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Celebrity Philanthropy News 2  3
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Black Tie International:
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles
Photos by:  Vince Bucci
Sherry Lansing Award honoree Jennifer Salke, Sherry Lansing and Tiffany Siart, President & CEO BBBSLA.  photo by:  vince bucci
Sherry Lansing Award honoree Jennifer Salke, Sherry Lansing and Tiffany Siart,
President & CEO BBBSLA






Award-Winning Actor Sean Hayes Hosts


Honoree William Ahmanson and Pam Dawber, Gala Chair.  photo by:  vince bucci
Honoree William Ahmanson and Pam Dawber, Gala Chair
Trailblazer Award honorees Janice Min, Stephen Galloway and Lynne Segall of The Hollywood Reporter.  photo by:  vince bucci
Trailblazer Award honorees Janice Min, Stephen Galloway and Lynne Segall of 
The Hollywood Reporter
Emcee Sean Hayes.  photo by:  vince bucci
Emcee Sean Hayes
 BBBS Guild President Mary Willard and her husband Fred Willard.  photo by:  vince bucci
 BBBS Guild President Mary Willard and her husband Fred Willard
Katherine Heigl and Alfre Woodard.  photo by:  vince bucci
Katherine Heigl and Alfre Woodard
 James Tupper and Anne Heche.  photo by:  vince bucci
 James Tupper and Anne Heche
 Gala Chair Pam Dawber and her husband Mark Harmon.  photo by:  vince bucci
 Gala Chair Pam Dawber and her husband Mark Harmon

LOS ANGELES, CA (October 29 2014) –Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles (BBBSLA) honored outstanding members of the Los Angeles community at its annual Big Bash gala October 24, 2014 at The Beverly Hilton Hotel.  Awards recognize individuals who are inspiring and positive role models for young people.  William H. Ahmanson, President, The Ahmanson Foundation, received the Walt Disney Man of the Year Award; Jennifer Salke, President of NBC Entertainment, was presented the Sherry Lansing Award; and The Hollywood Reporter received the Trailblazer Award. 
 Pam Dawber and Kim Vamos Chaired.

Following an electric opening performance by recording artists Magnolia Memoir, Mary Willard, Big Brothers Big Sisters Guild President welcomed the more than 450 guests, citing the efforts that the Guild makes, “working tirelessly to help the children in our community have better lives.”

Host Sean Hayes kept the laughs going before welcoming Tiffany Siart, President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles, to the stage.  Siart announced a collaboration in 2015 with the Goodwill Community Enrichment Center at Fletcher Square, a partnership that will, in addition to reducing costs, expand BBBSLA’s ability to connect their families with other critical services and resources including workforce development training as well as career and college counseling.  This opens the door to other Goodwill Enrichment Center partnerships throughout Los Angeles County, increasing their ability to reach and serve those communities most in need.

To present the evening’s Trailblazer Award to The Hollywood Reporter (THR), Anne Sweeney, Co-Chair of Disney Media Network and President of Disney/ABC TV Group, introduced mentees Maira Solis, Britney Abellanosa and Sonia Ortega. Created in 2009, the Women In Entertainment Mentoring Program is a joint venture between THR and BBBSLA that selects 15 girls from some of L.A.’s toughest high schools and pairs them with industry titans on THR’s Power 100 Women in Entertainment list. In this extremely competitive program, mentors take these highly-motivated girls under their wings, opening their eyes (and doors) to new dreams and possibilities. Participants in the program are now attending a host of schools including Yale, Harvard, LMU and Berkeley. Accepting on behalf of The Hollywood Reporter, Janice Min, President/Chief Creative Officer, Entertainment Group; Lynne Segall, Executive Vice President/Group Publisher, Entertainment Group and Stephen Galloway, Executive Editor, Features.                    

 The evening’s Honorary Chair, Roy P. Disney, grand-nephew of Walt Disney and last year’s Walt Disney Man of the Year Award recipient, spoke briefly about the award itself, “recognizing men who set a standard of excellence, both in their professional and personal accomplishments and humanitarianism.”  He then introduced philanthropist, humanitarian and educator, Brindell Gottleib to make the presentation to William Ahmanson.  Through The Ahmanson Foundation, countless worthy causes including Big Brothers Big Sisters have benefitted, speaking to the extraordinary philanthropic bent of the night’s honoree. 
 An accomplished businessman, Ahmanson also served for ten years as a  Los Angeles Police Reserve Officer and remains active on various boards that support the department.

Emmy Award-winning actress Katherine Heigl, currently starring in the new NBC drama, State of Affairs, introduced a video tribute narrated by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler for 2014 Sherry Lansing Award honoree Jennifer Salke, President of NBC Entertainment.  The award recognizes contributions of women who, like Lansing, who was in the audience, have not only demonstrated tremendous leadership at the highest level of their chosen field, but also the capacity for sharing their considerable gifts with others.  Salke, a “big sister” herself, was presented the award by her “little sister,” Paola. 

A highlight of the evening was the introduction of three “littles,” accompanied by their “bigs” who brought the room to a collective hush with their poignant stories of where their lives had been before they became a part of Big Brothers Big Sisters, what they could have become without the guidance of their mentors and what the future holds.

In addition to Magnolia Memoir, guests were entertained by members of The Vocal Ensemble at the Los Angeles County High School for the Performing Arts.


About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles

The mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported, one-to-one mentoring relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. In 1955, Walt Disney and Meredith Willson founded Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles.  One of the largest youth mentoring organizations in the country, BBBSLA has served children and families facing adversity.  They provide one-to-one youth mentoring services, carefully screening volunteer mentors and matching them with youth, and provide ongoing support for the volunteers, mentees, families, schools, businesses and community partners.  Children in the program improve their school performance, avoid risky behaviors, and build higher self-esteem and aspirations.  These outcomes are substantiated by rigorous independent evaluation methodology.  Philanthropedia, a GuideStar company, recently named BBBS as the #1 high impact national nonprofit organization serving at-risk youth.  To learn more, visit, follow on Twitter at, and on Facebook at


About the Big Brothers Big Sisters Guild

Founded in 1986, the Guild is dedicated to promoting awareness and raising financial support for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles.  Helmed by President Mary Willard, the Guild is a volunteer group comprised of prominent women and men from the community, which has raised over $10 million to support the life saving programs of Big Brothers Big Sisters. 



joyce brooks, gerard mckeon.  photo by:  rose billings

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