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Nicole Kidman Co-Hosts Star-Studded Gala For UN Trust Fund To End Violence Against Women

Nov 22, 2016 12:30 pm
Celebrating 20 years of vital work to end violence against women and girls, the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women (UN Trust Fund) hosted its fund-raising gala last week, showcasing a range of innovative interventions that are working to end the pandemic globally.

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women Executive Director, Nicole Kidman, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and Mrs. Ban Soon-taek at UN Trust Fund gala
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women Executive Director, Nicole Kidman, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and Mrs. Ban Soon-taek at UN Trust Fund gala
Credit/Copyright: UN Women/Ryan Brown

Co-hosted by UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Oscar-winning actress and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman, the packed high-profile event brought together gender rights activists, UN officials and the private sector, spotlighting beneficiaries and their life-changing work across the world.

“Tonight we celebrate the essential work done by the UN Trust Fund, paying tribute to our grantees, whose success stories embody the resilience of women and girls in the face of violence,” said Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women Executive Director. “We know that these vital investments in initiatives to end violence have high returns and have already made a difference to millions of women and girls. But there is a great deal more to do to scale up prevention and increase appropriate services, and that needs more funding so that we can bend the curve down and bring the scourge of violence against women to an end,” she added.


Violence against women and girls is now part of the public discourse much more than ever before, along with significant progress in legislation and grassroots efforts to address the issue. Yet, it continues to be a gross human rights violation of pandemic proportions. Today, one in three women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence — mostly by an intimate partner. The UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women is the only global grant-making mechanism dedicated to eradicating all forms of violence against women and girls. Managed by UN Women, on behalf of the UN system, during the last 20 years, more than 400 organizations have been supported by the UN Trust Fund with results that indicate sustained resources and dedicated work can lead to the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls. Focusing on prevention of violence, implementation of laws and policies, and improving access to vital services for survivors, the UN Trust Fund has spent the past 20 years focused exclusively on funding life-changing programmes for millions of women and girls.

“I am here because I support the UN Trust Fund and I applaud and celebrate its 20 years of making a difference,” said Nicole Kidman, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador. “When I became UN Women’s Goodwill Ambassador 10 years ago, my first mission took me to Kosovo, where I met with women and girls who had survived violence. That was when I first understood what the work of the UN Trust Fund really means. I saw first-hand the real difference it makes in lives of women and girls: They found shelter for themselves and their children. They received counseling to overcome the horrific trauma of rape during the war that had ravaged the Balkans. They were supported to make a living and stand on their own. It was a life-changing experience for me and one that has inspired me ever since. This is why, as UN Women’s Goodwill Ambassador, I see my role as that of an advocate to end violence against women and girls.”

During the event, Mrs. Ban Soon-taek, Patron of the UN Women for Peace Association, a key supporter of the UN Trust Fund, was presented with the UN Trust Fund’s Orange Heart, for her outstanding efforts to end violence against women and girls.

Moderated by NBC journalist Richard Lui, with an Honorary Host Committee comprised of actors and actresses Sir Patrick Stewart, Danai Gurira, Ruth Wilson, Gillian Anderson, and Kelly LeBrock as well as luminaries such as Kweku Mandela, the event brought together 300 people at the Loeb Boathouse in New York’s Central Park, who heard moving stories of impact and change from beneficiaries of UN Trust Fund-supported projects.


Stories of change underlined the high-profile event. Award-winning journalist Ann Curryinterviewed seventeen-year-old Aiturgan Dzholdoshbekova from Kyrgyzstan, who recounted how a local UN Trust Fund-supported project to prevent bride-kidnapping became a beacon of light and hope for her, and transformed her life.

“We are very happy to be in a school free from violence. We were able to change the situation of girls in our families and in our schools,” said Dzholdoshbekova. “The boys have started to understand the issue and are advocating [with us]. The school has become a safe space where we can be happy, educate and develop ourselves,” she adds.


Tommy Clark, the Founder and CEO of South African NGO Grassroots Soccer and a grantee of the UN Trust Fund, was also interviewed by Ann Curry live onstage and spoke about an innovative sports-based intervention to empower girls and prevent HIVand gender-based violence.
Renowned theatre actress Nehassaiu deGannes narrated the inspirational stories of two other beneficiaries—a woman in Gambia who will no longer subject her daughter to Female Genital Mutilation, a harmful traditional practice that affects at least 200 million girls today; the other a girl in Cambodia who feels safer at her work in a factory.

The gala also saw the official launch of the Orange Label, the result of a partnership between the UN Trust Fund and the UK-based prestigious London College of Fashion, which aims to adorn a variety of products and engage small and large scale companies around the world. Designed by students of the college, the Orange Label will be used as a brand for cause-related marketing initiatives to benefit UN Trust Fund supported programmes. Through the fashion and associated industries, the Label will connect the private sector and UN Trust Fund supported programmes in joint efforts to prevent and end the pandemic of violence against women and girls.


The evening concluded with a high-powered rendition of the song Rise Up, performed by Jayna Brown, a young musician who was recently a semi-finalist on the hit TV show, America’s Got Talent. Guests rose up to showcase their support and commitment to enable the UN Trust Fund to continue their life-changing work.


Jennifer Aniston Joins Stars For 13th Annual St. Jude Thanks And Giving Campaign

Nov 22, 2016 11:30 am
This holiday season, Jennifer Aniston, Sofia Vergara, Michael Strahan, Jimmy Kimmeland Luis Fonsi will once again join St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital National Outreach Director Marlo Thomas in promoting the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign.


Each celebrity supporter will star alongside St. Jude patients in national television spots and digital shorts encouraging people to support St. Jude while holiday shopping.

Now in its thirteenth year, the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign has transformed the holiday season into a time of giving thanks by raising awareness and funds for the ongoing battle to end childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Throughout November and December, consumers are asked to support the campaign by shopping at more than 70 leading national brands and sharing what they #GiveThanks for using social media.

“Every year the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign helps transform the holiday season into a time when we can all make a huge difference and help save the lives of precious children battling cancer and other life-threatening diseases,” said Jennifer Aniston. “St. Jude holds a special place in my heart and I am honored to lend my voice in raising awareness to support St. Jude’s lifesaving mission of finding cures and saving children in communities across America and around the world.”

The national television commercials will debut Thanksgiving week on Monday Nov. 21 and run through the end of the year. In addition to national awareness commercials, celebrity friends will support St. Jude on #GivingTuesday and throughout the campaign by sharing what they #GiveThanks for.

“It’s so important to me to be a part of the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign because it’s a great way to help give hope to kids battling cancer and other life-threatening diseases,” said Sofia Vergara. “These beautiful children have such incredible strength and spirit. I hope everyone will join me in supporting St. Jude, as this magnificent hospital continues its groundbreaking research and life-saving treatments.”

“We are deeply grateful for our incredible friends who lend their time and talents to support St. Jude,” said Marlo Thomas, National Outreach Director for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “It means so much to us that year after year they open their hearts to the children of St. Jude. We are blessed to have their unwavering support and their generous spirit that helps St. Jude raise the funds that allows our doctors and scientists to continue their groundbreaking research, which leads to lifesaving treatments. And lets us keep my father’s founding promise that no family receives a bill from St. Jude for anything — not for treatment, travel, housing or food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.”

Supporters will also be able to purchase merchandise designed by their favorite celebrities to benefit St. Jude. For the second year, St. Jude worked with the family of Maya Angelou to design a one-of-a-kind glass lantern. St. Jude partner HSNcollaborated with celebrity friends including Marlo Thomas, Melissa McCarthy, Kristin Chenoweth, Christie Brinkley, Iris Apfel, Giuliana Rancic, and more in designing a Holiday Ornament Collection.

“I’m excited once again to be a part of the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign and support St. Jude in its fight against childhood cancer,” said Jimmy Kimmel. “I had a lot of fun filming these spots with Isabelle, Marleigh and John Claude – all of whom are great kids. This holiday season we can help St. Jude continue to treat the toughest cases while ensuring that families never pay St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food. Every little bit can help save the lives of these sweet and beautiful children.”

Created in 2004 by Marlo, Terre and Tony Thomas – children of St. Jude founder Danny Thomas – the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign began as a holiday-focused fundraising effort and has grown into an annual tradition that unites celebrities, media, retail and corporate partners to support the lifesaving mission of St. Jude.

The campaign’s national television spots will air on network and cable television channels, as well as online, in both English and Spanish. In addition, a star-studded St. Jude Thanks and Giving movie trailer appears in theatres nationwide – including Regal Entertainment Group, Cinemark USA, Carmike Cinemas, Malco Theatres and many others. It is also featured via in-flight videos on American Airlines, in the American Way magazine, as well as in Delta Airlines’ Sky Magazine. In addition, AccentHealth, America’s leading waiting room media network, shows the St. Jude PSA in physician offices around the country. All of the spots, as well as exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, will debut online in late November.


Moby Performs At HSUS 2016 To The Rescue! New York Gala

Nov 22, 2016 10:15 am
The Humane Society of the United States honored fashion industry leader HUGOBOSS and acclaimed philanthropist Georgina Bloomberg last week at the 2016 To the Rescue! New York gala at Cipriani 42nd Street.

Moby Performs At HSUS To The Rescue! New York Gala
Moby Performs At HSUS To The Rescue! New York Gala
Credit/Copyright: Charles Sykes/AP Images for The HSUS

The evening raised more than $1.7 million for the organization’s animal rescue efforts, rescuing thousands of animals from cruelty and neglect each year. The evening was hosted by actor and comedian Mario Cantone.

The HSUS honored HUGO BOSS with the Corporate Consciousness Award in recognition of the company’s commitment to humane alternatives and sustainable business strategies. Zachary Quinto presented the honor to HUGO BOSS Chief Brand Officer Ingo Wilts, who accepted on behalf of the company.

Zachery Quinto Speaks At HSUS To The Rescue! New York Gala
Zachery Quinto Speaks At HSUS To The Rescue! New York Gala
Credit/Copyright: Charles Sykes/AP Images for The HSUS

HUGO BOSS has always been at the forefront, exploring new ideas and technologies and finding forward-thinking solutions for our industry. With our decision to go fur-free, we’ve anchored animal welfare as a fixture within our product sustainability program,” Wilts said in his acceptance speech.

Bloomberg’s good friend Lorenzo Borghese presented her with the Compassion in Action Award for her tireless work to protect all animals. Bloomberg thanked many people, including Amanda Hearst for starting the Friends of Finn and getting her involved with The HSUS, as well as her mother and father, former mayor Michael Bloomberg, who were sitting at her table.

“I want to thank my father for not disowning us every time we brought a new pet home. We had a ritual of every time we brought a new pet home, putting it in the bathroom near our kitchen, and whenever my father would come home from work, his first stop was the bathroom near our kitchen. He would open the door and see whatever pet we had brought home, and coincidentally, that was when I learned my first swear word,” Bloomberg said to a room full of laughs.

Moby rounded out the evening with performances of his hits “Troubles So Hard” and “Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad,” as well as lively covers of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” and Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love,” where he encouraged the audience to sing along.

This year’s gala was co-chaired by Amanda Hearst and Steve Read. Additional attending supporters included Gayle King, Jason Biggs, Jenny Mollen, Arden Wohl and Lauren Blumenfeld.

More than 550 guests enjoyed a three-course vegan meal prepared by Candle 79 and Cipriani, a live auction and entertainment.

The 2016 Leadership Committee included Ian Bass, Howard and Wendy Berk, Gale Epstein, Jennifer Faga, Janie Greenspun Gale, Linda Goddard, Cathy Kangas, Stacey and Don Kivowitz, Jennifer Laue, Mary and Peter Max, Patrick McDonnell and Karen O’Connell, Judy Ney, Paige Rense Noland, Christine and Edwin Ordway, Lida Orzeck, Marian Probst, Debra Shore and Suzy Welch.

The Friends of Finn Committee included Georgina Bloomberg, Tripp Callan, Anthony Cummings, Amanda Hearst, Michael Katz, Steve Read, Breanna Schultz, Courtney Stroum Meagher, Katie Sturino. Advisory Committee: Morgan Bogle, Lorenzo Borghese, Stephanie Riggio Bulger, Liz Dee, Dylan Lauren, Sarah Read and Kelly Vitko,

This year’s gala was sponsored by Moroccanoil. The event was produced in partnership with Celebrity Event Planner Liron David of Eventique.


Steven Tyler To Be Honored With Humanitarian Award

Nov 22, 2016 09:00 am
The Hospitality Committee for United Nations Delegations has named Steven Tyler the recipient of its 2016 Humanitarian Award.

Steven Tyler will receive the 2016 Humanitarian Award at the United Nations' Ambassadors' Ball in December honoring his philanthropy: Janie's Fund
Steven Tyler will receive the 2016 Humanitarian Award at the United Nations’ Ambassadors’ Ball in December honoring his philanthropy: Janie’s Fund
Credit/Copyright: Zack Whitford Photography

Tyler will be honored at the Ambassadors’ Ball on Dec. 3 in New York.

The honor is in recognition of the musician’s philanthropic partnership with Youth Villages through Janie’s Fund, created by Tyler in 2015 to give his voice to vulnerable girls who have experienced the trauma of abuse and neglect and are being helped by Youth Villages.

“As a father to three daughters, a son, and, now a grandfather, it broke my heart to learn that each year in America alone 700,000 children are victims of serious abuse or neglect and 68,000 will be sexually abused,” Tyler said. “All abuse is wrong — verbal, physical, sexual, emotional. We need to have better ways as parents to help our children and support them. Way too many kids are experiencing abuse, and we want to change that. Enough is enough.”

In its first year, Janie’s Fund has gained 2,700 supporters from 38 countries who have contributed more than $1.9 million to help girls receive evidence-based help so that they can overcome the trauma of abuse and neglect. This year, Janie’s Fund will allow Youth Villages to provide more than 18,000 days of care to girls in need, directly helping more than 300 girls.

Tyler has long had a desire to help with this issue, dating back to the 1980s when he was in a program for his own recovery. Hearing the personal accounts of women who had experienced incredibly painful and debilitating sexual abuse as children, he saw how the abuse put them on a path of suffering, post-traumatic stress and other disorders that eventually led to substance problems. It was their plight that inspired Tyler to compose the song, “Janie’s Got A Gun.”

“I personally know how addiction can fracture lives,” Tyler said. “I don’t wish that on anyone. To use my voice and the voices of many others to help these girls once again find their voice is my mission.”

Tyler, the frontman of the legendary rock band Aerosmith, recently released a country album “We’re All Somebody from Somewhere,” which debuted at number one on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and at the top of the iTunes country downloads. Tyler and Aerosmith have sold more than 150 million records worldwide; he has won four Grammy Awards, six American Music Awards, four Billboard Music Awards and an Emmy Award. In addition to having nine number one hits, 25 gold, 18 platinum and 12 multi-platinum album certifications, Tyler, along with the rest of his band members, were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.

Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon has a long history in the fight to end violence against women.

“Break the silence,” the secretary-general has said “When you witness violence against women and girls, do not sit back. Act! Violence against women and girls will not be eradicated until all of us—men and boys—refuse to tolerate it!”

“In choosing this year’s recipient, we searched diligently to find the humanitarian whose efforts are in harmony with the Secretary General, who will be saluted at this year’s Ambassadors’ Ball as his decade of UN leadership ends on December 31,” said Mel Gee Henderson, HCUND co-chair. “We came to realize Steven Tyler is not only a gifted composer and musician with a great big voice but a soul with an even bigger heart who sincerely wants to help those suffering from the horrific pain of abuse.”

Luz MacArthur, chairman, said: “Tyler may seem an unexpected choice at first glance. But the more we learned about Janie’s Fund, the more convinced we were that Tyler is the person who can genuinely affect and inspire millions to help in the fight against violence inflicted upon girls and women, not just in the U.S. but around the world.”

The 2016 HCUND Ambassadors’ Ball is sponsored by Cambria, an American-made quartz countertop manufacturer. “As a friend and strong supporter of Steven Tyler and Janie’s Fund, Cambria is proud to sponsor the event,” said Summer Kath, senior vice president of business development. “We value strong relationships with partners and communities and continues to serve through a multitude of philanthropic initiatives locally and abroad. We hope you’ll join us in supporting Janie’s Fund.”

The Hospitality Committee for United Nations Delegations is the only nonprofit volunteer organization located within the United Nations Headquarters. HCUNDpromotes and strengthens understanding between all levels of the United Nations diplomatic community, and broadens their appreciation of American culture and customs while serving and residing in New York City.

Youth Villages is a private nonprofit organization that helps more than 22,000 of America’s most vulnerable children and families each year in 12 states and Washington, D.C. Youth Villages has been recognized by Harvard Business School and U.S. News & World Report, and was identified by The White House as one of the nation’s most promising results-oriented nonprofit organizations.

Disney Releases Healing Single – The Human Race

Nov 22, 2016 07:45 am

Scotty McCreery: Profile

Radio Disney Artist Jessie Chris joined country music stars Kelsea Ballerini, Scotty McCreery, LOCASH, Mickey Guyton, Lindsay Ell and others and recorded a new single and music video titled “The Human Race,” an empowering anthem that premiered last week on Radio Disney and Radio Disney Country.

Recorded in Nashville, Tennessee and distributed by the Disney Music Group on Buena Vista Records, it is available now on iTunes and available for free download on the T-Mobile Tuesdays app while supplies last on November 22. In conjunction with its release and in celebration of Radio Disney’s ‘Share the Joy’ campaign, a donation is being made to City of Hope, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Toys for Tots, Feeding America, and Musicians on Call.

The single was produced by Phil Guerini, Mike Daly, Executive Director, A&R and Music Publishing, Disney Music Group (Jason Mraz, Lucy Hale), and Grammy-nominated producer and songwriter Billy Mann.

A sneak peek of “The Human Race” music video will be broadcast during “The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration” airing on ABC on Thursday, November 24 at 8:00 p.m. EST.


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Boy George Selects Safe Kids Worldwide As His Charity On The New Celebrity Apprentice

Nov 22, 2016 06:30 am

Boy George: Profile

Boy George, Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, and lead vocalist for the pop band Culture Club, will compete to raise money and awareness for Safe Kids Worldwide on “The New Celebrity Apprentice.”

The show will premiere January 2 at 8 p.m. EST on NBC and ends with the finale on February 13.

“We’re very excited that Boy George selected Safe Kids as his charity on ‘The New Celebrity Apprentice.’ The show will certainly be entertaining to all, with the added benefit of raising awareness of just how important it is to protect kids from injuries,” said Kate Carr, president and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide. “An accidental injury is the number one cause of death of children in the United States. Boy George – as one of the most iconic artists of our time – will help us reach millions of families with the information they need to protect their kids on the move, at home and at play.”

“My heart breaks every time I hear a story of a child dying from a preventable injury,” said Boy George. “These types of tragedies do not have to happen. That’s why I want to work with Safe Kids to protect kids everywhere.”

The eighth season of “The New Celebrity Apprentice” will be hosted by former California governor and international movie superstar Arnold Schwarzenegger. Sixteen celebrities are set to compete for their favorite charities and the title of Celebrity Apprentice. Over the course of the series, “The Celebrity Apprentice” has raised more than $15 million for charity. This season’s winner will receive a $250,000 check to give to their design

Spotlight: Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Charity Work

Nov 22, 2016 06:00 am

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold is an official games spokesman for the Special Olympics World Games in Shanghai, China.

Schwarzenegger does not accept his governor’s salary of $175,000 per year, and instead donates it to charities.

On September 27, 2006, Schwarzenegger – as Governer of California – signed a bill creating the nation’s first cap on greenhouse gas emissions.


Spotlight: Natural Resources Defense Council’s Celebrity Supporters

Nov 22, 2016 05:00 am
The Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC) was founded in 1970 by a group of law students and attorneys at the forefront of the environmental movement.

Combining the grassroots power of over a million members, online activists and the expertise of hundreds of lawyers, scientists and other professionals, NRDC helps create environmental laws and solve environmental issues such as curbing global warming, getting toxic chemicals out of the environment, moving America beyond oil, reviving our oceans, saving wildlife and wild places, and helping China go green.

Celebrity supporters

Natural Resources Defense Council has 16 known supporters, including Bill Clinton, Paul McCartney, and Leonardo DiCaprio

Areas of work

Read more about Natural Resources Defense Council’s work and celebrity supporters.

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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.