Brooklyn Nets star Deron Williams, former NBA star Cliff Robinson, former UConn Head Coach Jim Calhoun, and more were among the celebrities who teed off in support of the autism community at the Autism Speaks Fifteenth Annual Celebrity Golf Challenge on Monday, June 17, at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck.Deron_Williams with Autism Speaks President Liz Feld and Jim CalhounCredit/Copyright: Bob Malone/VEJoining the all-star list of celebrities were Autism Speaks Co-founders Suzanne and Bob Wright, and event Co-chairs Susan and Kevin Murray. The Wrights co-founded Autism Speaks in February 2005 after their grandson, Christian, was diagnosed with autism. The annual event has raised more than $12 million towards research, awareness and advocacy efforts for individuals and families who are affected by autism. Autism Speaks is the world’s largest autism and advocacy organization.Deron Williams Plays Golf For Autism SpeaksCredit/Copyright: Bob Malone/VE
On Tuesday night, Olivia Wilde and Glamour Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, Cindi Leive co-hosted the International Wome’s Media Foundation 2013 Courage in Journalism Awards honoring Najiba Ayub, Bopha Phorn, Nour Kelze and Edna Machirori (Lifetime Achievement Award Winner).In addition, Los Angeles Times National Editor, Kim Murphy, presented a tribute to “1998 Courage Award” winner Elizabeth Neuffer who died in Iraq in 2003.Additional celebrity presenters included Bo Derek and John Corbett (who presented to Bopha Phorn), Marcia Gay Harden (who presented to Nour Kelze), Maria Shriver (who presented to Edna Machirori) and Gayle Tzemach Lemmon (who presented to Najiba Ayub) with additional notable guests including Lubov Azria and Omarosa Manigault.The Courage in Journalism Awards honored women journalists who have shown extraordinary strength of character and integrity while reporting the news under dangerous or difficult circumstances.The 2013 honorees included: Najiba Ayubi, 45, a news director from Afghanistan who has spent more than a decade working under anonymous threats and attacks from government entities; Nour Kelze, 25, a Syrian photojournalist who occupies the front lines of the conflict in her country, documenting the human cost of the Syrian revolution and Bopha Phorn, 28, a Cambodian newspaper reporter whose coverage of crime, land rights abuses and human rights issues have led to attempts on her life. The IWMF Lifetime Achievement Award went to Edna Machirori, the first black female newspaper editor in Zimbabwe.Bank of America was the National Presenting Sponsor for the 8th consecutive year; with Chevron as the West Coast Presenting Sponsor. This year’s Media Sponsor was the Los Angeles Times.To find out more information about the International Women’s Media Foundation please follow the organization on twitter @IWMF or click here.
The biggest names in the worlds of sports and entertainment will gather for three days of special events and competitive golf for the 2016 Derek Jeter Celebrity Invitational (DJCI) April 20-23, 2016.Shadow Creek, one of the world’s most exclusive golf courses, once again will be the home of this spectacular private, invitation-only golf event.“The Derek Jeter Celebrity Invitational is a tremendous opportunity to enjoy world-class golf, food and entertainment with great friends while supporting my Turn 2 Foundation in its mission to create social change and help young people reach their full potential,” said Derek Jeter. “I am grateful for what we have been able to accomplish so far and look forward to building on our success in 2016.”During his rookie year in 1996, New York Yankees All-Star shortstop Derek Jeter established the Turn 2 Foundation while sharing a pizza with his father in a Detroit hotel room. The name “Turn 2” is symbolic of the dramatic double play made by infielders during a game. It also represents Jeter’s wish to promote healthy lifestyles among young people and enable them to “Turn 2” his Foundation for guidance and much-needed help to avoid drugs and alcohol.Since its launch in December 1996, the Turn 2 Foundation has awarded more than $20 million to create and support programs and activities that motivate young people to turn away from drugs and alcohol and “Turn 2” healthy lifestyles. Its signature Jeter’s Leaders initiative is a four-year leadership development program that fosters academic achievement, positive behavior and social change among high school students in New York City and West Michigan.“The partnership with Derek Jeter and the Turn 2 Foundation has been extraordinary.” said Pete Falcone, president & CEO of JP Sports & Entertainment, LLC, who negotiated the terms to bring this event to fruition. “We are passionate about Derek’s mission with his Foundation and look forward to continuing an incredible event raising funds for an important cause.”This year’s DJCI is scheduled to kick off Wednesday, April 20 with a private welcome reception. The first of two rounds of the Celebrity-Amateur tournament, which pairs one celebrity with four amateur participants, will begin Thursday, April 21 at Shadow Creek. The event will conclude with the final round of the Celebrity-Amateur Friday, April 22 and will be followed by one of the event’s signatures, the DJCI Gala and incredible silent auction at ARIA Resort & Casino.
The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) is pleased to announce that tennis star Maria Sharapova will join Mardy Fish, John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, Mark Philippoussis, and Andy Roddick to headline World TeamTennis (WTT) Smash Hits at Caesars Palace, a charity night of tennis co-hosted by longtime friends Sir Elton John and Billie Jean King on Monday, October 10, 2016.Also joining the line-up is former world No. 1 doubles standout Liezel Huber. Tennis action is set for 6:30 p.m. PT on a specially-constructed tennis court in the valet parking lot off of Caesars Palace Drive with the pre-match VIP Reception and Auction kicking off at 5:00 p.m.This will be Ms. Sharapova’s WTT Smash Hits debut. “I am really excited to get back on the court for a great cause,” said Sharapova. “I have been wanting to play this event for Billie and Elton for a long time so I am looking forward to a great night of tennis.”Last year’s event at Caesars Palace raised more than $1 million, bringing the historic total to more than $14 million for EJAF and various local AIDS charities since 1993. Elton, Billie Jean, and all players will participate in the pre-match live auction, which will include an Elton John signed piano bench and Billie Jean’s Wimbledon tickets among other items.Captained by Elton and Billie Jean, the players will form two teams and play a WTT match featuring singles and doubles matches. Elton will participate in a celebrity doubles match to open the event. Last year, Team Elton took a 12-11 edge in the overall series with a 17-11 win over Team Billie Jean.“It is always such a great pleasure to co-host this wonderful event with my dear friend Billie Jean King, and I’m absolutely thrilled to be returning to Caesars Palace for some more amazing tennis,” said Sir Elton John. “This family-friendly event helps to raise awareness about the continuing challenges of the AIDS epidemic both locally and nationally and to raise urgently needed dollars for community-based HIV prevention, education, advocacy, treatment, and care services. I urge all tennis fans and concerned citizens in the Las Vegas area to support this event and bring their families for a wonderful evening of tennis for a great cause.”Caesars Palace, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, is also home to Elton John’s hit show, “The Million Dollar Piano.”Tickets for WTT Smash Hits are available through WTTSmashHits.com or axs.com, or by calling The Colosseum at Caesars Palace box office at (866) 320-9763 or AXS at (888) 929-7849. All seating will be reserved and have chairbacks. VIP seats, which include admission to the pre-match VIP Reception and Live Auction, are $545. For the tennis action only, Premium Reserved chairback seats are $136.25 and Reserved chairback seats are $59.95. Ticket prices include Live Entertainment Tax as assessed by the state of Nevada.Official event sponsors include host sponsor Caesars Palace and presenting sponsor Citi. Additional sponsors and partners include AmerisourceBergen, Cashman Photo, Core Academy, DecoTurf, Donnelley Financial Solutions, Fanatics, GEICO, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, KXNT News/Talk Radio & CBS Sports Radio – Las Vegas, Marty Hennessy Inspiring Children Foundation, NBC & The CW – Las Vegas, WG Communications Group, Wilson and XS Tennis – Chicago. Ryan Wolfington and USTA Nevada are promotional partners of WTT Smash Hits.For more information on WTT Smash Hits, visit WTTSmashHits.com.
Rock and roll royalty filled the majestic Capitale Wednesday night as the national nonprofit, Little Kids Rock, hosted its eighth annual benefit in Lower Manhattan to support public school students and music teachers with donated instruments, curricular resources, and training.The sold-out event featured performances from musical greats led by Musical Director Will Lee and generated over one million dollars in donations.“Music changes kids and kids change the world,” shared David Wish, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Little Kids Rock. Those sentiments were echoed by Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Kenny Loggins who received the organization’s Humanitarian Award. Loggins spoke about being able to express himself through music as a teen when words failed and how he has watched the same in his daughter. “Music speaks to the heart,” Loggins said. ” It taught her who she is, and it taught me who I am.” Little Kids Rock students joined Loggins onstage and brought the crowd to their feet with a rendition of Mitch Ryder’s “Devil With a Blue Dress” which segued into Loggins’ toe-tapping hit “Footloose.”Loggins then joined the legendary Sam Moore in a fantastic duet of “I Thank You” after Moore drove the crowd wild with “Soul Man.” High School senior Ian Ackerman joined Moore on lead guitar for the performance. “I can’t believe I just got to play with him,” Ian said. “That man is an icon. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to be on stage with someone I have so much respect for.”Speaking of respect, 30 Rock star, Tracy Morgan was brought to tears when 12-year-old Little Kids Rock student Denaijah Pimentel performed an impromptu duet of “My Girl” with the one and only Smokey Robinson. Morgan shared his admiration for Smokey as he presented him with the “Rocker of the Year” award. In accepting the award, Robinson shared how important music education is. “I am an advocate for the arts in our schools,” Robinson said. “Putting arts back into the schools where they have been eliminated from is something we all should be part of because music is the international language.”Following his remarks, Robinson performed some of his most beloved hits including “I Second That Emotion.” And backed by Little Kids Rock students, he brought the crowd to a roar with the grand finale performance of “Get Ready,” the last chart-topper he wrote for the Temptations.The event’s performances and festivities highlighted an astounding milestone Little Kids Rock had achieved this year: enriching the lives of more than 500,000 inner-city public school students through bringing them free instrumental music lessons rooted in the popular music that they know and love. Little Kids Rock provides music teachers with the training, curricula, instruments, and continuing support they need to teach their kids to be life-long music makers. Coinciding with the celebration, the event’s title sponsor, The Hot Topic Foundation, challenged Little Kids Rock supporters to help reach the next half million music makers through the Half A Million Music Makers campaign. All donations received by Little Kids Rock through 12/31/2016 will be matched dollar-for-dollar by The Hot Topic Foundation, up to $500,000!For more information about the title sponsor, The Hot Topic Foundation, click here.