Tuesday, December 15, 2009
The UNICEF Ball
Ah. An amazing A-lister party for charity. On December 10, the UNICEF Ball brought together Hollywood’s biggest stars for a fundraising gala to honor those individuals who have made key contributions to UNICEF’s mission to save and improve children’s lives worldwide. The evening raised more money for the organization than any UNICEF Ball to date. Producer and long-time philanthropist Jerry Weintraub was honored as Man of the Year with UNICEF’s Danny Kaye Humanitarian Award.
The UNICEF Ball was co-chaired by Bryan Lourd, Ghada Irani and Tamar & Bob Manoukian. The evening included performances by Paul Anka, Tony Bennett, Jane Morgan-Weintraub and Franki Valli & The Four Seasons. Paul Anka added his own special touch to the night by changing the lyrics to his popular song “My Way” to reflect the guest of honor. George Clooney, Bruce Willis and Bryan Lourd were among those who spoke about Jerry Weintraub as a friend and colleague. Guests were also treated to special surprise appearance by Mr. Weintraub’s long-time friend Muhammad Ali.
During dinner, George Clooney presented the Danny Kaye Humanitarian Award to Jerry Weintraub, Special Advisor to UNICEF USA. Committed to helping others in need, Weintraub’s philanthropic endeavors are just as great as his professional career. Most recently, Not on Our Watch, co-founded by Weintraub, has supported UNICEF‘s at-risk Zimbabwean refugee children living on the South Africa-Zimbabwe border.
“Every day 24,000 children die from preventable causes. I believe that number should be zero,” said Weintraub. “UNICEF has saved more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization in the world and I am committed to supporting their efforts to provide children worldwide the essentials for a safe and healthy childhood.”
In spirit of the evening, Jerry Weintraub, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Matt Damon and Don Cheadle donated $250,000 on behalf of Not on Our Watch in support of UNICEF’s mission to reduce the number of preventable deaths of children from 24,000 to zero. Guests of the UNICEF Ball included Ellen Barkin, George Clooney, Cindy Crawford & Rande Gerber, Luciana & Matt Damon, Larry David, Selena Gomez, Elliot Gould, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt, Anthony Kiedes, Benji Madden, Joel Madden, Rebecca Mader, Alyssa Milano, Jeremy Piven, Sumner Redstone, Bruce Willis and more.
Dinner hosts included Shelli and Irving Azoff, Peggy and Jeff Bewkes, George Clooney, Carole Bayer Sager and Bob Daly, Luciana and Matt Damon, Brynne and Dan Fellman, David Geffen, Harvey S. Gettleson, Brad Grey, Cindy and Alan Horn, Lucy Liu, Michael Meldman, Wendy and Barry Meyer, Kelly and Ron Meyer, Lori and Michael Milken, Julie and Leslie Moonves, Robin and Gerald Parsky, Brad Pitt, Nicole and Jeff Robinov, Ande and Bruce Rosenblum, Steve Roth, Ellen and Richard Sandler, Jane and Terry Semel, Steven Spielberg, Emma and Bruce Willis, Ellen and Ken Ziffren and Jane Morgan Weintraub.