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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
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Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: April 2016

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140 Foundations Awarded For Brave Philanthropy

The signatories of Divest-Invest Philanthropy received the 2016 Nelson Mandela-Graça Machel Innovation Award for Brave Philanthropy from CIVICUS for their commitment to divest from fossil fuels and invest in climate solutions

Press Release – BOGOTA, Colombia, April 28, 2016 — The 140 foundations, family offices and charities of Divest-Invest Philanthropy were awarded the 2016 Nelson Mandela-Graça Machel Innovation Award for Brave Philanthropy on Thursday by CIVICUS, an international civil society alliance based in South Africa. The foundations, collectively representing more than $12 billion in assets, were honored as part of International Civil Society Week 2016 for their path-breaking commitment to divest from fossil fuels and invest in climate solutions.

This year’s Brave Philanthropy award marks a new category for the Nelson Mandela-Graça Machel Innovation Awards, which were created at the 2004 CIVICUS World Assembly to promote grassroots development and governance in the world.

“We added a Brave Philanthropy category to our Nelson Mandela-Graça Machel Innovation Awards because we wanted to celebrate examples of donors taking risks, of supporting unpopular causes, of pushing themselves and others to deliver better outcomes,” said Dhananjayan “Danny” Sriskandarajah, Secretary General of CIVICUS. “Divest-Invest is a fantastic example of donors walking the talk on something that should be mission-critical to everyone.”

The award was accepted by Dr. Ellen Dorsey, executive director of the Wallace Global Fund, on behalf of the 140 foundations at a ceremony hosted by CIVICUS and the National Directive Council of the Colombian Confederation in Bogota, Colombia. Wallace Global Fund has played a key role in the funding, organizing and growth of the global Divest-Invest movement, and has the led the campaign in the philanthropic sector.

“If you own fossil fuels, you own climate change,” said Dr. Dorsey. “Climate change will impact the mission of every foundation. We should heed the demands of the global climate justice movement calling on investors to withdraw their funds from fossil fuels. We receive charitable tax-status because we serve the social good, and our investments should as well. Philanthropy isn’t just any investor.”

Divest-Invest Philanthropy was launched in January 2014 by the Wallace Global Fund to support the wider divestment movement, pushing churches, cities, universities, pension funds, insurers and other institutional investors to invest morally in a time of climate change. Today, institutions and individuals pledging some form of divestment control assets of more than $3.4 trillion.

Divest-Invest Philanthropy has since attracted pledges from foundations such as the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, the Velux Foundations, the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, the Mary Robinson Foundation and Trust Africa. Signatories agree to drop existing investments in the top 200 fossil fuel companies and invest at least 5 percent of their portfolios into climate solutions, such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, clean technology and clean energy access, within a five-year period.

The director of Divest-Invest Philanthropy, Clara Vondrich, explained what animates members: “Climate change is the ultimate ‘threat multiplier,’ a fuel fanning flames of war, refugees, hunger and poverty – ultimately threatening arts, culture, education and human progress. Our members understand the silo between philanthropic investments and grantmaking is not acceptable in a time of climate change. We hope this award inspires the rest of the philanthropic sector to join us.”

The recognition of Divest-Invest for Brave Philanthropy coincides with the ratification of the historic Paris Agreement on climate change that was agreed to in December during COP21. At the United Nations signing ceremony in New York on April 22, 175 countries—including the United States and China—bound themselves to achieving a decarbonized global economy by mid-century.

“The global divest-invest movement was a primary driver of success at the climate talks in Paris last December, where the world’s governments agreed to ambitious action to be carbon-free by mid-century,” said Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UNFCCC. “But governments cannot do it alone; the private and nonprofit sectors also have a critical role to play in shifting markets and accelerating the transition to clean and safe energy. This is business as urgent.”

The Divest-Invest movement is already catalyzing changes in financial markets. At every level, investors are beginning to assess climate risk in their investment portfolios. It is increasingly clear that moving your investments is both the prudent thing to do, as well as ethical. “The demand for fossil-free investment options among investors is growing,” said Thomas Van Dyck, Managing Director-Financial Advisor of RBC Wealth Management’s SRI Wealth Management Group. “It is the job of the financial sector to keep up with demand and provide new and innovative financial vehicles for a cleaner, more sustainable planet.”

Former President of Ireland Mary Robinson said that civil society has a special duty of care to the disenfranchised: “As the world transitions, let us keep climate justice and clean energy access foremost in our minds. We ought not perpetuate the same imbalances of power in the new energy economy that defined the old. The future must work for the many, not just the few.”

A movement of grassroots activists using levers of finance to support social change contributed to successful, democratic transition in South Africa. “It is happening again today, led by students and faith, people of conscience are calling on their institutions to move their money to accelerate change,” said Dr. Dorsey, who began her work in the human rights field as an anti-Apartheid activist and lived in South Africa during the country’s historic transition. “There is a beautiful symmetry for today’s climate movement to receive this recognition named after Mandela and Machel, supported by Archbishop Tutu and awarded by a South Africa-based global civil society organization.”

For a full list of Divest-Invest Philanthropy signatories, please visit . For more information on the Nelson Mandela-Graça Machel Innovation Awards, please visit .

Source: Divest-Invest Philanthropy

Resnick Foundation Pledges $25 Million to the Lynda and Stewart Resnick Center for Public Health

Press Release – LOS ANGELES — The Milken Institute announced today that its Center for Public Health, headquartered in Washington, D.C., has been renamed the Lynda and Stewart Resnick Center for Public Health in recognition of a $25-million gift from the Resnick Foundation. The gift will greatly expand and accelerate the Institute’s public health programs in the United States and other nations.

“This generous contribution demonstrates the Resnicks’ profound commitment to the health of people everywhere,” said Institute Chairman Michael Milken. “It will help bring to population-level health the same focus that has allowed bioscience and medical research to extend and enhance lives of individuals so remarkably over the past century.”

The Lynda and Stewart Resnick Center for Public Health is a global clearinghouse for best practices among more than 100 schools and programs in public health; a driver of actionable public health information; a center for rigorous research; and a convener of individuals and institutions that can save untold lives. Recognizing the crucial role of prevention in reducing health-care costs, the Center brings together the government, academic and nonprofit sectors with consumer products companies, retailers, manufacturers, other large employers, health insurers and the media to focus on public health issues such as smoking and obesity.

Lynda and Stewart Resnick said: “The Milken Institute has been at the forefront of so much groundbreaking work, and it is our privilege to partner with this visionary organization in building a center that will change the landscape of public health and save lives.”

Washington, D.C., is home to much of the global health community, with the Resnick Center a short distance from the World Bank, the State Department, the White House, Congress, the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, the Washington offices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Health and Human Services, the National Science Foundation, and many other national and international organizations. The Center will mentor leaders in developing nations in building public health infrastructure and help coordinate efforts to assure global health security.

About the Milken Institute

The Milken Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank determined to increase global prosperity by advancing collaborative solutions that widen access to capital, create jobs and improve health. It does this through independent, data-driven research, action-oriented meetings and meaningful policy initiatives conducted by its eight centers.

The Family Connection Kindercamp Doubles Teaching Staff, Seeks To Improve Education Outcomes For U.S. Virgin Island Youth

Non-Profit Summer Camp Hopes to Raise $45,000 For 2016 Program to Boost Long-Term Sustainability 

Press Release – NEW YORK – April 4, 2016 – The U.S. Virgin Islands are more than white sandy beaches and tourist attractions. There is an education crisis on the island – 83% of 3rd-11th graders failed National English standards and 93% didn’t meet expectations in math. In an effort to combat these troubling numbers, The Family Connection Kindercamp is expanding its teaching staff to provide individualized attention to students who are most at risk. This six-week non-profit summer camp on St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, intervenes early in a child’s education through a child-led curriculum that puts the students in the driver’s seat, allowing them to be in charge of each days’ lesson plans. Such a method requires individualized attention for each student.

Nearly all children who have participated in the program saw immediate improvements, according to an independent review of the program by Elizabeth Jaeger, Ph.D., a former Assistant Professor of Psychology at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA. This year, the program is doubling the number of teachers from four to eight, while maintaining a class size of 80 students to lower the teacher-student ratio even further in its third summer.

The Family Connection Kindercamp will accept 80 students this summer after serving 105 children over its first two years. The program was co-founded by the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands along with Thelca Bedminster, a local elementary school principal, and Nicholas Midler.

This year, Midler hopes to raise $45,000, increasing from the $31,000 budget allocated to the 2015 program in order to accommodate the growing faculty. Midler and his team are in the middle of their fundraising efforts now, and plan to complete this year’s fundraising efforts by late May or early June. In the past, The Family Connection Kindercamp has received generous donations from companies such as Fintrac Inc., Sea Glass Properties, and Quantico. Midler hopes to interest cruise lines, and airlines that do business in the Virgin Islands, other local businesses, and foundations focused on early childhood education and disadvantaged youth in supporting the program and local population.

The Family Connection Kindercamp has its roots in Midler’s childhood in the Virgin Islands. Midler and his family lived in St. Thomas for five years while he was in middle and elementary school, where he was able to see first-hand the problems with the local education system. In the U.S. Virgin Islands, 57% of youth entering kindergarten test poorly on language skills, 47% of children 18-19 don’t have high school degrees. These jarring statistics spurred Midler to join with the Community Foundation and enlist Ms. Bedminster to try to tackle the problem at its earliest point.

“I know firsthand that personalized attention in the classroom can make all the difference,” said Midler. “I have dyslexia, and I was the last person in my class to read and write. I had a supportive classroom environment to help me succeed despite this challenge, and all young students deserve that same chance at success.” Studies have proven the effectiveness of early intervention: a Highscope study of Perry Preschool found that every dollar invested in pre-K saw a return of $12.90 over the child’s lifetime.

“Six weeks might not seem like a lot of time, but you’d be surprised what can be accomplished,” said Thelca Bedminster, program director of The Family Connection Kindercamp. “By the time our kids leave the program they are able to recite their ABCs and count to 100. We also saw increases in self-regulatory skills, knowledge of school routines and culture and, most importantly, a love of school.”

Bedminster points to one child who only spoke French Creole at the start of the program and could only indicate her name with its first letter. By the end of the program, the child was able to verbally communicate her needs to the teachers. According to Jaeger, staff were so impressed with the child-led learning activities that they planned to introduce them into their regular classrooms during the school year.

About Family Connection Kindercamp

The Family Connection Kindercamp is a registered 501(c)(3) organization that is operated and funded through a public-private partnership model. The program uses research-based, child-led curriculum to provide its students with a leg-up into kindergarten with an eye towards future academic success. By intervening early, the camp hopes to pave a smooth and successful academic future for all of its enrollees.

National Audubon Society Celebrates 13th Annual Rachel Carson Awards

This year’s honorees include Dominique Browning, Rebecca Moore and Dr. Kathryn D. Sullivan

NBC News’ Chief Environmental Affairs Correspondent Anne Thompson to emcee

Press Release – New York, NY (April 26, 2016) – The National Audubon Society will celebrate its 13th annual Women in Conservation Luncheon by presenting the 2016 Rachel Carson Award to Dominique Browning, Co-Founder & Senior Director of Moms Clean Air Force; Rebecca Moore, Director of Google Earth, Earth Engine and Earth Outreach; and Dr. Kathryn D. Sullivan, Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator, at The Plaza Hotel in New York City on Tuesday, May 17th. The Rachel Carson Award is the nation’s premier award recognizing visionary women whose dedication, talent and energy have greatly advanced environmental and conservation causes nationally and globally.

This year’s honorees will receive the 2016 Rachel Carson Award for their achievements:

Dominique Browning is the Co-Founder and Senior Director of Moms Clean Air Force, a special project of the Environmental Defense Fund that is working to strengthen clean air regulations. She writes regularly for The New York Times and and also contributes to numerous other publications. Browning spent most of her journalistic career in the magazine world, as an editor at Esquire, Texas Monthly, Newsweek, and House & Garden. She is the author of several books, including one for young children about air, called “Every Breath We Take,” and her most recent book is “SLOW LOVE: How I Lost My Job, Put on My Pajamas, & Found Happiness.” She has also served on various boards, including The New York Botanical Garden, the Battery Conservancy, and the Historic House Trust of New York City. Browning is the mother of two sons.

Rebecca Moore is Director of Google Earth, Earth Engine and Earth Outreach. She initiated and leads the development of Google Earth Engine, a new technology platform that puts an unprecedented amount of satellite imagery online and enables scientists to conduct global-scale monitoring and measurement of changes in the earth’s environment. Moore also conceived and leads the Google Earth Outreach program, which supports nonprofits, educators and indigenous communities in applying Google’s mapping tools to the world’s most pressing problems in environmental conservation, human rights, and cultural preservation. Her personal work using Google Earth was instrumental in stopping the logging of more than a thousand acres of redwoods in her Santa Cruz Mountain community. In 2013, Moore was recognized by the White House as a Champion of Change for Open Science.

Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator, is a distinguished scientist, renowned astronaut, and intrepid explorer. Prior to this position, she served as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Environmental Observation and Prediction and Deputy Administrator for NOAA. In this role, she directed work in the areas of weather and water services, climate science and services, and Earth-observations. She was the inaugural Director of the Battelle Center for Mathematics and Science Education Policy in the John Glenn School of Public Affairs at Ohio State University. Previously, she served as President and CEO of the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) in Columbus, OH. Dr. Sullivan was one of the first six women selected to join the NASA astronaut corps in 1978. She holds the distinction of being the first American woman to walk in space.

“For over a decade the National Audubon Society has highlighted the important role women have played in the environmental movement,” says Allison Rockefeller, Founding Chair of the Rachel Carson Awards Council. “Women understand the protection life requires, the conditions under which it thrives. We understand that all things rely on each other and that we must respect the fragility of our natural world.”

“Audubon New York congratulates Dominique Browning, Rebecca Moore and Dr. Kathryn D. Sullivan on receiving the 2016 Rachel Carson Award,” says Audubon New York Executive Director Erin Crotty. “Their leadership, expertise, and perseverance have played a critical role in addressing some of the most pressing environmental conservation issues of our time. Each and every day they embody the true spirit of the Rachel Carson Award by inspiring legions of young women to blaze their own path.”

The 2016 Rachel Carson Award ceremony will be emceed by Anne Thompson, chief environmental affairs correspondent for NBC News, and include remarks from David Yarnold, Audubon’s President and CEO; Allison Rockefeller, Founding Chair of the Rachel Carson Awards; and the Rachel Carson Award honorees. Since its inception, Audubon’s Rachel Carson Award has raised funds to support Audubon New York’s conservation efforts, including the campaign to protect the Long Island Sound and Coastal Stewardship Program, as well as National Audubon’s Women in Conservation Program. The luncheon at The Plaza Hotel will offer a full, locally sourced vegetarian menu catered by Liz Neumark, owner of Great Performances and member of the Audubon Women in Conservation Awards Council. The reception begins at 11:00 a.m. followed by lunch at noon. Tickets range from $185 to $2,500 for an individual ticket and $5,000 to $25,000 for a table of 10. The event is sponsored by Fiduciary Trust Company International and Google. For more information, please call 518-869-9731 or visit


The National Audubon Society saves birds and their habitats throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education and on-the-ground conservation. Audubon’s state programs, nature centers, chapters and partners have an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire and unite diverse communities in conservation action. Since 1905, Audubon’s vision has been a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Audubon is a nonprofit conservation organization. Learn more at and @audubonsociety.


To recognize outstanding women leaders in today’s conservation movement; to support environmental opportunities for girls and young women; and to educate women on important issues related to conservation and the environment.

5 Things You Need to Know About HIV

April marks STD Awareness Month, an annual observance that raises awareness about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and the importance of preventing, testing for, and treating STDs. It also presents an opportunity to highlight the ongoing impact of HIV across America.

While great strides have been made in the treatment of HIV and curbing the number of new HIV infections, there remains significant work yet to be done. With more than 1 million Americans living with HIV, it is critically important to be educated about HIV.

In observance of STD Awareness Month, here are Amida Care’s top five things to know about HIV.

1) HIV isn’t a death sentence

Although there is no cure for HIV yet, receiving a positive diagnosis is not the death sentence it once was. Medical advancements and the development of new drugs have transformed HIV infection into a treatable medical condition. People who are diagnosed early and adhere to their prescribed treatment regimen can now live longer, healthier lives.

2) 1 in 8 people with HIV don’t know they have it

Knowing your HIV status is crucial for both treatment and prevention. Today, getting tested is quick and easy, yet many people still do not know their status. Early detection empowers individuals to take concrete steps towards a healthier life for themselves and others. People who know their HIV status can get started on treatment sooner and reduce the risk of transmitting HIV to others.

3) Treatment is prevention

A primary goal of HIV treatment is to achieve viral suppression—or to be undetectable, meaning that the amount of HIV in the blood is too low to be detected. People who become undetectable are more likely to live longer, healthier lives and are much less likely to transmit the HIV virus to others. Consistent adherence to treatment is essential to ensure the best result.

4) PrEP helps protect against HIV infection

PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, is a treatment regimen that helps prevent HIV-negative people from becoming infected. The centerpiece of the treatment is a single pill taken once daily. PrEP is approved by the FDA and has been shown to be safe and effective; it has proven to be over 90 percent effective in preventing HIV when taken as prescribed. It does not protect against other STDs or pregnancy, and it is not meant for people who are already infected with HIV.

5) HIV does not affect everyone equally

Although there have been great strides over the past few decades in reducing HIV infection, the disproportionate rate of HIV among African Americans, Latinos, and the LGBTQ community, particularly transgender women, is a serious, ongoing health issue. Social determinants of health, such as food insecurity, unemployment, inadequate housing, lack of access to transportation, and stigma and discrimination are obstacles to accessing comprehensive care. It is crucial to break down the barriers that are stopping these communities from receiving preventive care and quality treatment.

At Amida Care—New York’s largest Medicaid special needs health plan (SNP) for people living with chronic health conditions including HIV/AIDS—we provide specialized, coordinated care that has helped to achieve a 75 percent viral suppression rate among our members living with HIV. We are committed to supporting the goal to End the AIDS Epidemic in New York State by 2020, reducing the number of new HIV infections from 3,000 per year to under 750, and ultimately to zero.

Winners Announced For MICA UP/Start Venture Competition

Four Teams Selected to Receive Up to $100,000 Total in Investment Funding

People’s Choice Award Recipient Receives $5,000

Press Release – Baltimore — Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) announces winners of the MICA Up/Start Venture Competition, the college’s first pitch and start-up contest for students, graduates and alumni who are launching or growing businesses. Participating judges awarded four teams up to $100,000 total in investment funding. Additionally, audience members selected their favorite venture for a $5,000 People’s Choice Award.


TNP Studios, founded by Jay Jackson ’16 (MPS in the Business of Art + Design), Micah Payne, Terrence Carpenter and Jack Rous, received $30,000 in investment funding. TNP Studios, LLC is a media company focused on talk shows that focus primarily on film, gaming and politics. It provides on-demand programming that aims to entertain as well as inform its audience through engaging and meaningful discussion.

MODERNature, founded by Julie Buisson ’15 (MBA/MA in Design Leadership) and Mark Verdecia, received $30,000 in investment funding. MODERNature is a company that specializes in the development of sustainable growing methods for use in cities. They use a mix of human centered design and biomimicry to create technologically-driven agricultural solutions that are truly ecologically minded.

Two Bolts Studios, founded by Sam Acuff ’15 (General Fine Arts BFA) and Brendan Choi ’16 (Interdisciplinary Sculpture BFA), received $25,000 in investment funding. Two Bolts Studios is a small fabricating shop that focuses on handmade furniture the incorporates reclaimed materials and industrial design. They want to make handcrafted furniture more accessible and bring work back to artisans and aspiring craftsmen.

Joint Youth Movement, founded by Juansebastian Serrano ’16 (Painting BFA), Renz Balagtas ’14 (General Fine Arts BFA) and Sam Rietenbach ’16 (General Fine Arts BFA), received $15,000 in investment funding. The Joint Youth Movement’s (JYM’s) mission is to positively impact cultural and creative exchange in Baltimore City by uniting and promoting emerging artists and creatives in a professional and fair (equal access) manner, and in a socially conscious way. Their vision is to establish themselves as the curator and retail location of choice for the emerging artists and clients in Baltimore and the Mid-Atlantic region.

Pi, founded by Jordan Bradley ’16 (Interactive Arts BFA), received $5,000 in investment funding as the People’s Choice Award winner. Pi is an entirely new kind of visual day planning app for creative people. It helps users set manageable plans for the day, without sacrificing health and wellness.

An initiative guided by award-winning business owner and serial entrepreneur Monyka Berrocosa, judges for the competition included: Thibault Manekin, co-founder of Seawall Development; Tracey Halverson ’98, president and chief visionary officer, Fastspot; James D. Wright, co-trustee, Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation; Michelle Mayer, managing director at Merrill Lynch Private Banking and Investment Group; Michael Binko, founder/CEO of Startup Maryland; Demian Costa, managing partner, Sagamore Ventures; Arlene Thayer, executive vice president and COO, AAAMP at Katz Abosch; Dianna Toruella Gaines, managing partner and founder, Tu Casa Development Group LLC; and Kevin Apperson, chief information officer, Maxim Healthcare Services.

MICA was awarded a three-year, $600,000 grant from the Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation to launch the development of the college-wide entrepreneurship initiative that will capitalize on the unique talents of the college’s students and recent graduates.

Academy Award Winning Actor Forest Whitaker to Host All-Star Benefit Concert Performers4Peace, To Support the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative

Cast to Include Tony Award Winner James Monroe Iglehart and American Idol Alum Constantine Maroulis

Academy Award, Golden Globe Award & BAFTA winner and UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace & Reconciliation, Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland, The Butler, Bird, Broadway’s Hughie) will host the Performers4Peace benefit concert Monday, May 9, 2016 at 8pm at 42West (514 West 42nd Street, featuring performances by Broadway artists to support the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative’s work in peace and community building.

Performers include Tony Award winner James Monroe Iglehart(Aladdin, Memphis, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), Olivier Award winner Lesli Margherita (Dames at Sea, Matilda, Zorro the Musical [West End]), Tony Award nominee Daniel Breaker (Book of Mormon, Passing Strange, Shrek the Musical), American Idol & Tony Award nominee Constantine Maroulis (Rock of Ages, Jekyll & Hyde, The Wedding Singer, Friend Art), Tony Award nominee Brandon Uranowitz (An American in Paris, Baby It’s You!), Mara Davi (A Chorus Line, Drowsy Chaperone, Dames at Sea, White Christmas), Carly Hughes (Chicago, Pippin, Book of Mormon), Marcus Paul James (Rent, In the Heights, Motown), Mykal Kilgore (The Wiz Live, Motown, Book of Mormon), Jill Paice(An American in Paris, Matilda, The 39 Steps), Catherine Ricafort (Disaster!, Allegiance) and Matt Gould and Griffin Matthews, co-author’s of Invisible Thread recently at Second Stage, who will kick off the night performing the title song “Invisible Thread.” Additional performers to be announced.

Olivier Award nominee Stafford Arima (Allegiance, The Secret Garden in Concert, Ragtime [West End], Carrie, Altar Boyz) will direct.

Performers4Peace is produced by Untitled Theatricals (An American in Paris, Hughie, Dames at Sea) in association with Langfelder Presents. The concert will be music directed by Juilliard alumna Annastasia Victory (Little Dancer, Leap of Faith, 3 Mo’ Divas), and the band will be comprised of musicians from various Broadway shows (The Lion King, Les Miserables, An American in Paris and The Color Purple, among others).


Founded in 2012 by Forest Whitaker, the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative’s mission is to help societies impacted by chronic violence and destructive conflicts transform into safer and more prosperous communities. WPDI works to empower and inspire youth, women and global citizens to build peace across the planet. WPDI currently has projects in South Sudan, Uganda, Mexico, Myanmar and the United States. For more information:


For tickets visit Tickets range from $65 – $250.
There are a limited number of VIP tickets available for a meet & greet with Forest Whitaker.

For more information visit:

BrightFocus Foundation Announces $11.7 Million for Research on Alzheimer’s and Vision Diseases

Record Level of Scientific Investment for Maryland Nonprofit

Press Release – Clarksburg, MD — BrightFocus Foundation today announced $11.7 million in promising new scientific research projects, its largest annual investment toward finding cures for Alzheimer’s disease, macular degeneration, and glaucoma.

The grants were approved by the BrightFocus Board of Directors after thorough peer review by panels of leading scientists in each field. With these latest grant awards, BrightFocus will have funded more than $163 million in research since its inception, with nearly $32 million in the last three years alone.

“Until we change the trajectory of these diseases through more effective treatments and cures, these age-related diseases will take a growing toll on families, taxpayers, and the economy. We must act with greater urgency than ever,” said the foundation’s President and CEO Stacy Pagos Haller, who noted that 10,000 Americans turn 65 each day.

More than five million Americans now have Alzheimer’s, a number that could triple by midcentury. Macular degeneration, which hinders central vision, affects as many as 11 million people in the U.S., and could reach 22 million by 2050. Glaucoma, which impairs peripheral vision and can occur without warning, impacts an estimated three million Americans and is the leading cause of blindness among Hispanics and African-Americans.

BrightFocus, which receives no government funding, currently manages a portfolio of more than 150 research projects around the globe. “I want to thank the generosity of our donors for making it possible to support some of the most promising science in the world,” Haller said.

The names of this year’s grant recipients will be announced this summer, after completion of final agreements with researchers and supporting institutions.

To learn more about BrightFocus, and to find resources for families impacted by Alzheimer’s, macular degeneration, and glaucoma, visit

Haymakers for Hope Hosts 6th Annual “Haymakers for Hope Rock ‘N Rumble” Boxing Charity Event at the House of Blues Boston on May 19th

Local Amateur Boxers Step into the Ring to Literally Fight for a Cure of Cancer and Prove that Not Every Fight Ends at the Bell!

Press Release – Boston, MA (April 28, 2016) Haymakers for Hope, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is proud to announce the 6th anniversary of the “Haymakers for Hope Rock ‘n Rumble” white collar boxing charity event at the House of Blues® Boston on Thursday, May 19, 2016. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Since its inaugural event in 2011, Haymakers for Hope (H4H) has raised more than $4.5 million for cancer research, and has trained more than 350 participants by providing them with four months of boxing training from prominent local gyms in anticipation of their first amateur sanctioned boxing match in front of a live audience. At this year’s annual “Rock ‘n Rumble,” the organization hopes to raise upwards of $400,000 to knock out cancer.

For the 6th anniversary event, 30 brave men and women living in Boston and Greater Boston will compete in boxing matches throughout the night against equally skilled opponents to help raise money for cancer research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and other cancer focused organizations. Leading up to fight night, the Haymakers for Hope team places their event participants in boxing gyms convenient to their respective home or work. All participants train individually and within small intimate groups, learning the fundamentals of the sweet science while creating lasting bonds with their trainers and H4H colleagues.

“In our six years of existence, we’ve seen men and women from all walks of life step into the squared circle and literally take their best shot at knocking out cancer, said Co-Founder Andrew Myerson. “This year we are proud to feature fire fighters, investors, managers, event producers, entrepreneurs, and other participants with various backgrounds.”

Haymakers for Hope “Rock ‘n Rumble” fights are scheduled to go for three, two-minute rounds, and the entire boxing card is sanctioned by USA Boxing.

General admission tickets are $75 (standing room only), VIP & box seating packages begin at $150, and sponsorship packages are available for $2,500 and up. For more information on tickets and sponsorship opportunities, please visit

About Haymakers for Hope:

Haymakers for Hope is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to raising money and awareness for cancer research through organizing charitable boxing events. Founded in 2009 by Andrew Myerson and Julie Anne Kelly, Haymakers for Hope has helped raise over $4.5 million for cancer research. For more information, visit us at and; friend us at and follow us at

About Dana-Farber Cancer Institute:

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is a principal teaching affiliate of the Harvard Medical School and is among the leading cancer research and care centers in the United States. It is a founding member of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, designated a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute. It provides adult cancer care with Brigham and Women’s Hospital as Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center and it provides pediatric care with Boston Children’s Hospital as Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center is the top ranked cancer center in New England and fifth nationally, according to U.S. News & World Report. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is one of the largest recipients among independent hospitals of National Cancer Institute and National Institutes of Health grant funding.

Dream Foundation’s 6th Annual Flower Empower Luncheon Will Raise Funds for Community Program that Delivers Comfort to Thousands of Local Residents

Annual event celebrates dedicated volunteers who assemble and deliver more than 150 fresh bouquets each week throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura County

Press Release – Santa Barbara, Calif. — Dream Foundation will hold its 6th Annual Flower Empower Luncheon on Thursday, May 19th. Proceeds from the event, which recognizes Flower Empower volunteers, sponsors, and growers, are vital to supporting the program that makes weekly deliveries of beautiful bouquets to those in need. Last year, Flower Empower delivered 7,500 bouquets from Goleta to Ventura.

“Over the past 21 years, the Flower Empower Program has been a tremendous source of happiness in our community,” says Kisa Heyer, Dream Foundation Chief Executive Officer. “We are honored and delighted to spend an afternoon acknowledging those who have been instrumental to its success.”

The luncheon will be held at the Bates Ranch House, a historic, oceanfront property in Carpinteria, overlooking beautiful Rincon Point. The event will bring the community together for great food, a warm celebration, wonderful surprises, and fabulous auction items all to benefit the Flower Empower Program.

Each week, Flower Empower volunteers create dozens of arrangements using donated flowers and deliver them to hospitals, hospices, cancer centers, and personal residences. The bouquets are gifts of kindness and compassion to community members in need, including those facing illness, loss or recovery, providing them a gesture of fellowship, joy, and inspiration.

This year’s Flower Empower event will honor and recognize the following individuals:

  • Diane & Tim Brown, 2016 Flower Empower Sponsors
  • Lisa & George Hagerman, 2016 Flower Empower Sponsors
  • Alison Wrigley & Geoffrey Rusack, 2016 Flower Empower Sponsors
  • Nissrin Mahmoud & Bob Fuladi, 2016 Flower Empower Sponsors
  • Yoze Van Wingerden, 2016 Grower of the Year
  • Jan & Jay Anderson, Volunteers of the Year
  • Delaney Werner, Volunteer of the Year

Also in attendance and serving as host, will be NewsChannel3’s Alan Rose. Rose is a long-time, dedicated supporter of Dream Foundation, its mission and programs, including Flower Empower.

Tickets to this event can be purchased online through Dream Foundation’s website for $100 per ticket. Attendance for this popular event is limited to 250 attendees, so the public is encouraged to act fast to take part in this unique event.

Flower Empower receives no federal or state funding and relies solely on corporate and individual contributions and grants. Dream Foundation hopes its 6th Annual Flower Empower Luncheon will raise awareness of and support for all of its programs, including Flower Empower.

About Dream Foundation:

Dream Foundation, the only national dream-granting organization for terminally-ill adults, fulfills final Dreams that provide inspiration, comfort and closure at the end of life. With the support of a nationwide network of volunteers, hospices, health care organizations and committed donors, Dream Foundation has given life to nearly 25,000 final Dreams over the past two decades and has never turned down a qualified request. For more information, please visit

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