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California Assembly Bill Motivates Celebrities To Take Action For Animals

Apr 17, 2017 01:30 pm

Russell Simmons: Profile

California Assembly Bill 485, The Pet Rescue and Adoption Act, has inspired stars such as Russell Simmons, Nikki Sixx, Kunal Nayyar, Leona Lewis, Alicia Witt, NASCAR Driver Leilani Munter, WWE’s Tyler Breeze and many more to take to social media and create a storm using #YesOnAB485.

Assembly Bill 485, The Pet Rescue and Adoption Act, is a landmark bill authored by Assembly Members Patrick O’Donnell and Matt Dababneh, which saves animals’ lives and stands up to the cruelty of puppy mills. The legislation would replace puppy mill animals by showcasing dogs, cats, and rabbits from local animal shelters and rescue groups in pet retail stores statewide.

Social Compassion In Legislation, the animal advocacy group sponsoring the bill, states that AB 485 will be a gigantic step forward in solving the state’s pet overpopulation crisis and will shut the door to the socially unacceptable cruelty of mill-bred animals.

The bill will be heard on April 18, 2017 in the Assembly Business and Professions Committee.

To learn more about the bill visit www.SocialCompassionInLegislation.org.


18th Annual Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port Sells Out In Record Time Thanks To Tom Brady

Apr 17, 2017 12:00 pm

Tom Brady: Profile

Best Buddies International is excited to announce that its upcoming 18th Annual Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Porthas sold out in record time, thanks in part to the support of Best Buddies Global Ambassador Tom Brady.

Brady’s nearly 15-year partnership has helped raise a cumulative $46.5 million for the organization! This is an incredible milestone in Best Buddies’ 28-year history.

Best Buddies International is a global nonprofit founded in 1989 by Anthony K. Shriver to establish a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

The Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port is a spectacular series of events taking place over two days from Boston to Cape Cod and includes a Tom Brady Football Challenge, and a charity walk, run, and bike ride benefitting individuals with IDD. For the past decade, Best Buddies Global Ambassador Tom Brady has served as the event’s Honorary Co-Chair. This year, the Hyannis Port Challenge is expected to raise $5.5 million to support the organization’s global programs in 54 countries spanning six continents.

“Tom Brady has served as an exemplary Global Ambassador for Best Buddies since 2003, and has helped bring an even greater awareness to the infinite abilities people with intellectual and developmental disabilities possess,” said Anthony K. Shriver, Founder and Chairman of Best Buddies International. “Over the past 15 years, Tom has proven himself to be a relentless, committed advocate for individuals with disabilities, always going above and beyond the call of duty to help promote a world of inclusion and opportunity for this population. He truly is an unmatched asset for this organization.”

Tom first got involved with Best Buddies as a volunteer back in 2003. Since that time, he has served as one of the organization’s most dedicated supporters and advocates. Tom’s support not only helps the organization financially, but also in terms of building Best Buddies’ brand awareness and promoting the organization’s mission-based initiatives that create friendships, jobs and leadership development training for people with IDD. In total, Best Buddies has raised $46.5 million and served 11.8 million people with and without IDD, in part because of its 15-year partnership with Tom.

“It has been one of my greatest honors to serve as a Global Ambassador for Best Buddies,” said Tom Brady. “This organization has become a part of my life. I love meeting the inspiring buddies at events, seeing their smiles, and hearing them talk about how Best Buddies has changed their lives for the better by helping them make friends at school and find meaningful jobs in their local communities. Best Buddies’ mission is a simple one, but the impact is incredibly powerful. I am so grateful to be a part of this global movement.”

Inspired by his charitable work with Best Buddies and the impact nonprofits have on society, Tom created his own organization called Change The World Foundation. Having served as one of the organization’s most engaged and devoted Global Ambassadors for nearly a decade, Best Buddies supported Tom’s diverse array of charitable interests, just as he has supported Best Buddies. Throughout the span of this partnership, Best Buddies has donated $2.75 million to the Change the World Foundation, a registered 501c3.

In addition to Tom Brady’s work in the commonwealth of Massachusetts, he serves as a Best Buddies Global Ambassador and travels for the organization, hosting and attending national events such as “An Evening with Tom Brady” Houston Gala, which raised $832,952. Additionally, Tom has committed to attending the Masters Golf Tournament on behalf of Best Buddies in 2018, which is expected to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for our mission and global programs. Tom also connects Best Buddies directly with his sponsors and supporters such as Under Armour and UGG, host guests at football games, provides memorabilia, writes letters, makes phone calls and helps Best Buddies with its development efforts.

This dynamic partnership has been of immeasurable value for Best Buddies and has allowed the organization to create much-needed jobs and life-changing friendships for people with IDD all over the world, which has always been the goal.

Best Buddies is grateful for Tom Brady’s unending support and proudly look forward to continuing the work to create a more inclusive world for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.


Bill Clinton To Keynote Recommit To Kids Summit

Apr 17, 2017 10:30 am

Colin Powell: Profile

Is the American Dream reachable or at risk for America’s young people? That question will be at the heart of conversations at Recommit to Kids |The Summit for America’s Future, a national gathering by America’s Promise Alliance, the nation’s largest network dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth, on April 18 in NYC.

While the nation’s young people fare better today than they did 20 years ago, many of the most vulnerable still face innumerable challenges and multiple adversities that hinder positive developmental outcomes and educational success, impacting their chances at fulfilling their American Dream.

Twenty years after the Presidents’ Summit for America’s Future, which all living US presidents attended, this month’s daylong summit, hosted by America’s Promise Founding Chair Gen. Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.) and current Chair Alma J. Powell, will convene more than 500 leaders from business, philanthropy, nonprofit sector, government, education and the faith community, along with dozens of young people. The summit seeks to engage participants in serious and necessary conversations around the issues young people face, re-energize people who work with and advocate for kids every day and attract new supporters to commit to the cause.

WHAT: Recommit to Kids | The Summit for America’s Future

WHO: America’s Promise Founding Chair and Chair, Gen. Colin Powell and Alma Powell, and President & CEO, John Gomperts.

President Bill Clinton to provide the keynote address.

Confirmed summit speakers include: Darren Walker, president, Ford Foundation; Arne Duncan, former U.S. Secretary of Education; Dorothy Stoneman, founder of YouthBuild; Anna Deavere Smith, actress, playwright and professor; Jose Antonio Vargas, journalist, filmmaker and immigration rights activist; Melissa Harris-Perry, professor and journalist; Michael Lomax, president & CEO, UNCF; Alicia Menendez, journalist; George Weiss, founder and chairman, Say Yes Foundation; and Nikole Hannah-Jones, racial justice investigative reporter, New York Times magazine; Father Greg Boyle, Homeboy Industries; Soledad O’Brien, founder and CEO, Starfish Media Group; Greg Fischer, Louisville, KY mayor; among others.

For a full speaker and honoree list, visit www.Recommit2Kids.org.

WHERE: New York Marriott Marquis Times Square | 1535 Broadway, New York City

WHEN: Tuesday, April 18, 2017 | 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM


Starlight Children’s Foundation And Star Wars: Force For Good Launch Starlight Virtual Reality Initiative

Apr 17, 2017 09:00 am

Starlight Children's Foundation: Profile

Starlight Children’s Foundation, a leading charity for 35 years, today announces the launch of Starlight Virtual Reality as a groundbreaking new program that will entertain, educate and inspire the imagination of thousands of hospitalized young patients across the US.

Star Wars: Force for Change is the program’s Founding Sponsor with additional funding from Niagara Cares and VR technology powered by Google. The program will roll out in late 2017 and Starlight will start distributing the program to Starlight’s network of children’s hospitals and other health facilities across the US.

Imagine being stuck in the hospital for days, weeks or even months. Now imagine transforming into a Star Wars character and being transported to a galaxy far, far away using the magic of virtual reality. This experience, and many others powered by Google, will soon be possible thanks to Star Wars: Force for Change, an initiative from Lucasfilm that harnesses the power of Star Wars to empower and improve the lives of children around the world. Lucasfilm’s parent organization, The Walt Disney Company, is a longtime supporter of children’s hospitals and of Starlight Children’s Foundation.

“We’re excited to announce the launch of Starlight VR which we believe will be a game-changer in the pediatric health care space,” said Chris Helfrich, CEO of Starlight Children’s Foundation. “We’re excited to have Lucasfilm and Disney, Google and Niagara Cares alongside us as we harness the power of virtual reality to bring more smiles to hospitalized kids when and where they need it most.”

“At Lucasfilm and ILMxLAB, we strive to make the impossible, possible and to deliver stories that inspire and entertain,” said Vicki Dobbs Beck, Executive in Charge, ILMxLab. “We are honored to use our immersive storytelling to spark children’s imaginations during the hospital stay.”
“We’re thrilled to support this Starlight program and use our virtual reality technology for good in hospitals around the United States,” said Amit Singh, Vice President, Virtual Reality at Google.

Star Wars: Force for Change, through Disney, is providing a generous grant to Starlight that will fund the placement of up to 270 Starlight VR headsets and equipment in hospitals across the US. Additionally, Lucasfilm will be providing, Star Wars-themed content for the program. The grant will also support the delivery of Starlight Brave Gowns and Starlight Star Visits. The new collaboration with Star Wars: Force for Change officially launched today with a special event at Florida Hospital for Children in Orlando, just ahead of Star Wars Celebration, April 13 – 16.

A significant grant from Niagara Cares, a philanthropic program of Niagara Bottling, will fund research and development for Starlight VR, as well as impact reporting to inform future program enhancements and usage recommendations.

Starlight VR will be a physical program geared toward entertainment and distraction purposes for use with children. In addition to the exclusive Star Wars VR content, the program will incorporate many of Google’s VR technologies, including: Google Expeditions, virtual field trips to the world’s most amazing places for children over the age of 7, as well as Daydream, Google Earth VR, and Tilt Brush for children over the age of 13. Starlight VR will be stored in a hygienic, user-friendly encasement that can easily move throughout a hospital in a secure mobile storage unit, and will also include a stationary, fully interactive VR experience.

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Valerie Milano is the well-connected Senior Editor and Entertainment Critic at TheHollywoodTimes.today, 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.