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Stars To Model In Autism Speaks Fashion Gala

Aug 30, 2016 01:30 pm

Lisa Rinna: Profile

Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization, announced today that Steven Grossman and Harry Topping, Jr. will be honored at the inaugural La Vie En BLUE Fashion Gala, produced by Metropolitan Fashion Week.


This Parisian-themed evening of high fashion and one-of-a-kind costumes will take place Thursday, September 29, 2016 at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank. Grossman and Topping will be honored for their exemplary leadership, longstanding support, and generous commitment to Autism Speaks.

“We are pleased to honor Steven Grossman and Harry Topping, Jr., two fathers who have been longtime champions of Autism Speaks’ mission,” said Suzette Martinez, Executive Director of Autism Speaks Southern California. “Despite their busy careers, Steven and Harry have tirelessly supported and fundraised for the Southern California chapter of Autism Speaks.”


Steven Grossman is a talent manager and producer at Untitled Entertainment, widely recognized as one of the most prestigious management companies in Hollywood. As an Executive Producer, Steven has been involved in numerous television series on networks ranging from the CW to VH1. After his oldest son was diagnosed on the autism spectrum in 2013, he started focusing his efforts on autism awareness. Prior to his involvement with Autism Speaks, Steven served on advisory committees for theMake-A-Wish Foundation and City of Hope.

Harry Topping, Jr. is Senior Vice President and Manager of City National Bank. Harry is responsible for all aspects of City National’s owned and leased real estate, including strategic occupancy planning, site acquisition, design, construction, and management. In 2010, Harry’s son Liam was diagnosed on the autism spectrum. With a desire to support his son and the entire autism community, Harry and his family started the Topping Brothers Invitational, a family-run charity golf tournament, benefitting Autism Speaks. This fall, all three brothers, Trey, Miles, and Liam will be hosting the 6th annual event, which has already raised nearly $125,000 for Autism Speaks.

To view complete bios of the honorees, visit

La Vie En BLUE Fashion Gala will feature top designers in a show produced and directed by Metropolitan Fashion Week, one of the fastest growing fashion weeks in the United States (September 22 – October 1). Guests will have the opportunity to bid on exclusive, haute-couture blue gowns in a special live auction to benefit the organization’s Southern California chapter. Also highlighting the evening will be an exclusive performance from ZUMANITY by Cirque du Soleil.


Celebrities that will be modeling in the show include: Lisa Rinna (Real Housewives of Beverly Hills), Shenae Grimes (90210), Adrienne Bailon (The Real) and Keltie Knight (The Insider). Stars that have lent their support to La Vie En BLUE’s honorary host committee include Christie Brinkley, Naomi Campbell, Molly Sims, Paris Hilton, Kelly Osbourne, Melissa Rivers, NeNe Leakes, Kelly Rowland, Loni Love and Jeannie Mai.Pauly D will be the DJ for the evening.

La Vie En BLUE Fashion Gala is co-chaired by attorney Georgianna Junco-Kelman (Law Offices of Georgianna Junco-Kelman) and publicity executive Nikki Pesusich (Coterie Media). Past Autism Speaks Southern California honorees have includedGUESS Foundation President and Director Paul Marciano, FX Networks COO and President of Program Strategy Chuck Saftler and Autism Speaks co-founders Suzanne and Bob Wright.


This inaugural gala serves as a major fundraising opportunity for Autism Speaks. Funds raised will fuel innovative research into the causes and treatments of autism, provide families with connections to critical lifelong supports and services, and continue Autism Speaks’ work in advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. La Vie En BLUE is generously sponsored by the Guess Foundation and City National Bank.

To purchase tickets and learn more about sponsorship opportunities, visit



LeBron James Is Sending Kids To College

Aug 30, 2016 12:10 pm
Written by Elizabeth Willoughby

LeBron James: Profile

Professional basketball player LeBron James was born into a struggling household in Akron Ohio until his mother sent him to live with a local coach.

Fortunately for James, the coach introduced the boy to basketball, which was the first step in James becoming a basketball superstar.

Remembering his beginnings, James has turned his attention back to Akron, where he is determined to donate the funds required to support its high school graduates through college through the LeBron James Family Foundation.

Growing up in the inner city, James says that a lot of African American kids don’t think past high school because college is not on their families’ financial horizon. To change that reality around, James is providing four-year scholarships to cover tuition and the University of Akron’s general service fee, about $9,500 per year for about 1,100 kids, amounting to almost $42 million.

“These students have big dreams, and I’m happy to do everything I can to help them get there,” says James. “They’re going to have to earn it, but I’m excited to see what these kids can accomplish knowing that college is in their futures.”

It will be five years before the first kids receive their scholarships and arrive on campus in 2021.

“It’s the reason I do what I do,” says James.


UNCF Presents 2016 Maya Angelou Women Who Lead Luncheon

Aug 30, 2016 10:30 am

Maya Angelou: Profile

The 2016 UNCF Maya Angelou Women Who Lead Luncheon will be held on Saturday, Sept. 10, at the Charlotte Marriott City Center.

Each year this highly anticipated fundraising event, named in honor of a beloved friend and volunteer, Dr. Maya Angelou, brings out some of the most dynamic and prominent women from in and around Charlotte. The Honorable Jennifer Roberts, Charlotte’s mayor, will deliver remarks. U.S. Rep. Alma Adams, along with actress Angela Robinson of theOWN network’s hit series “The Haves and Have Nots,” will be in attendance.

More than 300 guests are scheduled to attend the event, recognizing a group of elite women for their contributions in their respective fields and communities. This year’s distinguished award recipients are Tonya Lily Brandon, senior vice president of CBRE; Carrie B. Cook, founder and president of EmpowHERment; Michelle Horton, founder of YOUniversity Drive; Michelle Lee, president of Community Banking Eastern U.S., Wells Fargo; Sarah Stevenson, community activist; and Paula Vincent, president and chief operating officer of Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center and Charlotte Orthopedic Hospital.

Guests are also encouraged to attend the “Morning Glory Affair,” where they will have the opportunity to shop, network and show off their fabulous hats and bow ties. Cherise Belnavis Johnson will be the mistress of ceremonies for the luncheon and the highly competitive HATitude and Bow Tie competition. Livingstone College’s ensemble will provide entertainment. Proceeds from both events will provide necessary resources to North Carolina students and UNCF-member institutions in North Carolina: Bennett College, Johnson C. Smith University, Livingstone College, Saint Augustine’s University and Shaw University.

Last year, $70,000 was raised in support of those efforts through corporate and community relationships. Sponsors of this year’s event are Wells Fargo, CIAA, Publix Super Market Charities, CBRE Group, Belk, Food Lion, PNC Bank, Snyder’s-Lance, Xerox, Novant Health and Coca-Cola Bottling Co. CONSOLIDATED.

Find out more here.


Philips Raises Awareness Of COPD With Sponsorship Of Leonard Nimoy Tribute Documentary

Aug 30, 2016 09:00 am

Leonard Nimoy: Profile

Royal Philips today announced its sponsorship of the documentary COPD: Highly Illogical – Remembering Leonard Nimoy.

The documentary seeks to educate viewers about COPDthrough Leonard Nimoy’s personal story of courage, while also providing the latest information about treatments for the chronic disease.

Complex respiratory illnesses including asthma and COPD are on the rise. In fact,COPD is estimated to affect 24 million adults, with more than half not knowing they have the illness despite exhibiting symptoms. In the United States alone, 120,000 people die from COPD each year. With more than three million deaths annually, COPDis expected to be the third leading cause of death worldwide in the next fifteen years, more than breast cancer, colorectal cancer and prostate cancer combined, as predicted by the World Health Organization.

“COPD claims millions of lives every year, yet it doesn’t have nearly as much visibility as it should for how difficult it makes the lives of patients and their families. Our aim in sponsoring this film is to raise awareness of the disease and its consequences if left undiagnosed or untreated,” said Eli Diacopoulos, Home Respiratory Care Business Leader, Philips. “By sponsoring this film, we hope to spark conversations about improving COPD detection, prevention and treatment, and empower people with facts to educate others about a disease that has profoundly impacted many lives, like Leonard Nimoy’s.”

Produced by Nimoy’s daughter, Julie Nimoy, and her husband, David Knight of Health Point Productions, COPD: Highly Illogical reveals the last few months of the famed actor’s life, which was claimed by the disease in February of last year. Nimoy’s COPDstemmed from both his smoking addiction and the fact that his decade-long struggle with the disease wasn’t officially diagnosed until 2013, when it was past the point of effective treatment.

“Movie enthusiasts and science fiction fans alike were captivated by my father, Leonard Nimoy, in his role as Mr. Spock in Star Trek,” said Julie Nimoy. “His character’s iconic catchphrase, ‘Live long and prosper,’ quickly echoed through generations and became a battle cry for fans. I look forward to continuing my dad’s mission of raising awareness and helping COPD patients like him to live longer and prosper in their own lives, as my dad did in his.”

For more than 25 years, Philips has been shaping the future of care for those withCOPD. Offering people-centric innovations designed to empower patients to live full and active lives with COPD, Philips is making what was once science fiction, a reality. Among Philips’ recent innovations in respiratory care is the SimplyGo Mini portable oxygen concentrator, one of the smallest and lightest POCs on the market, as well as Care Orchestrator, a healthcare management application enabling enhanced connectivity and care for patients in the home.

Philips will showcase its latest COPD and respiratory solutions at the upcoming European Respiratory Society International Congress (ERS) in London, from September 3-7. Further details on the production of COPD: Highly Illogical – Remembering Leonard Nimoy will also be available.

To learn more about the documentary and view the trailer, click here.

Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Awards 79 Nonprofit Organizations Quality of Life Grants

Aug 30, 2016 07:30 am

Christopher Reeve: Profile

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, a national nonprofit dedicated to improving quality of life for individuals living with paralysis, announced it has awarded $575,704 in Quality of Life grants to 79 nonprofit organizations nationwide.

Quality of Life grants support fellow nonprofits that mirror the Reeve Foundation’s mission and commitment to foster community engagement, enhance independence and promote self-determination. The program has awarded over 2,700 grants, and now has distributed over $20 million in grants since its inception in 1999.

“Awarding over $20 million in Quality of Life grants to thousands of nonprofits is a thrilling milestone for the Reeve Foundation,” said Maggie Goldberg, Vice President of Policy and Programs, Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. “This program has become a cornerstone of the Paralysis Resource Center, and we are excited to continually expand the Quality of Life grants with new opportunities such as our High Impact Innovative Assistive Technology grants and by awarding more grants to serve areas where people are medically underserved.”

Awarded twice yearly, grant requests were evaluated and scored based on a rigorous review process to determine funding for organizations that improve daily life for those living with paralysis, as well as their families and caregivers. In this particular grant cycle, the grantee review board awarded a significant number of grants in medically underserved areas for modification projects, animal service programs and veteran programs.

“Accessibility modifications and service animals help create greater independence both in home and public settings, which is key to increase inclusion in the community.” said Donna Valente, Director of Quality of Life Grants. “By supporting these types of programs in underserved areas, we are able to remove barriers to independent living for individuals living with disabilities and their families.”

Grantees from this cycle include:
Disability Action Center – NW, Moscow, Indiana — $17,500 A variety of modular aluminum ramp systems that are designed to address different needs will be purchased and then deployed to community service organizations that will utilize trained volunteers to install ramps for community members on a short- or long-term loan basis, thus meeting access needs in a more efficient, widely available, safe, and timely manner.

Commonwealth Community Care, Boston, Massachusetts – $13,461 Commonwealth Community Care provides comprehensive, high-quality primary care in the most effective and cost-efficient manner possible to adults and elders with complex physical, developmental, behavioral, and intellectual disabilities by reducing barriers to care and establishing highly personalized partnerships with them. This Quality of Life grant will support the purchase of a bladder scanner that will be utilized both during home health care visits and in the clinic for members who have difficulty accessing urological care through specialists.

Virtual Photo Walks Washington, DC – $7,200 Virtual Photo Walks (VPW) is a nonprofit organization in the United States and Canada that uses smart phones and video conferencing to enable people isolated by illness or disability to travel the world in real time. Images and videos are provided by a mixed team of photographers and videographers who are abled-bodied or are living with a wide range of conditions including spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, stroke, and muscular dystrophy. Grant funds will help to support the acquisition of a TrailRider (a modified wheelchair which will enable individuals that use wheelchairs to hike) and a TrailRider arm to hold a smart phone to allow the hikers with disabilities using the TrailRider to stream and guide walks through video-conferencing.

Operation Ward 57, Seattle, Washington – $3,750 This Quality of Life grant will help to support the Standing Guard Service Dog Program, which provides support for veterans and their service dogs in order to help restore their physical and emotional independence. This program partners with several non-governmental agencies to help find and place service animals with disabled veterans and assists with costs of vests, training, transportation, and veterinary care. Quality of Life grant funds will enable the Standing Guard Fund program to respond to critical needs for five wounded Veterans with whom service dogs have been placed to enable them to live more independently in the community.

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research and improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis through grants, information and advocacy. We meet all 20 of the Better Business Bureau’s standards for charity accountability and hold the BBB’s Charity Seal. The Paralysis Resource Center (PRC) is a program of the Reeve Foundation, and is funded through a cooperative agreement with the Administration for Community Living (cooperative agreement number 90PR3002). For more information, please visit our website at or call 800-539-7309.


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Valerie Milano is the well-connected Senior Editor and Entertainment 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 and tour coordinator of the Television Critics Association’s press tours. 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 DAP Health, in addition to donating both time and finances to high-profile nonprofits. She has been a 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.