foundation is known for its stellar reputation professionally vetting cancer research programs and maximizing the impact of donor-investors. TCRF, which is focused on Southern California, provides grants for clinical trials, innovative cancer research, caring patient support and community education. TCRF's vanguard free patient support services include patient mentoring, cancer support groups, classes and workshops and support for caregivers. In line with its mission to advance cancer research on every level, TCRF supports forward-thinking and talented physician scientists with awards of annual grants to those doing cutting edge bench-to-bedside lab research.

    Poker & Casino Prizes Include: A seat in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event, January 2016 in the Bahamas, valued at $10,000; 5-Night Stay at the Trump Hotel Waikiki Hawaii, valued at $7500; 3-Night Stay and Spa Package for Two at the Hilton Los Cabos, valued at $2,000.

    Tickets may be purchased here or by calling 310.299.8477.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/13758-stars-to-attend-cancer-free-generation-poker-tournament

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  • Today, more than 25 cultural influencers and 60 U.S. Mayors joined the coalition of best-in-class organizations and activists pledging to "Wear Orange" -- a color that symbolizes the value of human life -- on June 2nd, the first-annual National Gun Violence Awareness Day.

    Wear Orange is a new campaign that amplifies existing efforts to reduce gun violence in America and helps honor the 88 Americans whose lives are cut short by gun violence every day. In the past two weeks, more than 140 groups and luminaries have joined the campaign, including MTV, Motown Records, HBO, Vans Warped Tour, Essence Magazine, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Brady Campaign, and Million Mom March.

    Participating cultural influencers include Julianne Moore, Russell Simmons, Sarah Silverman, Michael Stipe, Patti Smith, Aasif Mandvi, Alyssa Milano, Padma Lakshmi, John Hodgman, Amanda Peet, Perez Hilton, Melissa Joan Hart, Tiffani Thiessen, Tunde Adebimpe of TV On The Radio, Rise Against, Mario Batali, Anti-Flag, Nigel Barker, Grace Weber, Jon Foreman, Judith Hill, Amber Coffman of Dirty Projectors, Tyler Glenn of Neon Trees and Thomas Roberts of MSNBC.

    Efforts of note on June 2nd include:
    * MTV – The network will change its on-air logo – as well as several of its social media avatars – to orange in recognition of National Gun Violence Awareness Day.
    * Motown Records – The most widely recognized record label in history, Motown will turn its iconic logo orange on its social media platforms with staff and artists #WearingOrange.
    * HBO – The network will debut the trailer for its hard-hitting new documentary, Requiem for the Dead: American Spring 2014, from Emmy-Award winning filmmakers Shari Cookson and Nick Doob, which premieres on HBO June 22nd at 9:00pm EST/PST. Told entirely through social media postings, news accounts and other found media, the new documentary offers an unvarnished portrait of the human toll from gun violence in America – giving viewers a window into the lives of dozens who died from gunfire last spring through the present-tense moments leading up to the shootings and the reverberations that followed.
    * Essence Magazine – Essence staff will be #WearingOrange, sharing their orange selfies on Instagram and Twitter and encouraging their readers to join in the Wear Orange campaign.

    "We're often presented with a false choice in the guns debate: that you have to ‘pick a side'," said Michael Stipe. "But every American opposes gun violence and all of us can do more to help save lives. I'll wear my orange with pride on June 2nd and hope people nationwide will join me in showing their true colors."

    "Motown Records has a legacy of being the voice of a generation through our artists and fostering an environment of creativity and innovation. In these times, more than ever, it is crucial for all of our voices to collectively come together on June 2nd for the first-ever National Gun Violence Awareness Day to raise awareness and promote anti-violence so that the voices of today, and tomorrow, have a chance to be heard," said Ethiopia Habtemariam, President, Motown Records. "We encourage fans and artists alike to join us on June 2nd by #WearingOrange and honoring the life of Hadiya Pendleton, and all those lives senselessly lost to gun violence."

    Elected officials committed to protecting their constituents from gun violence will also be wearing orange on June 2nd. Members of Congress from coast to coast, New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, former New York City Mayor and co-founder of Mayors Against Illegal Guns Michael Bloomberg, as well as mayors in more than 60 cities from 20 states representing more than 10 million Americans around the country have joined the campaign. Mayors who will be wearing orange on June 2nd, many of whom plan to issue proclamations declaring June 2nd Gun Violence Awareness Day in their cities, include Mayors Emanuel (Chicago), Nutter (Philadelphia), Lee (San Francisco), Walsh (Boston), Hales (Portland, OR), Wharton Jr. (Memphis), Slay (St. Louis), Schneider (Santa Barbara), Murray (Seattle), Peduto (Pittsburgh), and Coleman (Columbus, OH).

    Newly added supporters of the Wear Orange coalition include the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Brady Campaign, the Caliber Foundation, CT Coalition Against Gun Violence, Greenwich Council Against Gun Violence, Media Matters, Million Mom March, MomsRising, National Council of Jewish Women, New Mexicans for Gun Safety, North Carolina Coalition Against Gun Violence, Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence, and Parents Against Gun Violence.

    Wear Orange and National Gun Violence Awareness Day was inspired by a group of Chicago teens who asked their classmates to commemorate the life of their slain friend, Hadiya Pendleton, by wearing the color orange. Hadiya was claimed by gun violence just days after marching in President Obama's second inaugural parade. Her friends chose the color because hunters wear orange to announce themselves to other hunters when out in the woods. Orange acknowledges that America has a proud heritage of responsible gun ownership, while also reflecting the value of human life. This June 2nd would have been Hadiya's 18th birthday; First Lady Michelle Obama will deliver the commencement address at what would have been Hadiya's graduation ceremony on June 9th.

    Additionally, today the Wear Orange campaign released a new video telling the story of Hadiya's tragic death, how her friends and family refused to let her die in vain, and how what they started on the south side of Chicago is becoming a national movement. You can view the video here.

    Anyone can join the Wear Orange campaign by visiting wearorange.org and using the website's pledge tool to change their social media profile picture or share why they'll be #WearingOrange on June 2, the first-ever National Gun Violence Awareness Day.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/13759-more-stars-pledge-to-wear-orange-for-gun-violence-awareness

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