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Charities And Celebrities Speak Out Over Immigration Bans

Jan 29, 2017 02:25 pm

Rihanna: Profile

Charities and stars have spoken out against the immigration bans imposed by the United States government over the weekend.


A statement from the UNHCR reads:

UNHCR and IOM remain committed to working with the U.S. Administration towards the goal we share to ensure safe and secure resettlement and immigration programmes.


“We strongly believe that refugees should receive equal treatment for protection and assistance, and opportunities for resettlement, regardless of their religion, nationality or race.”

“We will continue to engage actively and constructively with the U.S. Government, as we have done for decades, to protect those who need it most, and to offer our support on asylum and migration matters.”

Carolyn Miles, President & CEO of Save the Children USA, released the following statement:

“The United States has long been a beacon of hope for the millions of children and families trying to escape war and persecution. The world is facing its largest crisis of displaced people since World War II, with more than 65 million people forced to flee their homes. More than half of all refugees are children, whose only chance for survival and a better future relies on access to safety. We all have a moral obligation to help. Refugee children have been terrorized; they are not terrorists.


“The reality is that the U.S. refugee resettlement program saves lives — namely of women and children under 12, who make up 67 percent of the Syrian refugees in the U.S. — while helping to ensure the safety of our country. Refugees already go through extensive vetting: a refugee’s identity is checked against law enforcement and intelligence databases of at least five federal agencies, a process that takes nearly two years. If there is any doubt about who a refugee is, he or she is not admitted to the United States. Save the Children takes no issue with proposals to further perfect the vetting process to protect our nation’s safety, but we must remember that resettling refugees reinforces our security by supporting key allies that are disproportionately affected by forced displacement.

“The United States should continue to show leadership and share in our global responsibility to provide refuge to the most vulnerable, regardless of religion or nationality. Welcoming refugees sends a strong message to groups that want to do us harm: the United States remains a leading pillar for stability and liberty in the world.”


Stars have also declared their opposition to the US president’s executive orders.

Rihanna tweeted her disgust, saying “America is being ruined right before our eyes”, while Miley Cyrus also spoke out via Twitter.


Sia and Rosie O’Donnell offered to match donations to the American Civil Liberties Union, and Kim Kardashian tweeted a set of revealing statistics that show more Americans are killed annually by their fellow citizens than by Muslims.

Other stars to speak out include Mark Ruffalo, Chrissy Teigen, Judd Apatow, Alyssa Milano, Seth Rogen, Michael Moore, Kerry Washington, Emmy Rossum, Debra Messing, Lily Allen, Sophia Bush, George Takei, Rob Reiner… the list grows stronger by the minute.

It is not just celebrities speaking out around the world, with many world leaders and businesses condemning the ban, as well as everyday citizens who believe in making the world a better place.


Duchess Of Cambridge Visits EACH Hospice In Quidenham

Jan 27, 2017 12:00 pm
The Duchess of Cambridge visited East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) in Quidenham earlier this week, as it continues fundraising for a new purpose-built hospice in Norfolk.

The Duchess of Cambridge visits EACH Hospice in Quidenham
The Duchess of Cambridge visits EACH Hospice in Quidenham

Her Royal Highness, Royal Patron of EACH, helped to launch The Nook Appeal in 2014, and was updated on the progress of the £10m appeal by staff, supporters, and families who she met at the hospice.

EACH at Quidenham supports families and cares for children and young people with life-threatening conditions from across Norfolk. Their family centred approach includes specialist nursing care, symptom management support, wellbeing activities, and therapy and counselling – all meeting the individual needs of the child or young person, and the whole family.

Since its opening in 1991, the increasing numbers of children with life-threatening conditions and complex healthcare needs visiting Quidenham means the hospice has outgrown its current site. A new purpose-built hospice ‘The Nook’, will help to provide more families with the same facilities as those offered by EACH hospices for Cambridgeshire, Essex and Suffolk.

The Duchess toured the current facilities of the hospice, meeting families who use the services at Quidenham as they took part in an art therapy session and used the equipment in the sensory room.

Following the tour, The Duchess met local supporters of The Nook Appeal as they continue fundraising for the new hospice.


Lily Tomlin Reads For SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Storyline Online

Jan 27, 2017 11:30 am
Lily Tomlin, the 2017 SAG Life Achievement Award recipient, has added another title to her list of accolades – children’s literacy advocate.

The SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s children’s literacy program Storyline Online (, sponsored by the Entertainment Industry Foundation, has released its newest video featuring the five-time Emmy Award winning actress, producer, and singer reading Hey, That’s My Monster, written by Amanda Noll and illustrated by Howard McWilliam.

Video: Hey That’s My Monster read by Lily Tomlin

Storyline Online streams free videos featuring acclaimed actors including Kevin Costner, Allison Janney, Christian Slater, Ed O’Neill and Mary Steenburgen reading children’s books alongside inventively animated, original illustrations. With over 12 million views every month, Storyline Online has brought the love of reading to hundreds of millions of children, and is available 24 hours a day at no cost to children, parents, and educators worldwide. Each video comes with supplemental curriculum for both home and school, aimed at strengthening verbal, written and comprehension skills in children grades K-5th grades.

The sequel to Scholastic Book Club Selection I Need My Monster, Hey, That’s My Monster tells the story of Ethan and Emma – two young siblings who bond over their experience dealing with the world of monsters residing under their beds. The Storyline Online video library also includes Noll’s original I Need My Monster, read by 2014 SAG Life Achievement Award recipient Rita Moreno, with almost 8 million views.

“We are incredibly grateful to Lily Tomlin for donating her time and talent to Storyline Online. Her reading of this colorful book is going to be watched by millions of children in classrooms and homes all over the world,” said Cyd Wilson, Executive Director of the SAGAFTRA Foundation. “Lily’s love of story and character shines through when you watch her bring these children and monsters to life though her animated voicing and narration. We just added one of the most talented performers of our time to the Storyline Online library and we couldn’t be more excited to release this video just in time for the SAG Awards.”

At the 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on January 29, Lily Tomlin will become the 53rd recipient of the SAG Life Achievement Award, which honors acclaimed performers for encouraging the exemplary values of the acting profession. With Hey, That’s My Monster, Lily joins fellow SAG Life Achievement Award recipients Rita Moreno, Ernest Borgnine, Betty White and James Earl Jones on Storyline Online’s growing list of readers. The SAGAFTRA Foundation is the benefiting charity of the annual SAG Awards. Proceeds from the annual show and auction series support the Foundation’s programs including Storyline Online.

To watch Lily Tomlin read Hey, That’s My Monster and to view all of the Storyline Online videos, visit Several new videos will be released in 2017.


The Elders Urge Bold Steps To Reach Universal Health Coverage In India

Jan 27, 2017 10:15 am

Kofi Annan: Profile

The Elders have commended India’s political leaders for progress the country has made in reforming its health system, whilst urging greater action and commitment to reach full Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

Writing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, The Elders said that India has made “good progress in improving some health indicators in recent years,” particularly concerning infectious diseases, but that many of its people still lack effective health coverage.

The letter was signed by Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations and Chair of The Elders – a group of independent global leaders working together for peace and human rights. The Elders’ Deputy Chair is Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Director General of the World Health Organisation.

The Elders noted that India has the largest population in the world without effective health coverage, with tens of millions of people plunged below the poverty line due to their healthcare expenditures. They also expressed concern that the high incidence of people buying often inappropriate medicines from private drug shops is contributing towards an increase in antimicrobial resistance. This poses a threat to Indian and global health security.

The Elders noted that evidence from other Asian countries shows that India could make more rapid progress towards UHC with a combination of increased political commitment, higher levels of public financing and a series of health systems reforms. Specifically they recommended: increasing public health spending to 2.5% GDP by 2019, focussing additional resources on primary care services and guaranteeing universal access to free essential medicines and diagnostic services.

The Elders commended the recent health reforms undertaken by the State of Delhi, including the “Mohalla” or neighbourhood clinics in poor areas that provide free primary healthcare services. These reforms could prove a good model for UHC in India. They also welcomed the State of Bihar’s initiative to improve the availability of frontline health workers and free essential medicines.

If these and other reforms were replicated on a national basis, this could allow India to reach full population coverage – everyone receiving an essential package of healthcare with financial protection – by 2019.

This would constitute a “bold move to advance UHC [which] could bring tremendous health and economic benefits to the people of India,” The Elders said, noting that currently around one billion Indians are at risk of financial hardship due to healthcare costs.

UHC means that everybody receives the health care they need without suffering financial hardship. It is one of the key targets within the new health Sustainable Development Goal and The Elders believe it is the best way of meeting the overall health Goal and improving the life chances of vulnerable people worldwide.


Lamark Media Partners With After-School All-Stars To Support 3rd Annual Celebrity Poker Tournament

Jan 27, 2017 07:45 am

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Profile

Lamark Media, an innovative full-service digital marketing agency, partnered with After-School All-Stars as a premier sponsor and strategic partner for the 3rd Annual All-In for All-Stars private charity poker tournament.

The tournament was held on January 22, 2017, from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Nobu Miami Beach, Florida.

The charity event benefitted the local South Florida students enrolled in After School All-Stars (ASAS), Arnold Schwarzenegger’s foundation for at-risk youth that provides comprehensive after-school programs that keep children safe and help them succeed in school and life.

Hosted by Wayne Boich, Mark Groussman and Sean Posner, and featuring celebrity comedian Tom Arnold, the event featured top prizes from HUBLOT. The tournament took place in a private space at Chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s Nobu Miami, 4525 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. Sushi and Japanese-Peruvian fare were served with hand-crafted cocktails in a pre-tournament reception. A premium open bar and hand-rolled cigars were available throughout, along with fine wine and liquor tastings. Premier Sponsors of the event included Nobu Miami, Hublot, Crystal Cruises, Hard Rock Hotels, Inspirato, Lamark Media, Miami Marlins, Miami Heat, Fox Sports Florida, Rose Magazine, XM Cigar Co., Chivas, Haute Living, Louis XIII, and Estrella Damm. Numerous athletes and celebrities were in attendance to support the cause and participated in the live auction, all in efforts to create awareness for the After-School All-Stars charity.

“We are honored to sponsor this event and will continue to support this great organization as a strategic partner to increase awareness for an amazing cause. As a new father myself, I am even more aware of the importance and value in providing children with the tools that they need to achieve success throughout all stages of life.” – Bryan Shetsky, Founder and CEO of Lamark Media
ASAS South Florida’s VP of External Affairs Natalia Sol thanks Lamark Media for their participation in the 2017 tournament.

“We are tremendously grateful to the many incredible partners that supported this important fundraising effort to ensure that critical programs for our community’s most at-risk students can be provided every day from 3-6pm. Working with Lamark Media enables us to amplify our message and engage our greater community in this important work.” – Natalia Sol, Vice President of External Affairs of the South Florida chapter of After-School All-Stars.

NFL Conference Championship games were broadcasted on large screen televisions during the tournament and silent auction, keeping the sports theme throughout, while philanthropists, celebrities, athletes and other supporters enjoyed a day of celebration and fundraising at Nobu on Miami Beach.
Since its inception, the All-In for All-Stars event has raised over $1 million towards the charity fulfilling their mission to help middle school youth through the nation’s largest school-based, comprehensive after-school program.


Nominations Open For The 2017 American Humane Hero Dog Awards

Jan 27, 2017 06:30 am

James Denton: Profile

American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization, today announced the official start of the 2017 American Humane Hero Dog Awards, sponsored by the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation and broadcast in the fall as a two-hour special on Hallmark Channel.

The annual, year-long campaign seeks to identify and honor America’s bravest heroes on both ends of the leash. Beginning on January 25th, dog owners across the country are invited to visit and nominate their heroic hound in one of eight categories. The top dog in each category will be flown to Los Angeles and celebrated at the September 16th star-studded, red-carpet awards gala hosted by Beth Stern and James Denton at the Beverly Hilton. One of the category winners will be unveiled as the American Hero Dog of the year – the most prestigious honor a canine can receive.

The eight categories for 2017 are: Law Enforcement Dogs, sponsored by the K-9 Courage Program from Zoetis; Military Dogs, sponsored by the K-9 Courage Program from Zoetis and the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation; Therapy Dogs; Service Dogs, sponsored by Modern Dog magazine; Emerging Hero Dogs, a category that pays tribute to ordinary dogs who do extraordinary things; Arson Dogs; Search and Rescue Dogs; and Guide/Hearing Dogs. Following the nominations period, which ends on March 8th, two dozen semifinalists (the top three in each category) will be chosen in a first round of voting by celebrity judges and the public. The second round, featuring a combination of public and celebrity voting, will narrow the field to eight category finalists who will then vie for the title of 2017 American Hero Dog.

Over the past six years, Americans have cast millions of votes for more than a thousand dogs, all seeking the coveted title of American Hero Dog. The program reaches more than 1 billion people each year and draws the support and participation of top celebrity dog lovers from all over the world. Hosts, judges, award presenters, and entertainment acts have included Katharine McPhee, Alison Sweeney, Victoria Stilwell, Betty White, Whoopi Goldberg, Denise Richards, Joey Lawrence, Lisa Vanderpump, Mickey Rooney, Burt Reynolds, Chelsea Handler, Martin Short, Jewel, Wilson Phillips, John Ondrasik, Carson Kressley, Miranda Lambert, Pauley Perrette, Kristin Chenoweth, Naomi Judd, Lori Loughlin, Lea Thompson, Eric Stonestreet, Fred Willard, Danica McKellar, Bailee Madison, and many, many more.

Winners in each category will earn $2,500 for a designated charity partner and the overall winner’s charity partner will win an additional $5,000. Each charity partner is dedicated to celebrating the role of working dogs in our lives, and like American Humane, celebrates the importance of the human-animal bond.

“Every year, hundreds of dogs vie for the coveted title of ‘American Hero Dog’ at the American Humane Hero Dog Awards,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, American Humane’s president and CEO. “Dogs do so many extraordinary things to improve and even save our lives, and this contest is our way of saluting our best friends.”

“For thousands of years, dogs have protected us, comforted us in times of need, and selflessly saved the lives of those around them,” said Mrs. Pope. “We need to recognize their extraordinary achievements and heroism, and I am pleased to serve once again for the sixth year as the platinum presenting sponsor for the American Humane Hero Dog Awards. I wish all our remarkable nominees luck and look forward to reading their stories of valor and courage.”

“Hallmark Channel is proud to have the American Humane Hero Dog Awards serve as the focal point of our Pet Project,” said Bill Abbott, the President and CEO of Crown Media Family Networks. “The Pet Project is our on- and off-air advocacy and awareness initiative designed to celebrate the joy pets bring to our lives, shine a spotlight on the wonderful animals in shelters across the country, and promote adoption.”

Key dates for the 2017 American Humane Hero Dog Awards contest include:

• Nominations: January 25 – March 8
• 1st Round Voting: March 29 – May 3
• 2nd Round Voting: May 17 – June 28
• 3rd Round Voting: July 12 – August 30
• American Humane Hero Dog Awards event in Los Angeles – September 16

Nominations for 2017 Hero Vet and Hero Vet Tech Awards to Open February 2

And because behind every hero pet there is a hero veterinarian or veterinary technician, the Hero Dog Awards once again will feature a second campaign – the American Humane Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Technician Awards, sponsored by Zoetis. Starting February 2 at 12pm Pacific Time, pet owners and animal lovers across America will be invited to nominate their favorite animal caretakers in these two fields, with each to be honored at the Hero Dog Awards event on September 16.

More information about the 2017 American Humane Hero Dog Awards, including complete contest rules and entry information, can be obtained by visiting For more information about the 2017 American Humane Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Technician Awards, please visit More information on sponsorship opportunities can be had by emailing Mari Harner at or by calling 1-800-227-4645.


Spotlight: Rascal Flatts’s Charity Work

Jan 27, 2017 06:00 am

Rascal Flatts

Rascal Flatts are a band who are also members of the Red Cross National Celebrity Cabinet.

They are a country trio comprised of Gary LeVox, Jay Demarcus, and Joe Don Rooney.

They received the 2008 Academy of Country Music/Home Depot Humanitarian Award for their donation to the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville.

Read more about Rascal Flatts’s charity work and events.

Spotlight: Melanoma Research Alliance’s Celebrity Supporters

Jan 27, 2017 05:00 am
The Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA) is the largest private funder of melanoma research. Since its founding in 2007, MRA has committed more than $79 million in funding to advance our understanding of this disease. MRA funds projects in the areas of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, with the majority of funding allocated for melanoma treatment.

Celebrity supporters

Melanoma Research Alliance has 32 known supporters, including Eva Longoria, Bruce Springsteen, and Samuel L. Jackson

Areas of work

Read more about Melanoma Research Alliance’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.