GALA FUNDRAISER – April 2010
The Music Box @ Fonda Theater, Hollywood, CA
It was a beautiful spring evening for the 3rd annual Peace Please gala held on April 16th to benefit Children Mending Hearts. One of the highlights of the evening was a homeless boy who we met at our Please Mr. President workshop in New York City. Ruben St. Hilaire, Jr. won over the crowd when he accepted his football camp scholarship from NFL Network’s sports commentator Rich Eisen. The scholarship to camp was generously donated by Deion Sanders. Ruben was surprised on stage by his football hero, Cincinnati Bengal wide receiver Chad Ochocinco, and proved remarkably eloquent as the nine-year-old thanked everyone.
Honorees at the gala were Eve Ensler, playwright, performer and activist, and NHL Hockey legend, Hall of Fame member and philanthropist Luc Robitaille. Eve Ensler received the Heal the World Award. Eve is the author of The Vagina Monologues and founder of V-Day, a global movement that supports anti-violence organizations throughout the world, helping them to continue and expand their core work on the ground. Luc Robitaille received the Humanitarian of the Year Award. Luc and his wife Stacia are co-founders of Echoes of Hope, an organization that helps at-risk youth, including those who have aged out of the foster system, build bright, successful futures.
Other speakers at the gala event included actor and activist Ben Affleck; Mistress of Ceremonies Aisha Tyler, Rosario Dawson who accepted on behalf of Eve Ensler; musician, SIRIUS XM radio host and activist Derrick N. Ashong; and Judithe Registre, Outreach & Development Director for Women for Women International, the organization who was Children Mending Hearts’ sponsor on the ground in the DR Congo in February. Musical guests included Five for Fighting, Band from TV, and nine-year-old musical prodigy Ethan Bortnick. A lively auction was conducted by Illeana Douglas and Richard Kind. The event generated national and international press and raised awareness of Children Mending Hearts’ arts exchange programs that address the plight of homeless and at-risk children in America, and refugee children living under the desperate conflict in the DR Congo.
Children Mending Hearts is grateful to all of our generous sponsors and angels, especially Amate Tequila and Bentley’s Popcorn, who pledged long-term support for future programs and events.