12 ways the Oscars are giving back
From the Governor’s Ball to gift suites, Academy Awards events keep charity in mind.
Sun, Mar 02, 2014 at 03:26 PM
Wolfgang Puck (Photo: Carin Krasner Photography)
1. In his 20th year of creating imaginative dishes — and edible Oscars — for The Governor’s Ball, Chef Wolfgang Puck will provide more than 50 delicacies — many based on local organic produce and sustainable seafood — for 1500 hungry Academy Awards celebrants. After the Ball, the leftover prepared food will be donated to L.A. charity Chefs to End Hunger, which in turn supplies the Midnight Mission with meals.
2. Many of the 10,000 blooms decorating the Governor’s Ball will have another purpose after the party. Floral arrangements in good shape will be donated to nursing homes in Culver City. Those that can’t be donated are composted, and the containers recycled.
3. & 4. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles, the designated charity at the Ultimate in Luxury Red Carpet Style Lounge, raised awareness for its programs including adoption, low-cost vaccine clinics, animal rescue, protective services, and the Teaching Love and Compassion project, designed to prevent abuse. Celebrities were invited to autograph a dog bowl for future auction. Also at the Ultimate Luxury Lounge, Wolfgang Puck’s coffee licensee provided refreshments and pledged support to Omics Live, a career guidance program for high school students.
5. At the GBK Luxury Gift Lounge, L.A. Kitchen spread the word about its programs to combat hunger and provide job training. Its mission: neither film nor people should go to waste, and it works with local farmers to recover produce that would otherwise be thrown away and uses it in their kitchen to train young people aging out of foster care and adults coming home from prison in the culinary arts, and helps them find jobs after the 14-week course. The meals the students prepare are distributed to local social services agencies, with an emphasis on feeding neglected seniors with nutritious meals.
6. & 7. & 8. Founded by actress Holly Robinson Peete and her gridiron star husband Rodney to raise awareness and funds for Parkinson’s disease and autism research, The HollyRod Foundation made a return appearance to GBK lounge, promoting a pair of fundraisers this summer: the DesignCare gala fashion show and auction on July 18 and My Brother Charlie Carnival for kids, also in July. “I want to make autism not as confusing for people. I think it’s very misunderstood. Rap songs have used it as an insult and that’s terrible,” said 16-year-old Ryan Elizabeth Peete, who co-authored the children’s book about autism, “My Brother Charlie,” with her mom. (Her brother R.J. has autism). “I love the work my mom’s doing. I hope to continue her mission to raise awareness.” Several of the GBK vendors regularly donate a portion of proceeds to charity. Fiamma pink diamonds and Ronaldo Designer Jewelry both support breast cancer charities from sales. Fiamma pledged to make an additional donation for every celebrity photographed wearing its baubles on the red carpet.
Pajama Program's L.A. Chapter President Lindsay Smith and Founder Genevieve Piturro in front of giant Carter's onesie at Kathy Duliakas' 6th Annual Celebrity Oscar Suite & Party (Photo: Nicki Henne Photography)
9. Under a giant green onesie created by kidswear company Carter’s, the Pajama Program spread the word at Kathy Duliakas’ Celebrity Oscar Suite & Party. Teaming up with Carter’s, the nonprofit has launched the 1 Million Good Nights campaign, with the goal of collecting and distributing a million pajamas and books to children in need by December 31, 2015. It’s the brainchild of Genevieve Piturro, a former Manhattan marketing exec, who volunteered to read to children at homeless shelters and discovered many didn’t have pajamas. She set out to rectify that in 2001, and two million pajamas have been distributed since. Celebs were encouraged to bring pajamas to donate and Tweet about the program, resulting in more than 400 social media posts that Carter’s will match with a one-for-one donation.
10. Heifer International was one of three charity beneficiaries at Roger Neal’s Style Hollywood Beauty and Couture Suite, promoting its sustainable agriculture and community empowerment initiatives. “Our mission is to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth and we do that by giving rural farmers the gift of livestock, then passing on the gift. When a cow has a female offspring they will pass it on to someone in their community and train that person,” explained spokeswoman Frances Hale, noting that Heifer “has helped 104 million individuals in seven countries move out of poverty and hunger.”
11. & 12. Also at the Neal suite, Beyond Christmas encouraged visitors to pay it forward with random acts of kindness and compassion for strangers, and had them sign a pledge board and Tweet about it, with a goal of a million good deeds done by Christmas 2014. Also at the suite, the Andy Transplant Foundation, founded by Susan Thompson after her brother died awaiting a liver transplant to improve the process, raised awareness for the need for organ donations.
Related stories on MNN: