Unite 4 Humanity Gala
The event: Hollywood stars took center stage at the Beverly Hilton Hotel Feb. 19 in recognition of their philanthropic pursuits.
The pre-Oscar event was Unite4:Humanity, staged by Variety and the Unite4:Good Foundation — an organization whose mission is to promote acts of kindness — and presented by Alcatel OneTouch.
Honorees and their charities were Halle Berry (Jenesse Center), Josh Hutcherson (Straight But Not Narrow), Pink (No Kid Hungry), Amy Poehler (Worldwide Orphans), Ewan McGregor (UNICEF UK), Christina Applegate (Right Action for Women), Lauren Paul and Aaron Paul (Kind Campaign).
The program: Busy Philipps hosted, and Forest Whitaker opened the program, speaking of people’s connections and responsibilities to one another. He ended by quoting the Dalai Lama. “If you think you’re too small to make a difference,” Whitaker said, “try sleeping with a mosquito.”
To round out the night’s agenda of presentations, spotlights on notable causes and shout-outs to several community leaders, Pink performed two numbers against a video backdrop of soft rolling clouds. Her song choices: “Time After Time” and “Me and Bobby McGee.”
The crowd: There to present awards were Emily Blunt, Queen Latifah, Jeff Bridges, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, “Breaking Bad” producer Michelle MacLaren, Wilmer Valderrama and United4:Good founder Anthony Melikhov. Demi Lovato introduced Zendaya, recipient of the Young Luminary Award, while the audience included Sarah Hyland, William H. Macy, Frances Fisher, Beth Behrs, Michael Gladis and Jane Seymour…
Click here to read my entire story, including Amy Poehler’s moving speech about Harris Wittels, the writer/ producer of “Parks and Recreation,” who died that same day. To see more pictures from the event, scroll down the page to the photo gallery.
Of note: Amy Poehler said she wouldn’t tell jokes, but she clearly couldn’t help herself, as she started out by saying that whenever she hears Jane Aronson of Worldwide Orphans – the person who introduced her – she wishes that she, too, were Jewish and gay. Poehler then went on speak with heartfelt emotion about the loss of Wittels.
It was also heartwarming to see the passion with which the celebrities spoke of their charities and a nice surprise to see all the A-listers who came to present the awards, especially as most hadn’t been announced in advance. As if all this weren’t enough for a spectacular evening, Pink’s performance was a knockout.
Top photo: Honoree Amy Poehler, right, said she wouldn’t tell jokes, but she couldn’t help herself, as illustrated by Jane Aronson, who presented her award at the Unite 4 Humanity gala (photo, SocietyNewsLA.com)
Third photo: Zendaya, left, received her award from Demi Lovato at the Unite 4 Humanity gala, presented by Alcatel Onetouch (Photo by Mike Windle/ Getty Images for Variety)
Fourth photo: Jesse Tyler Ferguson, left, presented the award to honoree Josh Hutcherson at the Unite 4 Humanity gala, presented by Alcatel Onetouch (Photo by Mike Windle/ Getty Images for Variety)
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Unite 4 Humanity Gala
Published Feb. 28, 2015 – Ellen Olivier, SocietyNewsLA.com