City Year Spring Break 2012

Jon Hamm, Liam Hemsworth, Dianna Agron, Robin Thicke, Teresa Palmer, Giada De Laurentiis Among Stars at Spring Break 2012: Destination Education


There were celebrities everywhere the eye could see on the Sony Pictures lot in Culver City for “City Year Spring Break 2012: Destination Education.” They came to enjoy the carnival atmosphere, support the cause and mingle amid the 1,100 guests, many of them City Year’s corps members who work with at-risk students across Los Angeles to keep them from dropping out of school. (To see 40+ photos of the event, click here.) 

“The (City Year) kids give a year of their lives so other kids can stay on track to graduate,” said Stacey Snider, pointing out City Year’s corps members in their yellow and red jackets. “I can’t think of anything that’s more inspiring.”  Snider, the event’s prime organizer, is co-chair and chief executive of DreamWorks Studios.

Also inspiring was the night’s result: $1.2 million raised for City Year Los Angeles from the May 5 evening of carnival-like games and attractions, fun food buffets and musical entertainment by Ahsan, Hailey Reinhart of “American Idol” and multiple award-winning singer/songwriter Robin Thicke.

Liam Hemsworth of “The Hunger Games” said he relates well to children’s causes. “My dad’s worked for child protection services in Australia for 22 years,” said Hemsworth, adding that he’s now an ambassador for the Australian Childhood Foundation himself. “Children should be able to live their dreams. Kids should be able to dream big,” he added.

Never mind that Hemsworth’s blockbuster film depicts children fighting to the death in a world with limited resources. “That’s the world we don’t want to aim for, “ he said, “That’s where we don’t want to go.”

Enjoying the evening with Jennifer Westfeldt of “24,” Jon Hamm of “Mad Men” said that before his acting career took off, he had been a high school teacher in St. Louis. Westfeldt and Hamm were among the event’s host committee members.

“We need as much of this as we can get,” said Chris Noth of “Sex and the City,” referring to the services City Year’s corps members provide.

“I’m a great fan of the AmeriCorps programs,” said Camryn Manheim, relaxing under the canopy. Manheim starred in “The Practice;” her latest film is “The Hot Flashes.”

At the Food Network booth, Giada De Laurentiis of “Giada at Home” auditioned guests for a role on her new show, “Food Network Star.” The NFL booth offered guests a chance to win tickets to the next Super Bowl, while at other booths Sephora artists touched up make-up and Olsenboye, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s brand offered personalized T-shirts. 

Another host committee member, Dianna Agron of “Glee,” stopped to meet so many fans that it took her 20 minutes to get from check-in to the carnival booths, all the while giving off her radiant smile. She then slipped into a City Year jacket, further getting into the night’s team spirit. (I am forever amazed by the “Glee” stars – having met several cast members by now, I am convinced they are – without exception – gracious, friendly and clearly happy to support important causes, such as this one.)

Among others present were Teresa Palmer of “I Am Number 4,” record-setting former New York Giant Michael Strahan, Anthony Mackie of “The Hurt Locker,” Mena Suvari of “American Beauty,” Amandla Stenberg, Rue of “The Hunger Games;” Jackie Emerson, Foxface of “The Hunger Games;” Jason Ritter of “Parenthood,” Olivia Munn of “Magic Mike,” Abigail Spencer of “This Means War,” Jessica Stroup and Michael Steger of “90210,” Brittany Snow of “American Dreams,” Matthew Rhys of “Brothers and Sisters,” Ahna O’Reilly of “The Help,” Nolan Gould and Ariel Winter of “Modern Family,” Kiernan Shipka of “Mad Men,” Steven R. McQueen of “The Vampire Diaries,” Brandee Tucker of “3 Girls and the Golden Cocoon,” Ken Baumann of “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” Jeri Ryan of “Body of Proof,” Halston Sage of “How to Rock,” Kerris Dorsey of “Moneyball,” Michael Ealy of “Californication,”and Gillian Jacobs of “Community.”

More were Jessica Capshaw of “Grey’s Anatomy,” Hannah Simone of “New Girl,” George Kotsiopoulos of “Fashion Police,” Janina Gavanker, recording artist Jessie Malakouti, JC Chasez of N’Sync with Karen Chasezm, Alexis Knapp and Kirby Bliss Blanton of “Project X,” Ryan Ochoa of “Pair of Kings,” Rodrigo Santoro of “300,” Anton Yelchin of “Like Crazy,” Natasha Henstridge of “Species,” Harold Perrineau of “Lost,” Joseph Cross of “Running with Scissors,” Thomas Dekker of “Terminator,” Kathryn Morris of “Cold Case,” Danielle Panabaker of “Shark,” Darby Stanchfield of “Scandal,” KaDee Stickland of “Private Practice,” Barry Watson of “Samantha Who?” and Bob Harper of “The Biggest Loser.” 

Before the musical performances, Andrew Hauptman welcomed the crowd. “We’re all here to recognize and celebrate the awesome power and magic that comes from young people,” said Hauptman, a City Year board member and chair of the private investment firm, Andell, Inc.

Also taking a turn at the podium was John Deasy , Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District. “My heart is definitely at peace when I see the yellow jackets surrounding the youth of L.A.,” Deasy said.

Aside from Stacey Snider and Andrew Hauptman, the event committee consisted of Rich Battista, founder and CEO of Snakkle; Laura Fox; Ted Harbert, chairman of NBC Broadcasting; Ellen Bronfman Hauptman, co-chair of Andell, Inc.; Hannah Minghella, president of production at Columbia Pictures; Dawn Ostroff, president of Entertainment at Conde Naste; David Shaheen, managing director at JP Morgan and Kevin Tsujihara, president of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

Event sponsors included The Hauptman Family Foundation, Beats by Dr. Dre, Interscope Records, Fisker Automotive, JCPenney, Microsoft, People, Aramark Uniform Services, Deluxe, Discovery Communications, The Walt Disney Studios, DreamWorks Animation SKG, DreamWorks Studios SKG, E!, Food Network, David Geffen Foundation, J Brand, NFL, OPI, Sephora, Sony Pictures, Technicolor, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group. 

Top photo: Liam Hemsworth of “The Hunger Games” poses with City Year’s corps members at City Year Spring Break 2012 (photo: Brandon Clark/ ABImages

Second photo: Dianna Agron of “Glee” in a City Year jacket at City Year Spring Break 2012 (photo: Alex J Berliner/ ABImages) 

Third photo: Giada De Laurentiis of “Giada at Home” auditioned guests for a role on her new show, “Food Network Star” at City Year Spring Break 2012 

Fourth photo: Jon Hamm of “Mad Men” and Jennifer Westfeldt” at City Year Spring Break 2012 


Click here to see more than 40 photos from Spring Break 2012



Top Filmmakers Stacey Snider, Debra Martin Chase, Leslie Dixon, Nina Jacobson, Jennifer Yuh Nelson Share Wisdom at “Women in Focus” at Chapman University’s Dodge College 

Darren Criss and Lea Michele of “Glee” Serenade Jonsson Cancer Center Supporters With their First Ever Duet 

Tony-Winning Star and New Glee Dad Brian Stokes Mitchell Serenades at the Broad Stage, Joins the After-Party 

Emma Stone, Timothy Olyphant, Chris Pine, Ashley Tisdale and More of Today’s Hottest Young Stars Take a City Year Spring Break 2011  

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City Year Spring Break 2012

Published May 6, 2012 – Ellen Olivier, Society News LA