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The NASCAR Foundation’s Inaugural Honors Gala Raises $1.6 Million

Sep 30, 2016 01:30 pm
The NASCAR Foundation’s inaugural Honors Gala, hosted Tuesday night in New York at the Marriott Marquis, raised $1.6 million to benefit hospitalized children across the country through the Speediatrics Children’s Fund.

Julia Landauer and Danica Patrick
Julia Landauer and Danica Patrick

This marks further national expansion for The Foundation which has donated more than $25 million and reached one million children in need since 2006.


At the event, the sixth annual Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award presented by Nationwide was awarded to Andy Hoffman, Founder of Team Jack Foundation. Hoffman, who will receive a $100,000 donation from The NASCAR Foundation, started the Team Jack Foundation after his son developed pediatric brain cancer, and has raised $3 million to help eradicate the disease since 2011.

Sara Bareilles attends First Annual NASCAR Foundation Honors Gala
Sara Bareilles attends First Annual NASCAR Foundation Honors Gala

Hoffman won the award following an online fan vote on This year’s other finalists included Jim Giaccone of Bayville, New York, representing Tuesday’s Children; Logan Houptley of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, a founding member of Mikayla’s Voice; and Parker White of Greensboro, North Carolina, founder of BackPack Beginnings. Each of these finalists’ charities will receive a $25,000 donation from TheNASCAR Foundation.


“Tuesday night’s Honors Gala was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the work that all four finalists have been doing in their communities – work that will have a lasting impact on the thousands of people their foundations have helped,” said Brad Barnett, associate vice-president of Media & Sports Marketing for Nationwide, the presenting sponsor of the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award. “Nationwide congratulates Andy Hoffman on winning the award. Thank you to all of our finalists for making a difference and being an inspiration to us all.”

The Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award, named after its late Chairwoman Emeritus, is given to a NASCAR fan who has made a profound impact on children in their local community. Since its inception, the foundation has granted more than $1 million to charities represented by the award finalists and more than 200,000 children have been positively impacted.

The Gala paid tribute to Betty Jane France who unexpectedly passed away on Aug. 29 and was hosted by the France family including NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France (son) and his wife Amy France, International Speedway Corporation CEO Lesa France Kennedy (daughter) and NASCAR Vice Chairman Jim France (brother-in-law).

Additional honorees at the gala, recognized for their commitment to child-focused philanthropy, included Dr. Howard B. Ginsburg, Division Chief, Pediatric Surgery atNYU Langone and Mark Lazarus, Chairman, NBC Broadcasting and Sports.


The NASCAR Foundation commemorated a multiyear partnership with NYU Langone at the Gala and will donate $1 million to enhance the Child Life Program at the Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital of New York at NYU Langone.

The Honors Gala was hosted by Krista Voda of NBC Sports and featured a special appearance by NBC’s Hoda Kotb. The evening also featured performances by Grammy and Tony nominated singer Sara Bareilles.


The following NASCAR champions and stars in attendance were: six-time NASCARSprint Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson, seven-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion and NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty, reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Kyle Busch, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion and NASCARHall of Famer Rusty Wallace, two-time NASCAR XFINITY Series Champions Martin Truex Jr., two-time NASCAR XFINITY Series Champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr.,NASCAR Camping World Truck and XFINITY Series Champion Austin Dillon and Ray Black Jr., Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, Austin Dillon, Ty Dillon, Kasey Kahne, Ben Kennedy, Julia Landauer, Kyle Larson, Danica Patrick, Eddie Wood, and Len Wood.

Other VIP attendees included: Director of International Speedway Corporation, Larry Aiello Jr., NASCAR Board Vice Chairperson Jennifer Bates, actors Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Eddie Ramos, NASCAR Vice Chairman Mike Helton, and Director of International Speedway Corporation, Larry Woodard.



Stars Attend Revlon’s Annual Philanthropic Luncheon

Sep 30, 2016 12:30 pm
Revlon held their annual philanthropic luncheon at Chateau Marmont on Tuesday, September 27 in support of Revlon’s Women’s Health Mission.

Halle Berry, Revlon Global Brand Ambassador
Halle Berry, Revlon Global Brand Ambassador

The event honored Dr. Dennis J. Slamon, Director of the Revlon/UCLA Women’s Cancer Research Program at JCCC, for his outstanding achievements in cancer research. To support and celebrate his incredible work, Revlon donated $1 million to Dr. Slamon to support his efforts in cancer research. In addition to honoring Dr. Slamon and his contributions, the luncheon served to raise awareness for Revlon’s 2016 philanthropic initiatives including their 2nd annual LOVE IS ON Million Dollar Challenge.

 Ciara and Cindy Crawford
Ciara and Cindy Crawford

Hosted by Revlon Chairman Ronald O. Perelman and Revlon CEO Fabian Garcia in addition to Rashida Jones, Peggy Lipton, Cassandra Grey, Kelly Meyer, Jennifer Meyer, Sarah Meyer, Carson Meyer, Shelli Azoff, Allison Azoff Statter, with Revlon global brand ambassador Halle Berry, honoree Dr. Dennis J. Slamon, artist Curtis Kulig, and attendees Irving Azoff, Lorraine Bracco, Ciara, Cindy Crawford, Courteney Cox, Erin Foster, Sara Foster, Brian Grazer, Brad Grey, Melanie Griffith, Julianne Hough, Jennifer Hudson, Anjelica Huston, Elaine Irwin, Don Johnson, Jaime King,Penny Marshall, Ron Meyer, Lorraine Nicholson, Amy Powell, Brett Ratner, Rachel Roy, Lilly Tartikoff, Rachel Zoe, and more.

Julianne Hough, Jennifer Hudson, and Ciara
Julianne Hough, Jennifer Hudson, and Ciara


Clock Ticking To Participate In 10th Annual Disney Dreamers Academy

Sep 30, 2016 11:15 am

Steve Harvey: Profile

Time is running out for high school students nationwide to be a part of the 2017 Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine – the innovative, outside-of-the-classroom, mentoring program is in its 10th year at Walt Disney World Resort.

To be among the 100 selected to participate in this unique experience, high school students around the country must apply by October 31.

Each year, students participate in engaging and immersive workshops related to a variety of career paths, ranging from animation to zoology. Each participant learns important skills such as communication techniques, leadership values and networking strategies from Disney experts and world-renowned entrepreneurs and executives. Moreover, motivational speakers and celebrities such as syndicated radio and television personality Steve Harvey and ESSENCE President Michelle Ebanks connect with students to share their stories and provide insight into how to achieve success and DREAM BIG.

Immersed in the imaginative and magical setting of Walt Disney World Resort, Dreamers go behind the scenes to learn what inspires Disney storytellers, as well as use the theme parks as energetic ‘classrooms,’ leading to career discoveries, the pursuit of dreams and fun memories to cherish.

“Giving back to our youth – our future – is something I am so passionate about,” said Harvey. “This is a milestone year, where the success and collaboration with Disney continue to pay dividends for the lives of over 900 Disney Dreamer alumni and with the addition of the class of 2017, we will have influenced over 1,000 aspiring young leaders. I encourage all high school students to take the time to apply for the 10th annual Disney Dreamers Academy because I truly believe that a young person’s dream deserves constant nourishing.”

Applicants must answer essay questions describing their stories, the people who are most influential in their lives and their dreams for the future. Students are selected based on a combination of attributes, including a strong character, positive attitude and determination to achieve their dreams.

Selected Dreamers, along with a parent or guardian, will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida for the event March 9-12, 2017. Applications are open to U.S. high school students, ages 13 to 19, until Oct. 31, 2016. A distinguished panel of leaders will judge the applications in November and selected students will be announced in December.

For more information regarding applications, visit:


Josh Duhamel Features In Mack & Moxy Episode Developed With Save The Children

Sep 30, 2016 10:00 am

Josh Duhamel: Profile

Starting Oct. 1, families will be able to stream on Netflix the new children’s program “Mack & Moxy,” including an episode on the importance of reading and early literacy created in partnership with Save the Children, which has a special guest appearance by actor Josh Duhamel.

“We know how important talking, singing and reading to children from their earliest days can be to a child’s future success in school and life,” said Bill Corwin, vice president of Save the Children’s U.S. Programs. “The wonderful thing about this special episode of “Mack & Moxy” is that it helps children and families see that they have the power to unlock the full potential of young children in their own families and beyond.”

Save the Children partners with families, schools and communities to give children a healthy start, protection from harm and the best possible opportunity to learn. In the United States, Save the Children offers a continuum of early literacy programming in some of the nation’s most marginalized communities. The organization supports mothers during pregnancy, provides home visits to families of infants and toddlers, helps young children get ready for school, runs literacy programs in elementary schools and empowers local leaders to make early literacy a priority. By reaching vulnerable children early and helping them get on track to be kindergarten-ready and to read well by third grade, Save the Children prepares children to succeed in the rest of their school years and beyond.

Series creator Brahm Wenger states, “When we came up with the idea for “Mack & Moxy,” we wanted the series to be a celebration of the satisfaction that comes from helping others. We knew it would be important to team up with well-respected charities in order give the series credibility and draw upon their expertise. So, of course, Save the Children was at the top of our list. With their invaluable input, we were able to put together a wonderful episode that encourages children to develop an early love of reading.”

Combining state-of-the-art 3D animation, live-action puppets, fun adventures, humor and music, each “Mack & Moxy” episode is geared toward kids ages 3 to 7 and inspired by the kindness of the great humanitarians who make this world a better place.

In the episode developed with Save the Children, called “A Friend Who Reads is a Friend Indeed,” the show’s heroes Mack & Moxy set out on a colorful adventure to HelpeeLand. They meet Nolie, a loveable little puffball who has never had any pals to play with. As “Mack & Moxy” become her first friends, they share and sing about the joys of reading books. The episode features guest star Josh Duhamel (“Transformers”) as the “Admirable,” who provides age-appropriate context about the importance of the message, and Hank Azaria (“The Simpsons”) as the voice of Shelfish Sheldon.

“Mack & Moxy” is produced by Socially Dynamic Entertainment in association with Vancouver, Canada-based animation studio Bardel Entertainment (“Jake and the Neverland Pirates”; “Puss in Boots”; “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”).


Mira Sorvino To Be Honored At 5th Annual Saving Innocence Gala

Sep 30, 2016 08:45 am

Mira Sorvino: Profile

Saving Innocence announced today award winning actress and philanthropist Mira Sorvino will be awarded the 2016 Saving Innocence Hero Award at the 5th Annual Saving Innocence Gala, an evening dedicated to ending child sex trafficking in the United States at the Loews Hollywood Hotel on Saturday, October 1st.

Sorvino, Academy Award and Golden Globe Award winning actress, has been the United Nations Goodwill Ambassador to Combat Human Trafficking since 2009, traveling from Mexico to Darfur to here in the United States, testifying to Congress on the atrocities of human trafficking across our globe.

In addition, award winning actress Marisol Nichols has been tapped as host of the evening. Best known for her roles in 24, Criminal Minds and NCIS, Nichols produces the Human Rights Hero Awards and is a passionate ambassador working tirelessly to end human trafficking worldwide. Christopher Backus, Taron Lexton, Meagan Tandy, Claire Schreiner, Cory Tran, Serinda Swan and Cantina Dance Troupe join the list of previously announced celebrity guest attendees including Kellan Lutz, Brittany Gonzalez, Jess Collins and Jen Widerstrom.

“We are so honored to have both of these influential women be a part of this special evening. Mira’s extraordinary and heroic efforts to end human trafficking have been an inspiration to our team at Saving Innocence and we are thrilled to recognize her work with our Hero Award,” said Saving Innocence Founder/Executive Director Kim Biddle, “The annual gala plays a crucial role in allowing us to rescue more victims and we sincerely thank everyone involved.”

The 5th Annual Saving Innocence Gala will be an evening dedicated to furthering Saving Innocence’s mission of ending child sex trafficking in the United States. The event will include a hosted cocktail reception, silent auction and seated dinner program. Attendees will consist of a dynamic group of 400+ leaders in entertainment, business, community and culture who have come together to support the expansion of the First Responder Program. The initiative will enable victim advocate specialists to respond 24/7 alongside law enforcement to rescue children, coordinate all basic needs, provide therapeutic services, support her as a victim witness in various court systems, provide weekly mentorship and empower her dreams.

To purchase tickets to the 5th Annual Saving Innocence Gala or to learn more about how you can join in the mission to end child sex trafficking,

To bid on silent auction items including art pieces, fashion items, sports tickets, vacations and more, click here. Online bidding closes Saturday, October 1st at 6pm.

Red carpet arrivals will take place from 6:00pm-7:00pm.


The Elders Mourn The Loss Of Shimon Peres

Sep 30, 2016 07:30 am

Kofi Annan: Profile

The Elders today expressed their condolences at the passing of Shimon Peres, former President of Israel and Nobel Peace laureate, who has died at the age of 93.

Together with the late Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres won the Nobel Prize in 1994 for his role in securing the Oslo Accords with the Palestine Liberation Organisation.

The Elders hailed his long life in the service of his country and in the quest for peace with the Arab world. He combined steadfast patriotism with a long-lasting belief in a two-state solution as the only way of bringing peace, justice and security to Israelis and Palestinians alike.

The Elders recall their meetings with Shimon Peres during trips to Israel in 2009 and 2012 as examples of open and frank dialogue. As President and subsequently, through his work at the Peres Peace Centre, he continued to speak out about the need for an end to Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and the creation of a viable Palestinian state.

Following the announcement of his death, many Elders recalled their meetings with the late Israeli leader with affection. Among the personal tributes made were the following:

Kofi Annan, Chair of The Elders and former UN Secretary-General, said:

“Shimon Peres was a truly remarkable man who was known not just for his sharp intellect and visionary politics but also for his warmth and sense of humour. His story is inseparable from the history of the state of Israel itself. Never afraid to stand up for his ideals, he laboured tirelessly for peace over violence and dialogue over confrontation. Israel has lost a founding father, the world a great statesman and I have lost a friend.”

Gro Harlem Brundtland, Deputy Chair, who was Prime Minister of Norway at the time of the Oslo Accords:

“Shimon Peres showed his commitment to peace and always remained a vocal advocate of the two-state solution even as the political and security situation deteriorated after the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993. I hope current and future leaders of Israel recall his warnings about the futility of continued occupation of Palestinian lands.”

Jimmy Carter, Honorary Elder and former President of the United States who led several Elders’ delegations to Israel and Palestine:

“Shimon Peres worked for many years to bring peace to Israel and Palestine, and he showed great courage in his work on the Oslo Accords, which had the potential to transform the region. He was a gracious host during my visits to Israel while he was in office.”

Ernesto Zedillo, Elder and former President of Mexico:

“One of the remarkable founding fathers of modern Israel, Shimon Peres will be missed immensely – for his wisdom, serenity and unwavering dedication to the peace and prosperity of his beloved nation.”

Ela Bhatt, Elder, founder of the Self Employed Womens Association (SEWA), and a disciple of Mahatma Gandhi:

“I remember meeting him for the first time at the Histadrut trades union federation headquarters in Tel Aviv. Later, when I met him again, together with the Elders, in 2009, I was impressed to learn that he was familiar with the thinking of the Mahatma about labour relations, especially his principle of trusteeship to ensure good cooperation between workers and managers.”


Spotlight: Halle Berry’s Charity Work

Sep 30, 2016 07:00 am

Halle Berry

Berry became the first celebrity ambassador for the Diabetes Aware campaign.

Halle sent an autographed photo to the T.Y.M.E. Ministries for an auction they held.

Berry was one of the recipients of Love Our Children USA’s “Mothers Who Make A Difference” awards in 2009.

Read more about Halle Berry’s charity work and events.

Spotlight: Race to Erase MS’s Celebrity Supporters

Sep 30, 2016 06:00 am
Race to Erase MS is dedicated to the treatment and ultimate cure of Multiple Sclerosis. Funding research is the core focus of the Foundation and all funds raised support our Center Without Walls program, a selected network of the nation’s top MS research centers. This nationwide collaboration of physicians and scientists are on the cutting-edge of innovative research programs, working as a team on therapeutic approaches to eradicate MS. In addition to combating MS through research in a clinical environment, they hope to increase awareness by educating the public about this mystifying disease.

How you can help

Every dollar donated makes a difference in the Race to Erase MS and 72% of every dollar funds vital important research through their Center Without Walls program. They have come such a long way in such a short amount of time as a result of remarkable people such as you who have contributed so generously to help raise awareness and invaluable funds to support MS research.

There are 4 ways you can help Erase MS.

1. Join the Virtual Race to Erase MS: Fundraise online to find a cure while earning prizes.

2. Donate: Learn more about how you can make a tax-deductible donation to the Race to Erase MS.

3. Shop: Check out all the amazing limited edition campaign products. From Avril Lavigne and Paris Hilton designed shirts to fun bracelets and scarves, they’re sure to have something you’ll love.

4. Send a Tribute: Pay tribute to friends and family by making a tax-deductible donation to the Race to Erase MS. A loving card will be sent with your personal message to friends and family on your behalf.

Celebrity supporters

Race to Erase MS has 67 known supporters, including Elton John, Sheryl Crow, andStevie Wonder

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Valerie Milano is the well-connected Senior Editor and TV Critic at, a website that aggregates showbiz news curated for, and written by, insiders of the entertainment industry. (@HwoodTimes @TheHollywood.Times) Milano, whose extraordinary talents for networking in the famously tight-clad enclave of Hollywood have placed her at the center of the industry’s top red carpets and events since 1984, heads daily operations of a uniquely accessible, yet carefully targeted publication. For years, Milano sat on the board as a chief organizer of the Television Critics Association’s press tours, held twice a year in Beverly Hills and Pasadena. She has written for Communications Daily, Discover Hollywood, Hollywood Today, Television International, and Video Age International, and contributed to countless other magazines and digests. Valerie works closely with the Human Rights Campaign as a distinguished Fed Club Council Member. She also works with GLSEN, GLAAD, Outfest, NCLR, LAMBDA Legal, and the Desert Aids Project, in addition to donating both time and finances to high-profile nonprofits. She has been an active member of the Los Angeles Press Club for a couple of years and looks forward to the possibility of contributing to the future success of its endeavors. Milano’s passion for meeting people extends from Los Feliz to her favorite getaway, Palm Springs. There, she is a member of the Palm Springs Museum of Art and a prominent Old Las Palmas-area patron.