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  • Miranda Kerr

    Miranda Kerr is an Australian model best known as one of the Victoria's Secret Angels.

    Charities & foundations supported

    Miranda Kerr has supported the following charities:

    Read more about Miranda Kerr0s charity work and events.
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  • Established in 2002, Elephant Family has developed into a lean and focused force for the endangered Asian elephant. Aware of overcrowding in the charity sector, the organization exists out of the urgent necessity due to a lack of investment and attention going into their conservation. At present they are the only charity in the UK solely dedicated to wild and captive Asian elephants. Their vision is a world in which the Asian elephant is no longer an endangered species and is able to live unthreatened within its own habitat.

    How you can help

    Date an elephant! Elephant Dating is a quirky version of the classic animal adoption scheme -- you ‘date' a real elephant from one of their projects for 12 months and receive loveletters on recycled elephant-dung paper, photos, elephant info and a Valentine's Day card.

    Celebrity supporters

    Elephant Family has 15 known supporters, including Prince Charles, Prince William, and Stephen Fry

    Areas of work

    Read more about Elephant Family0s work and celebrity supporters.
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  • Loreen Arbus, Founder & Chair of Women Who Care and Edward R. Matthews, CEO of United Cerebral Palsy of New York City, have announced the honorees for the 13th Annual Women Who Care Luncheon.

    The honorees include:
    Judith Light -- Emmy, Golden Globe & two-time Tony Award-winning actress and activist.
    China Machado -- Groundbreaking iconic fashion model, editor and producer
    Julia Monk – Senior Vice President, Director of Hospitality Interiors at HOK
    Hannah Jacobs -- Founding Member of Family Member Inc. & Co-founder at Art of Auction

    The event, to be held Wednesday, May 7th, at Cipriani 42nd Street, benefits United Cerebral Palsy of New York City and celebrates the extraordinary accomplishments of women as professionals, caregivers and philanthropists.

    Susan Lucci – Emmy Award-winning actress now starring in the hit Lifetime series, "Devious Maids" and a former Women Who Care Award honoree – returns as host of the star-studded luncheon.

    "This year's honorees represent a diverse cross section of the community. Their commitment to giving their time and energy back to society, both in their personal lives and professional fields, is a wonderful testament to their character," said Loreen Arbus, Founder & Chair of Women Who Care. "It is a great privilege to be able to celebrate their extraordinary accomplishments at the Women Who Care Luncheon, which continues its tradition of honoring female role models who inspire women around the world to achieve their full potential."

    2014 Women Who Care Celebrity Presenters
    Celebrity presenters will include Emmy-winning actress America Ferrera, star of the television show Ugly Betty and new film Cesar Chavez; Alex Witt, host of the MSNBC show Weekends with Alex Witt; and Tamsen Fadal, Emmy-winning anchor, PIX 11 News.

    Loreen Arbus is Founder/Chair. Jill Herzig, Editor-in-Chief, Redbook, and Donna Hanover, former First Lady of New York City, are Honorary Chairs. Robin Givens, star of the ABC series "Twisted," Ali Stroker of Glee and Glee Project fame, and six-time Emmy-winner Paula Zahn, host of the series On the Case with Paula Zahn, are Co-Chairs of Women Who Care. All Chairs will be attending the luncheon this year.

    Each year over 600 people attend the star-studded sold-out event to support children and adults with disabilities and their families. Over the past decade, Women Who Care has become a New York tradition and generates worldwide media coverage. In past years, celebrity presenters for Women Who Care included Diane Sawyer, Robin Roberts, Oprah Winfrey, Jimmy Smits, Alan Rickman, Cynthia Nixon, Meredith Vieira, Martha Stewart, Deborah Norville, Regis Philbin, Ivanka Trump, Danny Glover, Dan Rather, Diane von Furstenberg, ABC Evening News Anchor David Muir, and Michelle Bachelet, former President of Chile, among many other notables.

    For more information about the event, click here.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/11869-judith-light-to-be-honored-at-star-studded-women-who-care-luncheon

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  • First Lady Michelle Obama and White House Chef Sam Kass will deliver a special message to students during Scholastic's Math@Work: Culinary Arts webisode launching April 29th at www.scholastic.com/mathematics.

    The Scholastic Math@Work: Culinary Arts webisode is designed to show students in grades 5 and up the connections between math and careers in the culinary arts while encouraging healthy eating.

    An advocate for ensuring all children live healthy lives, First Lady Michelle Obama will address students across the country on the importance of eating healthy and cooking healthy. Sam Kass, White House Chef and Executive Director of the Let's Move! initiative, a national campaign to solve the problem of childhood obesity, explains the role math plays in his job: "I am constantly measuring ingredients, converting units and using fractions and proportions. With all the big events we have here [at the White House], I know from experience that math is the key to scaling up recipes to feed hundreds of people."

    In the 30-minute Math@Work: Culinary Arts webisode, to be released online on Tuesday, April 29th, The Chew's Carla Hall, and the newest Top Chef Nicholas Elmi challenge three NYC high school students to create healthy dishes that can easily be served in school cafeterias across the country. Along the way, students will also solve math problems and discover the links between what they learn at school and careers in culinary arts.

    Registration is open for the Math@Work: Culinary Arts webisode on the Scholastic Mathematics website at: www.scholastic.com/mathematics.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/11870-michelle-obama-joins-scholastic-math-work-webisode

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  • Comedian Bob Saget, author of the new book Dirty Daddy will host an evening of headlining music, comedy, food and wine at Cool Comedy -- Hot Cuisine on Wednesday, April 23 in the Grand Ballroom of San Francisco's historic Palace Hotel.

    The event is a benefit for the Scleroderma Research Foundation (SRF), America's leading nonprofit investor in medical research to find a cure for the autoimmune disease scleroderma.

    The word "scleroderma" literally means "hard skin," but the disease is much more, often affecting the heart, lungs, kidneys and other internal organs with life-threatening consequences. In some cases, the joints and muscles are affected, resulting in severe pain and restricted mobility. Vascular damage due to scleroderma can result in the loss of fingers, toes and entire limbs.

    Saget, an SRF Board Member who lost his sister to scleroderma, will be joined in the fundraising effort by San Francisco radio personality Don Bleu, legendary comedians Dana Carvey and Jeff Garlin, and the Grammy Award-winning band, Train.

    Cool Comedy -- Hot Cuisine is presented by Actelion, a Swiss-based pharmaceutical company specializing in products to help patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), one of the most deadly complications of scleroderma. The event has raised more than $14 million to strengthen and accelerate the SRF's collaborative research program.

    SRF Board Chairman Luke Evnin, Ph.D., a scleroderma patient and managing partner at MPM Capital, a private equity firm that has invested more than $2.8 billion in life sciences, explains what the SRF's cooperative approach to research is making possible for talented scientists from leading institutions across the nation and around the world: "Our partnerships are helping to develop an understanding of how scleroderma begins, how it progresses and what can be done to slow, halt or reverse the disease process. "

    "Cool Comedy -- Hot Cuisine is the single most successful fundraising and awareness building event for scleroderma," says Evnin.

    The "Hot Cuisine" for the evening will be prepared by celebrity chefs/restaurateurs Susan Feniger, also an SRF Board Member, and Mary Sue Milliken (Food Network's Too Hot Tamales and both Bravo Network Top Chef Masters). A five-course menu will feature popular dishes from their Latin inspired Border Grill Restaurants.

    "It has been an incredible year for scleroderma research and this event will ensure that progress continues for the benefit of patients everywhere," says Feniger. "I think we've given credibility to the old adage that laughter is the best medicine. And we've certainly shown that healthy doses of great food, wine and music are the perfect supplemental prescription."

    The success of Cool Comedy -- Hot Cuisine events held in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York (an inaugural Las Vegas event is scheduled for June 5, 2014) has raised considerable awareness for scleroderma and enabled the SRF to fund innovative research that is expected to bring new treatments that will prolong as well as improve quality of life for patients.

    Since its founding in 1987, the SRF has brought some of the brightest minds from academia and industry together in an effort to unravel the mysteries of this life-threatening illness that is estimated to affect one in every 4,000 Americans.

    A scientific advisory board comprised of such luminaries as Dr. Bruce Alberts, former President of the National Academy of Sciences; emeritus member Dr. Susan Desmond-Hellmann, Chief Executive Officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Dr. David Botstein, whose genetic mapping skills paved the way for the Human Genome Project, and several others is representative of the team of extraordinary scientists who each contribute their expertise to help shape the Foundation's research program.

    The SRF funded two breakthrough discoveries with results published last year in Nature and Science; one linking scleroderma to cancer (and possibly opening the door to a broad new array of treatment possibilities) and the other showing that the disease's signature fibrosis — or scarring — can not only be stopped, but actually reversed in a laboratory setting.

    The San Francisco Cool Comedy -- Hot Cuisine event on April 23 will include a silent auction, cocktail reception, dinner and headlining entertainment. A live auction will feature unique experiences to include premium access to the 2014 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show and after-party in London and access to next month's season 13 American Idol finale and after-party. First-class airfare is provided by event sponsor Delta Air Lines. Other packages tied to the "Hot Cuisine" theme include celebrity chef internships and an in-home dinner prepared by Bravo Network's Top Chef Masters Traci Des Jardins and Mary Sue Milliken.

    Tickets for Cool Comedy -- Hot Cuisine start at $500 and all contributions benefit the Scleroderma Research Foundation. Advance reservations are required. For more information, call (800) 441-CURE or visit www.sclerodermaRESEARCH.org.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/11871-bob-saget-to-host-cool-comedy-hot-cuisine-event

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  • Kicking off the festive Easter weekend, several thousand people came to Skid Row on Good Friday to celebrate the joyful hope of resurrection, spreading the hope for a new life to each and everyone who needs it.

    Every year, the Los Angeles Mission stages an elaborate street event featuring: a sit down gourmet meal, uplifting music, Easter baskets, foot washing, free medical care and etnies foot wear.

    Some 400 volunteers, including Hollywood celebrities and political leaders, reach out in love and compassion to make Easter a celebration of new life for people who need it the most. Practical help is extended to the people living in the most challenging circumstances imaginable: the homeless on Skid Row.

    Among the stars who attended this year were Jaimie Alexander, Jordan Babineaux, Tim Bagley, Aaron Carter, Sandra Currie, Nick Curto, Pete Demers, Jimmy Deshler, Ricky Garcia, Oksana Gregorieva, James Hellmold, Aldis Hodge, Breann Johnson, Octavius Johnson, Emery Kelly, Jon Klaasen, City Councilman Paul Krekorian, Alan J. Levi, Jen Lilly, Lisa Long, Jon Mack, Renee Marino, Eaddy Mays, Allison McAtee, Tony Revolori, Brandon Tyler Russell, Brittany Uomoleale, Antonio Villaraigosa, Jason Wahler, and Maitland Ward.

    "Resurrection is a word that takes on a practical dimension at the Mission," said Los Angeles Mission president Herb Smith. "We offer a fresh chance to start over. The meaning of a new life is something we all think about at Easter. However, individual lives are renewed here every single day. Each aspect of life is regenerated here - through the power of love, fellowship and hard work."

    Nothing says celebration more than a fabulous meal and the Mission serves an elaborate Easter meal as well as offering a wide array of health services and goodies to all comers. This year etnies and the Los Angeles Christian Health Centers (LACHC) stepped up to be the primary sponsors of this event.

    In a springtime setting of giant tents and colorful seasonal flowers, more than 800 Easter baskets are given out to children. Each basket contains the "Jelly Bean Prayer" with candy and toys hand-packed by volunteers. Serenaded with live music, people enjoy more than 3,500 delicious dinners during this celebration of hope.

    At the 1400 square foot feet-washing tent, LACHC medical personnel and other volunteers wash the feet of the homeless, perform exams and minor medical procedures and apply healing salve. Hygiene kits and numerous new socks are given away. Easter week foot washing is a Christian tradition. It is an act of humility and service, which memorializes Jesus washing the feet of his disciples the night before he was crucified.

    etnies volunteers make sure 2000 pairs of etnies shoes fit just right. The shoes are especially desired on Skid Row because they are designed for skateboarding, and therefore very durable. This is etnies' 17th year of supplying both shoes and volunteers to the Mission. etnies' professional skateboarders and surfers joined the company executives to distribute the shoes.

    "For us, it's more than giving out 40,000 pairs of shoes," says Pierre-Andre Senizergues, owner and CEO of etnies. "It's been 40,000 times that we've been able to connect with a person to let them know that we care and that we hope that they will find a way back on their feet. It's so important for the homeless to have comfortable and durable shoes to wear each day, but it's even more important that they know they are part of community that wants them to succeed."

    Many of the men and women come to the Mission event because they have a desperate need to be emotionally, physically and spiritually healed. To meet their practical needs, the LACHC coordinates the foot care efforts while the LA County Public Health Department offers TB screening, flu shots, and HIV testing. Some of the tests take a few days, so follow-up appointments are set up for next week at the Mission.

    "We are always looking for a chance to make a real difference in the everyday lives of our patients," says Dr. Lisa Abdishoo, President and CEO of LACHC. "We know that individuals who live on the street seldom have normal, loving, human contact. This outreach offers us the opportunity to provide relief for painful foot conditions as well as to troubleshoot underlying medical conditions. But most of all, it is our best chance to have meaningful personal interactions with patients outside of the clinic. The happy atmosphere of this event proves to them that we are only here to help. That is why we wouldn't want to miss being a part of this."

    Mission programs are designed to overcome addictions and restore hope to people who have lost hope. Therefore, Mission chaplains staff the prayer tent both to interact and to pray with people. The Gideons are also there to hand out bibles to everyone who wants the good book. As homage to the land of the Bible, a special photo exhibit features compelling pictures of the Holy Land. Photographer Tom Lackey displays his excellent work at the event every year.

    The Mission's kitchen crew, led by chef Chris Cormier, spends countless hours preparing the Easter feast. The menu includes: 1,800 pounds of ham cooked with a peach ginger glaze, 800 pounds of scalloped potatoes, and 1,500 pounds of fresh green beans almandine. The meal is complemented with dinner rolls, butter, cranberry relish and a special desert of fruit pie cobbler with ice cream.

    Numerous businesses and individuals donated various elements for the day's events. Landsberg Orora supplies the place settings to serve the meals, Bonert's Slice of Pie provides the pies, and King's Hawaiian donates the dinner rolls. King's Hawaiian's donation also included enough dinner rolls to supply Mission meals for weeks.

    "The Los Angeles Mission exemplifies the Aloha Spirit – the core values of hospitality, kindness and generosity -- upon which we have built our business." said Mark Taira, Chief Executive Officer, King's Hawaiian. "We are pleased to welcome its community into our Ohana (extended family) this Easter by serving King's Hawaiian rolls at their holiday meals."

    Also supporting the Easter event was Scarpaci/Kelly Productions, which donated a portion of its "crowd funding" proceeds, for a new TV pilot, to the Mission. And Jesse Wintner, a seven-year-old LA boy, decided to raise money for the Mission instead of getting gifts for his birthday. The on-line campaign went viral raising several thousand dollars for the Easter event.

    "Jesse's dedication to the homeless is a real inspiration," said Smith. "It is humbling to see a child that young come forward to join our donors who support the Mission every year. We greatly appreciate what he did. Just like we appreciate the dedicated regular giving from tens of thousands of others who make our work possible everyday."

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/11872-stars-help-make-easter-special-at-los-angeles-mission

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  • Lorde has been turned into a Muppet for a charity auction in New Zealand, raising $3000 for the country's largest pediatric hospital.

    Lorde Becomes A Muppet
    Lorde Becomes A Muppet

    The one-of-a-kind puppet was created by The Muppets Studio with Lorde's permission, and auctioned on TradeMe.co.nz to raise money for the Starship Foundation.

    The Starship Foundation is the fundraising branch of New Zealand's biggest pediatric hospital, the Starship Children's Hospital. It was set up to provide additional equipment, support and help to patients, their families and staff -- as an extra to state funding.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/11873-lorde-becomes-a-muppet-for-charity-auction

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  • Sting and Trudie Styler hosted their 25th anniversary Rainforest Fund Benefit Concert on Thursday.

    The show, which took place at New York's Carnegie Hall, featured performances from a plethora of stars including Paul Simon, James Taylor, Dionne Warwick, Stephen Stills, Patti Scialfa and Renee Fleming.

    Also making appearances at the event were Bill Clinton and Kevin Spacey. Among the famous faces spotted in the crowd were Rita Wilson and Melanie Griffith.

    The concert raised awareness and funds for the important work the Rainforest Fund provides to communities of indigenous peoples throughout Brazil and other countries including Belize, Cameroon, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Indonesia, Madagascar, Mexico, Nicaragua, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela.

    The biennial Rainforest Fund concert provides a major source of funding for the work of the Fund, which was started by Sting and Trudie in 1989, out of a desire to help a community of indigenous Amazonian people in Brazil. Since this humble start, the work of the Fund has expanded to include 23 countries on three continents. Partnering with more than 100 local organizations, The Fund seeks to conserve the environment as well as support hundreds of thousands of indigenous people in their fight to protect their rights to their own land, livelihoods and cultures.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/11874-stars-join-sting-for-rainforest-fund-benefit-concert

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  • Purina ONE is building on the feline phenomenon already popular in Europe and Asia to open the first ever Cat Cafe in America.

    Carrie Ann Inaba partnered with Purina ONE to help educate cat owners everywhere about cat health and well-being
    Carrie Ann Inaba partnered with Purina ONE to help educate cat owners everywhere about cat health and well-being

    Patrons can sip "cat'achinos" while spending time with and learning about cats, cat health and Purina ONE's 28 Day Challenge. Purina ONE hopes this encourages conversation among cat owners and cat lovers alike. Carrie Ann Inaba, a champion for cats, judge on ABC's Dancing with the Stars and founder of The Carrie Ann Inaba Animal Project, has partnered with Purina ONE on this initiative to help improve the lives and well-being of cats everywhere.

    Located in Manhattan's Bowery neighborhood, the Cat Cafe by Purina ONE will be open April 24 -27. Visitors can drop by for coffee, conversation and cat health education. Every day, the Cat Cafe by Purina ONE will feature different cat experts and interactive demonstrations to foster conversation and education so cat owners can gain valuable insights about their cat and cat health.

    Inaba will be in New York City on April 23 and 24 to help open the Cat Cafe by Purina ONE.

    The schedule and more information can be found at PurinaONE.com/CatCafe. Purina ONE has also partnered with North Shore Animal League America (NSALA) to provide companion cats to mingle amongst patrons at the Cat Cafe. These cats will also be adoptable, and Purina ONE and NSALA hope the Cat Cafe helps them find forever homes.

    Cat lovers can sign up for the Purina ONE 28 Day Challenge to help see the difference ONE smart change can make in their cat's health. By switching their cat to Purina ONE dry formulas for 28 days, cat owners should see visible differences in their cat's health.

    "I've seen remarkable changes in my cats since switching their food to Purina ONE," Inaba said. "My cat Mimi has a noticeably shinier and healthier looking coat, and Blizzard has a lot more energy. I had no idea the difference in the food I selected could make in both my cats' bodies and activity levels."

    Complete with on-site, adoptable cats, the Cat Cafe by Purina ONE provides the perfect environment for a cat-centric conversation among friends to strengthen the connection between cats and owners everywhere.

    "We hope our Cat Cafe is ONE small step toward a greater focus on cat health," said Brian Williams, brand manager for Purina ONE brand cat food. "Our goal for the Cat Cafe is to create a rich, interactive environment that empowers cat owners to learn more about their cat's health and nutritional needs. You can also sign up for the Purina ONE 28 Day Challenge while you're there. Stop by, we'll save you a seat."

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/11875-carrie-ann-inaba-supports-cat-cafe-in-nyc

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  • Hyundai Hope On Wheels officially launched its 16th year in the fight against pediatric cancer with a special guest performance by internationally acclaimed singer Michelle Williams last week.

    Zafar Brooks, Director, Hyundai Hope On Wheels, presents award to Michelle Williams
    Zafar Brooks, Director, Hyundai Hope On Wheels, presents award to Michelle Williams

    The launch event took place in New York City in conjunction with the New York International Auto Show. Williams was presented with an award to serve as a Hyundai Hope On Wheels celebrity Hope Ambassador. This honorary position is given to influencers willing to help bring awareness to the critical cause of childhood cancer. Williams was involved in several launch event activities.

    Hope On Wheels also introduced its two new National Youth Ambassadors, Ashley Burnette and Kenny Thomas. Together, they will travel the country visiting children's hospitals sharing their message of hope to children battling cancer.

    Hyundai President and CEO Dave Zuchowski presented U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) with a Hope Ambassador Award during the evening. Kelly was recognized for his dedication to the fight against pediatric cancer. Kelly serves as a founding board member of Hyundai Hope On Wheels. A Hope Ambassador award was also presented to the talented young singer Lexi Walker. Walker performed her cover rendition of "Let It Go" from the blockbuster-animated movie Frozen. Her version of the song has garnered over 32 million views on YouTube.

    Hope on Wheels was given official proclamations from the New York City Mayor's office as well as the Manhattan Borough President's office, each declaring April 17th ‘Hope On Wheels Day' in New York. Additionally, a special message was read from New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, congratulating the life-saving research being completed at Hope On Wheels grant funded institutions.

    Three New York-area childhood cancer institutions were presented with Scholar Hope Grants in the amount of $250,000 each. These grants will fund research projects at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Weill Medical College of Cornell University and New York-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital. In 2014, Hyundai Hope On Wheels will present a total of 49 grants.

    For more information about Hyundai Hope On Wheels, please visit www.HyundaiHopeOnWheels.org.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/11876-michelle-williams-becomes-hope-ambassador-in-fight-against-pediatric-cancer

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  • Madonna has announced that Miley Cyrus is the guest curator for Art for Freedom for the month of April. Miley will collaborate with Madonna to select daily submissions which will be showcased on artforfreedom.com.

    "Art can speak volumes – I'm glad to join Madonna in encouraging people to have their voices heard at artforfreedom.com. It's an ideal home to see how each of us can participate in changing the world for the better," stated Cyrus.

    Cyrus and Madonna will select the winning artist's submission at the end of April and will award a $10,000 grant to a nonprofit organization of the artist's choice. All projects must focus on the values of Art For Freedom.

    Launched in September 2013, Art For Freedom is a global digital initiative, led by Madonna in partnership with VICE Media, designed to fuel free speech – to respond, address and protest persecution and discrimination around the world. It is an online public art project encouraging people to express their personal meaning of freedom and revolution, in the form of video, music, poetry, and photography. Public submissions become part of the Art For Freedom website: contributors can join the project by uploading original artwork or tagging original posts #artforfreedom. The project was launched with the film secretprojectrevolution, co-directed by Madonna and Steven Klein.

    Past guest curators include David Blaine and Katy Perry.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/11877-madonna-names-miley-cyrus-as-art-for-freedom-guest-curator

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  • Actor John Corbett is better known for his roles in movies and popular TV shows such as Northern Exposure, Sex in The City and My Big Fat Greek Wedding, but last Saturday he was shooting for the stars to help knock out Parkinson's disease by auctioning off a space flight with XCOR Aerospace to benefit Muhammad Ali0s Parkinson0s Research Center.

    John Corbett and XCOR Chief Test Pilot Richard Searfoss climb aboard the Lynx replica at Celebrity Fight Night XX on Saturday, April 12th in Phoenix, Arizona
    John Corbett and XCOR Chief Test Pilot Richard Searfoss climb aboard the Lynx replica at Celebrity Fight Night XX on Saturday, April 12th in Phoenix, Arizona

    At the 20th Anniversary of Celebrity Fight Night's gala fundraiser, Mr. Corbett joined other entertainment industry luminaries such as Robert De Niro, Billy Crystal, Michael Buble, Reba McEntire and Kenny Rogers to raise $8+ Million for Muhammad Ali's Parkinson's Research Center at the Barrow Neurological Institute, Saint Joseph's Medical Center, Phoenix, Arizona and other deserving charities.

    On the live auction stage Mr. Corbett and former Space Shuttle Pilot, Commander and XCOR Chief Test Pilot, Rick Searfoss were able to bring in a quarter million dollars for Parkinson's and related charities by selling a very special XCOR Lynx space flight package. The flight package includes a space flight training at Air Combat USA of Fullerton, California, a space suit fitting and an actual space flight experience onboard the XCOR Lynx, a two-seat fully reusable suborbital spacecraft. Searfoss will pilot two separate missions to the edge of space onboard Lynx, one with the auction winner and one with John Corbett.

    Searfoss noted that "as someone who has personally witnessed Parkinson's through those close to me, I could not be more pleased to be able to contribute time to such a great foundation. And auctioning the flight onstage with John, well, I feel like I've already piloted the flight!"

    In addition to his well-known roles in film and TV, John Corbett is a successful country musician. His self-titled debut country album climbed to number 42 on Billboard's Country Albums chart.

    "This could not be for a more worthy cause, and it was an honor to be a part of it with Rick. As a child who was inspired by the Apollo program, I would never have dreamed that the experience of space would be so close at hand--until I connected with XCOR. To be standing at the threshold of an actual space flight is almost more than I can imagine."

    Searfoss noted that each XCOR Lynx flight is "all of the experiences I had flying the Shuttle, all those phases of flight: the boost, the weightlessness." But the best part, he added, "is the fact that you're up in a pilot seat, with me, as opposed to being in the back like a passenger on an airliner. It's really a ‘Right Stuff' experience. And I couldn't be more excited to share the opportunity for this experience with John and the winning bidder."

    XCOR Retail Sales Director Greg Claxton added he "couldn't be more pleased with the results. What is truly out of this world is that we have the opportunity to be part of such a meaningful event. We look forward to continuing the adventure and contributing further to many more worthwhile causes in the very near future."

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/11878-john-corbett-and-xcor-aerospace-raise-nearly-quarter-million-dollars-at-celebrity-fight-night

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  • The GRAMMY Charity Online Auctions has launched an auction offering exclusive concert and meet-and-greet packages with Journey and 2014 MusiCares MAP Fund honoree Ozzy Osbourne.

    Now through April 25, the auction will be open for two cycles featuring a VIP concert and meet-and-greet experience to the 2014 MusiCares MAP Fund benefit concert honoring Osbourne on May 12.

    The package includes two front-row balcony seats to the sold-out concert, soundcheck access, a light dinner, and a private meet-and-greet with the recent GRAMMY winner. The Journey meet-and-greet package will include two tickets to attend a concert of your choice on their 2014 summer tour.

    To place your bids, visit www.ebay.com/grammy. Presented in partnership with Kompolt, proceeds from GRAMMY Charity Online Auctions provide essential support for MusiCares and the GRAMMY Foundation.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/11879-meet-rock-icons-with-grammy-charity-online-auctions

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  • The CLASSY Awards, in partnership with the United Nations Foundation, is proud to announce the Top Nominees for the 5th Annual CLASSY Awards.

    The 8 Winners will be announced onstage at the CLASSY Awards Ceremony on Saturday, May 3rd in San Diego, California.

    "We are excited to play a part in recognizing some of the most significant achievements in the social sector worldwide," said Pat Walsh, co-founder of the CLASSY Awards. "These organizations are driving significant progress against our most challenging social issues, and we are honored to share their success."

    The CLASSY Awards is the largest social impact awards ceremony in the country, celebrating the greatest champions of social progress. More than 3,600 organizations worldwide were evaluated as part of the comprehensive, yearlong discovery process. The Awards Leadership Council, a 100-person board comprised of top leaders and cause experts from around the world, has reviewed the Top Nominees to determine the Winners. Their unique perspective and valuable insight establishes this recognition as one of the most prestigious honors in the social sector.

    The Leadership Council includes Richard Branson and Cesar Millan.

    "We believe that everyone has a role to play in building a better world for all people," said Elizabeth Gore, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the UN Foundation. "The CLASSY Awards brings together the best leaders in the social sector. The collective work of these organizations helps advance the United Nations' humanitarian goals, and we are proud to help honor these nominees."

    For a full list of this year's nominees, click here.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/11880-nominees-announced-for-5th-annual-classy-awards

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  • Grammy award-winning comedian Lewis Black will host a one-night-only variety show featuring comedy, song and dance, with some help from his friends, including Jon Stewart, Joy Behar, Whoopi Goldberg, Kathleen Madigan and others.

    Lewis Black Uses Star Power To Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
    Lewis Black Uses Star Power To Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
    • What: Lewis Black Presents Big Stars, Big Cure: An Unforgettable Night of Comedy and Music to Fight Cystic Fibrosis
    • Where: Jazz at Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall
Broadway at 60th Street, Time Warner Center, New York City
    • When: Monday, May 5, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. EDT

    
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the world's leader in the search for a cure for cystic fibrosis. The foundation funds more CF research than any other organization and nearly every CF drug available today was made possible because of foundation support. Based in Bethesda, Md., the foundation also supports and accredits a national care center network that has been recognized by the National Institutes of Health as a model of care for a chronic disease. The CF Foundation is a donor-supported nonprofit organization. For more information, go to www.cff.org.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/11881-lewis-black-and-friends-fight-for-a-cure-for-cystic-fibrosis

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  • Thursday April 24th marks World Day for Animals in Laboratories; an international event to commemorate the millions of animals who suffer and die in laboratories around the world.

    Wendy Turner Webster with rescued laboratory beagle
    Credit/Copyright:

    As part of the BUAV Our Best Friends campaign to end the use of cats and dogs in experiments, the organisation is using this important day to highlight a grim secret of the research industry – the routine killing of animals ‘no longer required' by laboratories. The BUAV believes this is unacceptable and is calling for their mandatory release where possible. A national petition has been started in support of the campaign.

    The issue has come to light following BUAV undercover investigations that have revealed laboratories and breeding centres are routinely killing animals who are no longer required. Some animals may have been used in experiments; others bred for research but not used and considered ‘surplus to requirements.' Yet, rather than release or find homes for these animals outside the laboratory, they are being denied the opportunity of freedom and simply killed.

    During the BUAV's most recent investigation at MSD Animal Health, it was discovered that healthy female adult beagles were being routinely killed – once their puppies had been taken away from them – as well as beagle puppies who were no longer required and could have been released at the end of the experiments. Thanks to the BUAV, three dogs were saved from death after a BUAV investigator was able to persuade MSD Animal Health to release them. They now have loving homes and are enjoying their new lives.

    Journalist and animal advocate, Wendy Turner-Webster, met with the BUAV and Oliver, a five month old puppy who was released from MSD Animal Health, and is echoing the BUAV's call for a change in legislation.

    Wendy said: "Oliver is a beautiful, healthy and vibrant dog and it is devastating to think that his mother and six other siblings were all killed. I join the BUAV call to stop the killing of those animals in laboratories who could be released into secure and loving homes. I encourage others to find out more and support the BUAV campaign on this World Day for Animals in Laboratories."

    Sarah Kite, Director of Special Projects stated: "Although the three beagles we rescued are affected by their institutionalisation in the laboratory, they are learning quickly how enjoyable life can be. All three epitomise how easily many more of these dogs could have been released into loving homes, if only MSD Animal Health had made the effort. It is shameful and we call for an immediate change in policy from the Home Office to enable this to happen. "

    The BUAV launched its Our Best Friends campaign in July 2013 to end the use of cats and dogs in research and the campaign has received widespread support from many celebrities including Paul O0Grady, Ricky Gervais, Miranda Richardson, Jilly Cooper, Chris Packham, Kirsty Gallacher and Greg Rutherford among others.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/11882-april-24-is-world-day-for-animals-in-laboratories

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  • In honor of National Pet Parent's Day on April 27, Deckers Dogs is teaming up with Veterinary Pet Insurance to raise money to help fund the rescue, care and training of service dogs for our military veterans returning home with disabilities.

    NY Jets0 Eric Decker and Deckers Dogs Team with Veterinary Pet Insurance to Celebrate Pet Parent0s Day.
    NY Jets0 Eric Decker and Deckers Dogs Team with Veterinary Pet Insurance to Celebrate Pet Parent0s Day.

    From April 22 through Memorial Day (May 26), VPI will donate $5 (up to $10,000) to Deckers Dogs for every free pet insurance quote generated on petparentsday.com.

    New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker and his wife, singer Jessie James Decker, established Deckers Dogs in September of 2013 to provide support to Freedom Service Dogs' Operation Freedom. Operation Freedom was developed to help returning war veterans and military personnel transition from active duty and combat to civilian life. Active duty service members and veterans with disabilities are placed with highly specialized service dogs that help them find a new level of independence in their post-combat life.

    For a typical service dog, the journey from shelter to service costs approximately $25,000. With the help of the public's support, Deckers Dogs has already funded the care and custom training for three service dogs in just six months.

    "Pet Parent's Day recognizes the human-animal bond and the commitment pet owners give to their furry family members," said Eric Decker. "We're proud to partner with VPI to help build new bonds between those rescued service dogs and our wounded warriors as we free a hero to save a hero."

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/11883-eric-decker-steps-up-to-help-service-dogs-for-veterans-with-disabilities

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  • Recycle Across America (RAA) is celebrating Earth Week 2014 by partnering with notable celebrities and Lamar Advertising to announce a simple solution that will deliver a profound impact on the environment and the economy -- society-wide standardized labeling for recycling bins.

    Earth Week 2014 - Recycle Across America Encourages Americans to Recycle Right
    Earth Week 2014 - Recycle Across America Encourages Americans to Recycle Right

    To preface the solution, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recycling is the most important action society can do to improve the environment. Recycling and reusing the materials in manufacturing is the public facing action that can simultaneously: reduce CO2 levels, conserve water, reduce energy usage, protect finite natural resources, protect oceans, waterways, sea life, and wildlife, and create millions of jobs.

    However recycling has been underutilized, as demonstrated by EPA statistics indicating U.S. recycling levels are less than 35% and have barely improved in the past 15 years. In fact, recently the EPA released a report saying that recycling levels in the U.S. are declining.

    The culprit – thousands of different looking labels on public area recycling bins causing public confusion, apathy and skepticism, and a lack of society-wide messaging about the importance of recycling right. As a result, millions of tons of trash are being thrown in recycling bins every year, which cripples the economics of recycling and hinders the ability for manufacturers to reuse the materials.

    In 2011, RAA launched the simple non-profit solution of a society-wide standardized label system for recycling bins and without solicitation or outreach, many industry leaders have begun using the labels on their bins, such as: NBCUniversal, Hallmark, Kohler, Walt Disney World employee areas, Procter & Gamble manufacturing, SanDisk, AOL, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey beginning with the LaGuardia Airport Central Terminal, 2,000 U.S. K-12 schools -- including all the public schools in Washington DC, many universities including University of Denver, George Mason University, University of Connecticut, Johns Hopkins University and thousands of other adopters. Today approximately half a million of RAA's standardized labels are now in use throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe.

    The standardized labeling system for recycling bins is a simple solution that has been proven to increase recycling levels by more than 50% and significantly reduces the amount of trash currently being thrown in recycling bins. Additionally the standardized labels, which make it easier for people to recycle right, has a profound impact on the future of manufacturing and their ability to begin using recycled materials that are of consistent quality and that will be competitively priced to virgin materials.

    For Earth Week, Lamar Advertising has donated 600 digital billboards across the U.S. to feature Recycle Across America's "Let's recycle right!" campaign which introduces the standardized labels and includes celebrities such as Kristen Bell, Angie Harmon, Stana Katic, Ian Somerhalder, Josie Maran, Alanis Morissette, Anthony Mackie, Gabby Reece, AnnaSophia Robb and Chris Salgardo, the president of the philanthropic brand, Kiehl's Since 1851, who have donated over 200,000 standardized labels to K-12 schools through the U.S. The campaign also combines social media and digital out-of-home to engage consumers and promote the importance of recycling right.

    Recycle Across America will ask people on Twitter to pledge to "recycle right" using standardized labels. Those who re-tweet the pledge from @recycleacrossam or tweet with #LetsRecycleRight will have their twitter handle featured on digital billboards nationwide.

    Additionally, a segment featuring Recycle Across America and the standardized label initiative will also air throughout the day on Friday, April 25 on The Weather Channel.

    For more information, please visit www.letsrecycleright.org.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/11884-celebrities-want-you-to-recycle-right-for-earth-week

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  • Public housing provides homes and services for approximately 2.2 million people in the U.S.; however, the need is much greater than that. Given current economic and federal budget conditions, public housing availability continues to decrease, while the need for it continues to grow.

    Today, ReThink Ambassador and four-time Grammy Award nominated singer-songwriter Jewel invites Americans to take a minute to think about their home and share why housing matters to them. Jewel will be writing a new song about "Why Housing Matters" to raise awareness of the benefits of public housing and to encourage Americans to rethink their perceptions of public housing.

    Now through Wednesday, May 14, Americans are encouraged to go to www.ReThinkHousing.org and submit a short essay and optional photo describing why home matters to them. Soon after, Americans will have the chance to cast a vote for their favorite entry at www.ReThinkHousing.org. The top 10 entries will serve as inspiration to Jewel as she creates a new song about "Why Housing Matters." The person with the winning entry will meet Jewel in Los Angeles and attend an exclusive performance of the song they inspired her to write.

    Once homeless, Jewel understands the importance of having a stable place to live. She remembers what it was like to not have a roof over her head or not know where her next meal was coming from. As ReThink Ambassador for the second year, Jewel will continue to spread news about the initiative through media appearances in the coming weeks and launch the new song about housing later this year.

    "I'm so honored to have the opportunity to continue to work with ReThink to raise awareness for people who may not have a stable place to live. ReThink is an important initiative that inspires people to think differently about the importance of home. I'm truly looking forward to gathering perspectives and inspiration about what your home means to you, and turning it into a song that I hope will help shed light on this important cause," says Jewel.

    "There are simple things in life we take for granted, like having a safe and stable place to live, and some people don't realize that public housing offers more than a roof over someone's head. Public housing is a home, it builds community, and it provides services to people like you and me," says Courtney Rice, Corporate Communications and Branding Manager at Housing Authority Insurance, Inc. "Jewel has been an incredible partner and advocate in sharing stories from her past. Now, we're thankful to have her use her songwriting talent and voice to help connect with Americans on the importance of having a home."

    ReThink: Why Housing Matters is an initiative challenging the sometimes negative perceptions Americans have about public housing by sharing stories of success made possible through public housing. Visit www.ReThinkHousing.org to hear Jewel's perspective and experience inspirational stories of public housing -- and rethink its impact on individuals, families, and your own community.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/11885-jewel-asks-americans-why-housing-matters

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  • Organizers for the 24th Annual William Shatner Priceline.com Hollywood Charity Horse Show, sponsored by Wells Fargo, announced today that country music legend Wynonna Judd will perform live with her band, The Big Noise, at the event to be held on April 26, 2014.

    The Priceline.com Hollywood Charity Horse Show, sponsored by Wells Fargo enters its 24th year of fundraising with a spectacular affair at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center, 480 Riverside Drive, Burbank, California. Guests will be treated to an exciting arena show and a world-class reining competition, followed by a western dinner catered by STONEFIRE Grill. The evening concludes with a special LIVE performance by Wynonna & The Big Noise.

    Proceeds from the event will benefit special-needs children's charities across the city of Los Angeles including: AHEAD With Horses, Children0s Hospital Los Angeles, Hollenbeck Police Activities League (PAL), St. Jude Children0s Research Hospital, The Painted Turtle and others.

    "Over the last 24 years, we have been able to help thousands of young Angelinos thanks to the support we receive from our generous sponsors and attendees," commented William Shatner. "We are so fortunate to have the great talent of Wynonna Judd for our entertainment this year. She is absolutely terrific and generous with her time and support."

    Find out more here.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/11886-wynonna-judd-to-headline-william-shatners-hollywood-charity-horse-show

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  • A Window Between Worlds (AWBW) presents Art in the Afternoon, an annual family fun festival with art workshops, musical performances, live & silent auctions, face painting and more.

    The event aims to support the expansion of AWBW's healing art programs across the country and announces the organization's new mission.

    Hosted by actress G. Hannelius (Disney Channel's "Dog with a Blog"), additional expected guests include: Landry Bender ("Crash & Bernstein"), Regan Burns ("Dog with a Blog"), Joey Bragg ("Liv and Maddie"), Francesca Capaldi ("Dog with a Blog"), Sabrina Carpenter ("Girl Meets World"), Cameron Boyce ("Jessie"), Beth Littleford ("Dog with a Blog"), Kayla Maisonet ("Dog with a Blog"), Peyton Meyer ("Girl Meets World"), Blake Michael ("Dog with a Blog"), "Mick" The Dog ("Dog with a Blog"), Danielle Soibelman ("Dog with a Blog"), Tenzing Trainor ("Liv & Maddie") and more.

    Since 1991 A Window Between Worlds (AWBW) has provided art as a healing and empowering tool for individuals living in domestic violence shelters to rebuild their lives and end the cycle of violence. Art offers a window to a new world in which violence, shame and silence are replaced by safety, healing and hope. For the participants in the workshops, art acts as a reminder of the power they have to create change for themselves and their communities. In 2013, AWBW reached over 19,000 women and children at 296 sites throughout Los Angeles and 28 states nationwide.

    • WHERE: Venice Skills Center
      611 5th Avenue
      Venice, California 90291
    • WHEN: Sunday, May 4th 2014

    Find out more here.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/11887-tv-stars-set-to-attend-art-in-the-afternoon


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  • Bid now on two tickets to the premiere and after-party of A Million Ways to Die in the West in LA on May 15 and meet the star, Charlize Theron, for a quick photograph.

    Seth MacFarlane directs, produces, co-writes and plays the role of the cowardly sheep farmer Albert in A Million Ways to Die in the West. After Albert backs out of a gunfight, his fickle girlfriend leaves him for another man. When a mysterious and beautiful woman rides into town, she helps him find his courage and they begin to fall in love. But when her husband, a notorious outlaw, arrives seeking revenge, the farmer must put his newfound courage to the test.

    Starring alongside MacFarlane are Oscar winner Charlize Theron, Liam Neeson, Amanda Seyfried, Giovanni Ribisi, Sarah Silverman and Neil Patrick Harris. MacFarlane reunites many of the filmmakers behind Universal and MRC's hit film Ted including Scott Stuber (Bluegrass Films) and Jason Clark who produce, and Wellesley Wild and Alec Sulkin who co-wrote the script.

    This auction benefits the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project, an organization created in 2007 by Charlize Theron, Academy Award winning actor and UN Messenger of Peace, in an effort to support African youth in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Although the geographic scope of CTAOP is Sub-Saharan Africa, the primary area of focus has been Charlize's home country of South Africa.

    The auction is open until May 7, and can be accessed via CharityBuzz.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/11888-meet-charlize-theron-at-the-premiere-of-a-million-ways-to-die-in-the-west

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  • Brazilian supermodel Fernanda Tavares has been named Humane Society International's Ambassador for the charity's Be Cruelty-Free Brazil campaign to end animal testing for cosmetics.

    Tavares has pledged to help HSI end animal suffering in Brazil's beauty industry.

    Video: Vídeo Liberte-se da Crueldade da Humane Society International

    Last month Fernanda Tavares starred in a video appeal for HSI calling for the Brazilian government to follow in the footsteps of Europe, Israel and India by introducing a nationwide cosmetics animal testing ban. Fernanda subsequently joined HSI for a meeting with Senator Eduardo Suplicy, the Minister of Justice, Dr. José Eduardo Cardozo and Deputy Ricardo Tripoli to discuss why banning cosmetics animal testing, which was recently done in the state of Sao Paulo, would improve consumer safety and promote modern science as well as protect animals from unnecessary suffering.

    Fernanda said: "I'm really thrilled to become HSI's Be Cruelty-Free Brazil Ambassador. I love my country very much, but cosmetics cruelty shames Brazil so I want to see an end to the suffering as soon as possible. I feel very close to this issue, coming from the modelling world where make-up is so central, I feel I am in a unique position to speak out for these poor animals who suffer in silence. There really is no excuse for animal testing when so many companies make amazing cosmetics without hurting any animals. So I want to do whatever I can to help HSI achieve this goal."

    Although banned throughout Europe, Israel and India, Brazil's cosmetics regulations still allow for eye, skin and oral toxicity tests on rabbits, guinea pigs and other rodents. The animals are given no pain relief and are killed at the end of the test by asphyxiation or neck breaking.

    Helder Constantino, HSI's Be Cruelty-Free campaigner said: "Fernanda is the perfect Ambassador for our Be Cruelty-Free campaign so we are honoured to have her support. She encompasses beauty with compassion and we know she shares our determination to see an end to cosmetics animal testing here in Brazil and around the world."

    Be Cruelty-Free Brazil is part of the largest campaign in the world to end cosmetics animal testing, supported by ARCA Brasil, ProAnima and the National Forum for the Protection and Defense of Animals. HSI has Be Cruelty-Free campaigns in Australia, Canada, China, India, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Russia, Taiwan and Be Cruelty-Free USA is spearheaded by The Humane Society of the United States.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/11889-supermodel-fernanda-taveras-wants-brazil-to-be-cruelty-free

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  • Academy Award nominated actress and Hollywood icon Sharon Stone and Kish Rajan, director of business and economic development for Governor Jerry Brown, joined InnovAge this week to celebrate the opening of its first Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) center in California.

    Former state Senator Bill Emerson, who is currently the senior vice president of the California Hospital Association, was a special guest at the opening.

    "InnovAge Greater California PACE helps serve the needs of a rapidly growing senior population in San Bernardino and Riverside counties," said Maureen Hewitt, president and CEO of InnovAge. "We have seen a great demand for this innovative system of care designed to meet the needs of individuals who want to remain living with more independence and with a greater quality of life within their homes and communities. The program also provides caregivers with the peace of mind that their loved ones are enjoying the best quality of life possible, and offers them a respite from the often strenuous demands of care-giving."

    The InnovAge Greater California PACE (IGCAP) center will offer the latest senior care innovations in the Inland Empire. IGCAP will provide up to 2,000 aging adults with critical services they need to live safely and independently in their homes and communities, as well as employing more than 400 people at full capacity.

    According to the California Department of Aging, the senior population is estimated to increase by more than 150 percent in San Bernardino and by more than 100 percent in Riverside County by 2020.

    
The InnovAge Greater California PACE (IGCAP) center will offer services including a primary care clinic, Alzheimer's and dementia care, a therapy gym, in-home care, day rooms for socialization, entertainment and nutrition education. The center will also provide transportation to and from the facility and to and from medical appointments. IGCAP participants receive all needed healthcare services, including primary care and specialist physician services, from IGCAP or from an entity, person or company authorized by IGCAP. IGCAP participants may be fully and personally liable for the costs of unauthorized or out-of-network services.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/11893-sharon-stone-helps-open-innovage-greater-california-pace-center

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  • Bloomberg Philanthropies has announced a $5 million impact investment in Little Sun, creators of portable, solar-powered lamps designed by co-founders: artist Olafur Eliasson and engineer Frederik Ottesen.

    The company works with local entrepreneurs to sell its lamps to households where electricity is scarce or unavailable, at prices that are affordable to families currently using costly and toxic kerosene for their lighting. Little Sun operates as a social business, created specifically to address a social problem rather than to maximize profits.

    This is Bloomberg Philanthropies first-ever impact investment and will provide a low interest rate loan that will allow Little Sun to grow, providing clean and affordable energy to homes, schools and local business in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Foundation undertook a rigorous due diligence process to evaluate the viability of the Little Sun business model and determined that solar powered lamps can provide enormous environmental and social benefits.

    "Today, seven out of ten people lack access to even the most basic electricity in Sub-Saharan Africa. Over the next 20 years, Africa is poised to hold the world's largest un-electrified population," said Felix Hallwachs, Little Sun Managing Director and CEO. "The impact investment from Bloomberg Philanthropies will help us reach our goal of providing clean energy to homes, schools and local businesses, replacing toxic kerosene lamps everywhere we work. We consider access to clean, safe and sustainable energy a fundamental human right."

    Currently, households in Africa not connected to the electric grid can spend up to 20% of their total budgets on kerosene, which is the primary source of light for many of these households. Breathing kerosene toxins is also damaging to health -- four hours alone is equal to smoking 40 cigarettes. Additionally, global kerosene use has been estimated to emit up to 200 million tons of CO2 annually, which is the equivalent of emissions from approximately 60 large U.S. coal plants, heightening the need to develop sustainable alternatives.

    To provide the greatest number of people with access to the benefits of solar-powered light, Little Sun's initial product is priced at the most affordable end of the spectrum of portable solar products. One solar-powered Little Sun light lasts for two to three years before needing a battery replacement, and can save households up to 90% over three years compared to what they would have spent on kerosene. The targeted price point still allows profits to be collected by the local entrepreneurs who sell the lights in their communities.

    "Too many families are forced to breathe in toxic kerosene fumes because they don't have access to electricity. Solar-powered lights can improve their health – and at the same time, protect our environment – by keeping pollutants out of the air they breathe," said Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies. "Little Sun is bringing clean, safe, affordable light to people who don't have it today."

    While other solar-powered lights are also available, Little Sun is unique in that it is the only light that is also a work of art, inspired by the power of sunlight and energy access.

    "I am thrilled by the confidence that Michael Bloomberg and his great team at Bloomberg Philanthropies have shown toward our unique social business model and our aim to bring light to people living off the energy grid. To promote solar power in the shape of a Little Sun is to invest in radical change for the lives of many while, at the same time, caring for the planet we share. Holding hands with the sun is holding hands with the future," said Little Sun co-founder and artist Olafur Eliasson. "With a Little Sun in your hand, you become a power station – charging your lamp in the sun, you also empower yourself. Access to energy and light allows you to determine the direction of your life."

    The lamp's exceptional design and engineering has made it popular, not just in areas without electricity but around the world. Little Sun is sold at museum stores and other outlets in regions including the U.S. and Europe, at a higher price, utilizing the profits from these sales to keep off-grid sales prices locally affordable and to kick-start local businesses in off-grid communities. The Little Sun project was launched in 2012 at the Tate Modern in London, where the lamp continues to be available for purchase. They are also available for purchase online and in museums, like the MoMA Design Store in New York City and select retail stores in the U.S. and Europe.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/11891-bloomberg-philanthropies-makes-5-million-investment-to-help-deliver-light-to-africa

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  • Emmy-award winning actress and choreographer Debbie Allen, dancers from the hit televised dance competition So You Think You Can Dance, and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. have teamed up to launch a national education and wellness program, the T2 Dance Crew, to encourage people with type 2 diabetes to increase physical activity as an important part of managing their condition.

    "I saw firsthand how challenging it was for my dad to manage his type 2 diabetes," said Debbie Allen. "He tried to make some changes in his lifestyle, but the one thing I couldn't get him to do was exercise more. That's why I joined the T2 Dance Crew campaign. We are showing millions of people how taking small steps, like dancing, can make a meaningful difference in managing diabetes. The best part is -- everybody can dance and it's fun!"

    Program resources are available in both English and Spanish online at www.T2DanceCrew.com, where campaign ambassadors Debbie Allen and So You Think You Can Dance fan favorites Fik-Shun and Janette Manrara share their inspirational stories and lead an instructional dance video series in simplified Hip-Hop and Latin dance styles. The T2 Dance Crew also will host a series of local events that feature live dance classes taught by Fik-Shun and Manrara, health screenings and type 2 diabetes education across the country in partnership with leading community organizations.

    Diabetes is a growing epidemic in the United States, affecting more than 26 million people. Racial and ethnic minorities have a higher burden of diabetes, worse diabetes control and are more likely to experience complications of the disease, which can be compounded by obesity and a lack of exercise. Nearly half of adults with type 2 diabetes do not achieve recommended levels of glucose control, and if left uncontrolled, type 2 diabetes can lead to serious complications. However, leading a healthy lifestyle, taking medication if prescribed and determining the appropriate diabetes care regimen for desired blood glucose control can help reduce the risk of these complications.

    "Type 2 diabetes is a complex disease typically requiring lifestyle changes such as managing body weight that can often seem overwhelming," says Richard Aguilar, M.D., Medical Director of Diabetes Nation. "I tell my patients to initially set realistic goals and develop a step-wise management plan that delivers results you can see, feel and build upon every day. The T2 Dance Crew can reach millions with these important and useful messages to motivate people to work with their healthcare provider and start taking small steps to better manage their diabetes."

    While research has shown that African Americans and Latinos with diabetes are less likely to engage in regular exercise than the general population, both populations gravitate toward dance as a cultural expression and pastime.

    The American Diabetes Association recommends 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activities at least 5 days a week. Dance as exercise has been shown to be effective for people with diabetes. A study completed by T2 Dance Crew advisor Theresa Garnero, executive director of Dance Out Diabetes, an organization using dance as a solution for community health, evaluated people with diabetes who participated in a monthly cultural dance program taught by dance experts. Most of those who kept with the program reduced or maintained their body weight, waist circumference, blood pressure and A1C, a measure of average blood glucose control over a period of two to three months.

    "It is important that we support people with type 2 diabetes and high-risk populations by providing educational resources and tools that are relevant and compelling," said Jimmy Ren, Ph.D., Therapeutic Area Lead, Metabolics, Medical Affairs, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. "By targeting realistic lifestyle modification goals with the T2 Dance Crew program, and providing therapeutic solutions for blood glucose control, we can help ignite real progress among millions of Americans affected by type 2 diabetes and together work toward achieving enduring success."

    The online hub for the T2 Dance Crew campaign, featuring an exclusive dance instruction video series and interactive educational resources in English and Spanish languages, is hosted on the Diabetic Connect platform of Alliance Health, the world's largest social network for people and families living with diabetes. The T2 Dance Crew event series will be held in partnership with locally-based community organizations in the City of Miami Gardens, New York City and Houston. Visit www.T2DanceCrew.com for more information.

    So You Think You Can Dance returns Wednesday, May 28 at 8/7c on FOX-TV.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/11892-debbie-allen-wants-to-get-people-with-type-2-diabetes-moving

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  • Jack Johnson has released a new live EP, with all proceeds going to the Kokua Hawaii Foundation to support environmental education in the schools and communities of Hawai'i.

    The EP was recorded live last fall on his From Here To Now To You Theater tour, where Johnson and his band treated fans to intimate performances at some of the world's greatest music theaters.

    As part of Earth Day last week, Jack surprised Mililani Mauka Elementary School to a special lunchtime performance for being the school to collect the most bottle caps in the 2014 Hawaii School Bottle Cap Challenge sponsored by Kokua Hawaii Foundation.

    Through this challenge, 21,862 pounds of plastic bottle caps were collected and diverted from Hawaiʻi's waste stream. The plastic caps collected have been sent to California, where they will be recycled into new products, including Method's Ocean Plastic bottle and Preserve toothbrush and razor handles.

    The Kōkua Hawai'i Foundation, is a 501c3 non-profit organization founded by Kim and Jack Johnson. The Foundation's mission is to provide students with experiences that will enhance their appreciation for and understanding of their environment so they will be lifelong stewards of the earth. Kōkua Hawai'i Foundation programs include ‘ĀINA In Schools, 3R's School Recycling, Kōkua Hawai'i Foundation Field Trip Grants, Kōkua Hawai'i Foundation Mini-Grants, and Plastic Free Hawai'i. Visit www.kokuahawaiifoundation.org for more information.

    The From Here To Now To You Live EP is available from iTunes.

    From: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/11890-jack-johnsons-new-live-ep-benefits-environmental-education

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