A Day of Fun in the Sun and Giving Back!

CMH Founder, Lysa Heslov, speaking on stage during awards ceremony.


June 14, 2015

Giving kids a global education and encouraging them to find their voices through creativity are essential tools for children to grow up with a sense of compassion and empathy for others. It is today’s children who will be tomorrow’s leaders — and honoring individuals who further our initiatives are vital in helping us achieve our mission.
— CMH Founder Lysa Heslov at Empathy Rocks 2015

June 14, 2015 was a perfect day to be in Malibu. It was impossibly sunny, there was a nice breeze, and the crystal clear view of the ocean was truly breathtaking. The most important and beautiful thing about the day, though, was the fact that a warm-hearted and fun-loving group of people gathered together to raise money and awareness for Children Mending Hearts.

We work hard through our programming to push the students we serve to learn as much as they can about their world and about themselves. Through the arts, they forge new paths toward understanding how to be more empathetic and how to express themselves creatively — and we pride ourselves on leaving our students instilled with a strong desire to help others in need. We believe so strongly in the work we do, and we couldn’t possibly be successful without the generous support of our incredible CMH family of supporters, which is why our CMH Empathy Rocks event each year is so important!

CMH Empathy Rocks is a fun-in-the-sun family day full of yummy food and cocktails, fun and games, musical performances, creative and beautification stations, and so much more (take a look at our 2014 event here)! Because we organize the event to take place in the summer, it’s a wonderful time for us to step back and celebrate all we’ve accomplished in the first half of the year and to regroup and reenergize for the months of hard work ahead.

Throughout the event, guests were welcome to peruse the bazaar, which featured a multitude of fun brands ready to bring in some much-needed funds for CMH programming!

The culmination of Empathy Rocks 2015 was the honoring of some very special people for their hard work in making our world a better place. We depend on and are so thankful for all of the wonderful souls who are kind enough to use their visibility to raise funds and awareness for our organization, and we were thrilled to honor them at our event. Without their support, we wouldn’t be able to make the progress we have in the last few years toward expanding and enriching our programming. The honors ceremony was kicked off with musical performances from tween band The Negotiators and singer Ava Cardoso Smith!

Our first honoree, Ambassador Nicole Avant, was introduced by philanthropist Irena Medavoy. Avant was presented with the Ambassador of Peace Award, honoring her efforts over the years with such organizations as Best Buddies International, the Bogart Pediatric Research Center, and the American Cancer Society.

Actress Shay Mitchell was honored with the Global Citizen Award. Shay’s support of organizations likeFree the Children, The Malala Fund, andother children’s and human rights causesmake her such a wonderful example to her fans and friends, and her Pretty Little Liars costar Lucy Hale was proud to present her with her award.

The cast of MTV’s Teen Wolf received the Cast of Heroes Award, which was presented to them by Wizards of Waverly Place star Gregg Sulkin. Between them, the Teen Wolf cast have worked with an almost innumerable amount of organizations, using their visibility to make an incredible impact on the world.

Finally, singer Jesse McCartney was kind enough to present teen sensation Zendaya with our Empathy Rockstar award! Looking at her long and full history of charitable work with such organizations as UNICEF, PETA, and Communities in Schools (among others), you’d never guess she’s only 18 years old! What a great example she’s setting for young people today.

Many of the guests who attend our Empathy Rocks event each year haven’t had a chance to see the work we do up close, so it’s always important to us to bring a little bit of our Global Arts After School programming to them whenever we can! At this year’s event, we featured photographs taken by our Haiti/Photography students so attendees could see the incredible talent of our Global Citizens-in-training!

We also included a space for guests to learn more about our Ambassador Circle program, started in late 2014 - the Children Mending Hearts Ambassador Circle is an awareness campaign and fund-drive that brings together like-minded individuals who lovingly promote peace, empathy, and global citizenry. This group of dedicated CMH supporters exemplifies what it means to be a CMH Ambassador: empowering another through compassionate concern and advocating for a peaceful world.

Many Empathy Rocks guests made generous donations while at the event, and some even bid on items in a silent auction featured on site! Every bit of help we can get propels us further toward our goal of expanding and enriching our programming for at-risk youth who desperately need it. We are so thankful for every single one of our supporters who donate money and come out to our events (and, of course, our volunteers who worked so hard to bring Empathy Rocks 2015 to life)! This year’s annual sun and fun celebration was such a wonderful milestone and, as usually happens at these events, gave us an opportunity to laugh with friends, reflect, and regroup.

Until next year,

The CMH Team




Read about other past CMH Empathy Rocks events...


Empathy Rocks 2016

Read about the CMH Empathy Rocks annual event in 2016 at a beautiful home in the Mulholland Estates honoring Rachel Zoe and Irena Medavoy...


Empathy Rocks 2014

Read about the CMH Empathy Rocks annual event in 2014 in Beverly Hills honoring Ambassador Holly Robinson Peete, Gabby Reece, and the Cast of The Vampire Diaries...



Read about the CMH annual event in 2013 at the Pritzker Estate in Beverly Hills, Style Sunday (a shop for a cause event), honoring Jade Iovine and Quincy Jones...