Rihanna Named Humanitarian of the Year by Harvard Foundation

Rihanna has been named the 2017 Harvard University Humanitarian of the Year, and will accept the Peter J. Gomes Humanitarian Award at a ceremony next Tuesday (Feb. 28).

“Rihanna has charitably built a state-of- the-art center for oncology and nuclear medicine to diagnose and treat breast cancer at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bridgetown, Barbados,” said S. Allen Counter, the Harvard Foundation’s director. Read The Rest

Dita Von Teese Strips Down for Charity

by Julie Gordon, Page Six

dita-perform-color2Dita Von Teese brought some sex appeal to the Hamptons charity circuit over the weekend.
Stripping down to little more than lace and feathers, she closed out Saturday’s Labor of Love event — which benefitted Housing Works — with a sexy burlesque performance.

A spy tells us the crowd was “surprised and delighted” as the seductress “ultimately went fully topless and danced off the stage covered only by beautiful burlesque feather fans.”

Three hundred people attended the soiree, held at “The Points Guy” Brian Kelly’s private Hamptons residence. The event is estimated to have raised over $40,000.

Kevin Hart Hosts Rally HealthFest in NYC

Rally Health, actor, comedian and Rally Health Ambassador Kevin Hart, and E! News host Maria Menounos hosted a free outdoor health festival, Rally HealthFest, at Nelson A. Rockefeller Park in Battery Park City, lower Manhattan a couple of weeks ago.  They wanted to show New Yorkers how making simple lifestyle changes can be a lot of fun and help improve their overall health.

The New York Rally HealthFest featured fitness activities including boot camps, yoga classes, rock climbing and spin classes, as well as an interactive kids’ zone, all supported by Rally partner Asphalt Green, an NYC nonprofit. Attendees also had a chance to participate in a group workout with Ron “Boss” Everline, Kevin Hart’s personal trainer; get nutritional tips from young celebrity chef Haile Thomas; and earn prizes for participating in activities. There were be plenty of healthy eats and beverages from Juice Press. Attendees also joined Rally partner DiamondBack to help build bicycles that will be donated to Madison Square Boys and Girls Club. Read The Rest

amfAR RAISES $1.2 MILLION AT 7TH ANNUAL INSPIRATION GALA NEW YORK

Naomi Campbell honored at the amfAR Inspiration Gala

Naomi Campbell honored at the amfAR Inspiration Gala

Leonardo DiCaprio, Whoopi Goldberg, Jason Derulo, Zayn Malik, Dwyane Wade, Gabrielle Union, Zac Posen, Michel Sidibé, Kelly Osbourne, Victoria Justice, and amfAR Chairman of the Board Kenneth Cole were among those who gathered at Skylight at Moynihan Station last night to support amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, at the seventh annual Inspiration Gala New York. Naomi Campbell and Louis Vuitton Men’s Artistic Director, Kim Jones, were honored at the event for their longtime support of the fight against AIDS. Whoopi Goldberg hosted the black-tie benefit and celebration of men’s style, which raised $1.2 million for amfAR’s life-saving AIDS research initiatives and featured performances by Jason Derulo and Nico & Vinz.

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Other guests in attendance included Anna Cleveland, Josephine Skriver, Alina Baikova, Devon Windsor, Andreja Pejic, Valery Kaufman, Nyle DiMarco, Karrueche, Nicolay Sereba, Vincent Dery, Lindsay Ellingson, Catherine McNeil, Lexi Boling, Felipe Diniz, Alex Lundqvist, Brandon Maxwell, Stephanie Seymour, Harry Brant, Peter Brant, Brian Kelly, and John Demsey, among others.

Master of ceremonies and longtime amfAR supporter Whoopi Goldberg opened the evening and introduced Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations. Sidibé spoke about UNAIDS’s support of amfAR’s efforts to find a cure for HIV by 2020 and thanked those who have supported amfAR’s Countdown to a Cure for AIDS initiative. amfAR Chairman of the Board Kenneth Cole, newly appointed International Goodwill Ambassador for UNAIDS, who stated that the cure for HIV has moved “from the realm of fantasy to the realm of possibility, and now, to the realm of probability in the foreseeable future.”

Zayn Malik presented the amfAR Award of Inspiration to his friend, Kim Jones, who continues Louis Vuitton’s legacy of support for the fight against AIDS.

Actress and iconic supermodel Naomi Campbell, who has been a devoted supporter of amfAR for 23 years, was then presented with the Award of Inspiration by her friend Wendy Williams. In her acceptance remarks, Campbell dedicated the award to everyone who has been affected by HIV/AIDS, and thanked amfAR “for bringing us to this much more hopeful point,” stressing that “we are nearly there and we are not going to give up.” Following Campbell’s speech, Honorary Chair Kate Moss appeared in a video to send her congratulations to friends Naomi and Kim.

The evening also featured two spectacular live performances, ending with an explosive performance by pop and R&B sensation Jason Derulo, who performed a set of his biggest hits including “Trumpets,” “Wiggle,” “Talk Dirty,” and “Want to Want Me.” Nico & Vinz, who earlier this week performed at the United Nations High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS, also performed their hit single “Am I Wrong.”

The evening’s live auction, conducted by Andrea Fiuczynski of Sotheby’s, featured an array of luxury items and exclusive experiences. Highlights included:

  • A private portrait sitting with one of today’s most influential photographers, Steven Klein.
  • A surprise package to attend the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation’s annual gala in St. Tropez.
  • A photograph by legendary photographer Herb Ritts, titled Backflip, Paradise Cove.
  • Donuts (Chocolate), a work by the world’s most famous and mysterious street artist, Banksy.
  • An opportunity to explore the stunning Tiger’s Nest Monastery, the most sacred monastery in Bhutan, with adventure explorer and world record holder Johan Ernst Nilson.
  • Exclusive Louis Vuitton scarves, donated by honoree Kim Jones.

The black-tie benefit, produced by Josh Wood Productions, also featured a full-scale menswear runway show. This year, the world’s top designers offered looks for a “Jet Set”-themed fashion show. Participating designers included Acne Studios, Alexander McQueen, Calvin Klein Collection, Diesel Black Gold, DSQUARED2, Givenchy, Helmut Lang, Kenneth Cole, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Missoni, Salvatore Ferragamo, Thom Browne, Todd Snyder, Valentino, and Versace, among others. The runway looks were styled by Benjamin Sturgill. Makeup was provided by M·A·C Cosmetics, and hair styling was provided by Rodney Cutler for Hairdressers Against AIDS. Runway Production and Casting were provided by Trew Productions. Décor was provided by Raul Avila, and music was provided by Honey Dijon.

amfAR Trustee R. Martin Chavez and Adam Norbury served as Event Hosts. Marc Jacobs, Quincy Jones, Michael Kors, Kate Moss, Zac Posen, Rihanna, Mario Testino, and Riccardo Tisci were Honorary Chairs. Event Chairs included Mert Alas, Jim Clerkin, amfAR Chairman of the Board Kenneth Cole, Fran Cutler, Alan Cumming, John Demsey, Paolo Diacci, amfAR Global Fundraising Chairman Milutin Gatsby, Bethann Hardison, Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka, Nayla Hayek, Cheyenne Jackson, Brian C. Kelly, Shayne Oliver, Marcus Piggott, Vincent Roberti, and Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union.

Harry Winston, M·A·C Viva Glam, and The Points Guy were the Presenting Sponsors. Moët Hennessy and Windows were the event’s Signature Sponsors. Reca Group was the Fashion Show Sponsor.

Delta Air Lines is the Official Airline of amfAR. Moët Hennessy is amfAR’s Official Wine and Spirits Partner.

The Inspiration series was launched in 2010 by amfAR and Josh Wood Productions to celebrate men’s style and fashion while raising funds for the Foundation’s life-saving AIDS research programs. Inspiration galas have taken place in New York, Paris, Los Angeles, Toronto, Miami, São Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro, raising more than $26 million to date.

Beyoncé Fans, BeyGOOD Support Flint, Inspire Volunteers across North America

Parkwood Entertainment, the entertainment and management company founded by Beyoncé, presented United Way of Genesee County with a generous donation of $82,234. to support residents of Flint, as they continue to feel the impacts of the water crisis. Ivy McGregor, director of philanthropy and corporate relations, presented the check at an event at a high school in Detroit, where United Way for Southeastern Michigan is supporting an innovative high school turnaround initiative.

Parkwood Entertainment presents check on behalf of Beyoncé's fans to support the residents of Flint, as they continue to feel the impacts of the water crisis. From left to right: Ivy McGregor, Director of Philanthropy and Corporate Relations for Parkwood Entertainment; Jamie Gaskin, President & CEO of United Way of Genesee County; Stacey Stewart, U.S. President for United Way Worldwide; and Dr. Herman Gray, President & CEO of United Way for Southeastern Michigan.

Parkwood Entertainment presents check on behalf of Beyoncé’s fans to support the residents of Flint, as they continue to feel the impacts of the water crisis. From left to right: Ivy McGregor, Director of Philanthropy and Corporate Relations for Parkwood Entertainment; Jamie Gaskin, President & CEO of United Way of Genesee County; Stacey Stewart, U.S. President for United Way Worldwide; and Dr. Herman Gray, President & CEO of United Way for Southeastern Michigan.

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BeyGoodNYC – Beyoncé and United Way Partner to INSPIRE AND BUILD COMMUNITY

United Way Of New York City Hosting Volunteer Event On June 2 To Benefit NYC Kids

 Part of a Nationwide Effort to Strengthen Communities

4United Way has aligned with Beyoncé’s BeyGood initiative to inspire everyone through The Formation World Tour to get involved in building stronger communities. Fans coming together—in activities big and small—make a difference in their communities throughout the course of the tour. Together, we can positively impact the world in…Good Formation!

In New York City, fans and volunteers helped by joining United Way of New York City on June 2 from 6:00 to 7:00 PM at their office (205 E. 42nd Street, 13th Floor) to build Reading Kits to support children living in some of New York City’s most-challenged neighborhoods.

Attendees of the volunteer event on June 2 were entered to win door prizes, including a pair of tickets to Beyoncé’s The Formation World Tour at Citi Field for either June 7 or June 8—FOUR (4) pairs available for each date!

Beyoncé fans can also support the United Way of Genesee County’s efforts to support the Flint Water Crisis by donating $10 through Crowdrise. Every $10 donation made to United Way through Crowdrise will help those affected by the water crisis, and gives fans the opportunity to win VIP tickets for The World Formation Tour. Ten randomly selected winners at each of the North American shows will be upgraded to the best seats in the house.

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Beyoncé’s BeyGOOD initiative will support local United Way programs and the work of United Way of Genesee County, which is continuing to respond to the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. United Way of Genesee County has been at the forefront of distributing bottled water and filtration systems, as well as providing emergency support services and prevention efforts to those in need. After the short-term needs of Flint residents have been met, United Way of Genesee County will provide the remaining funds to the Flint Child Health and Development Fund of the Community Foundation of Greater Flint, which will provide long-term developmental, educational and health support to children and families in the area.

“We are so grateful for this opportunity to partner with Beyoncé and the BeyGood initiative,” said Sheena Wright, President & CEO, United Way of New York City. “It is exciting that our partnership will impact the lives of the children and families in our ReadNYC initiative, and that our volunteers will have a special opportunity to see her—one of the greatest performers of our time!”

To learn more about United Way of New York City’s work, visit unitedwayNYC.org.

To learn more about United Way’s work with Beyoncé, visit beyonce.com/beygood.

She’s the Boss: Saran Kaba Jones, FaceAfrica (Time Mag Feature)

The following article by Aryn Baker was featured in Time.com on June 3rd, 2016…

Saran Kaba Jones is ensuring that water flows in her native country of Liberia

Saran Kaba Jones -Photo Credit: Peter Hapak for TIME When Saran Kaba Jones returned to her native Liberia in 2008, after spending nearly two decades abroad as an ambassador’s daughter, she was unprepared for the mayhem wreaked by years of civil war. “I had seen it on TV, but seeing kids on the street, selling snacks to support their families instead of going to school, that made it real,” she says. A 26-year-old investor with the Singapore Economic Development Board at the time, Kaba Jones thought she could spend a month in country, launch an educational scholarship fund and leave knowing she had done something for a nation that had nurtured her until she was 7. Read The Rest

Across the Pond: Together For Short Loves Midsummer Charity Ball (PICS)

From across the pond…

Midsummer Ball raises over £290,000 (over $420k) for UK children’s charity Together for Short Lives

Alesha Dixon, Judge on Britain's Got Talent at Together for Short Lives  via Fashion Bomb Daily

Alesha Dixon, Judge on Britain’s Got Talent at Together for Short Lives
via Fashion Bomb Daily

A star studded Midsummer Ball at Banqueting House for UK children’s palliative care charity Together for Short Lives, raised a staggering £290,000 in support of the charity’s work with seriously ill children and their families. The Midsummer Ball took place on Wednesday 1 June and was supported by Coutts.

Together for Short Lives’ special guests experienced a magical midsummer night to remember, enjoying a champagne reception, dining on an elegant and sumptuous menu. James Toseland and Melanie Sykes were the Ball’s hosts for the night, introducing talent from Gabrielle Aplin, Ella Henderson and Britain’s Got Talent finalist, Beau Dermott. Following an evening of stellar performances, Ball guests danced the night away with Soul II Soul, including the legendary 80s club classic Back to Life (I’m totally a fan!!). Read The Rest

5th Annual Smaltz Foundation Summer Fundraiser (PICS)

KASSRF-2434On Saturday, July 29th, the 5th Annual Smaltz Foundation Summer Fundraiser was held in Long Island, NY.  Better known as Ken’s Backyard BBQ Bash, the annual event was held to raise funds in support for people with dementia.  As is customary for this event, folks came dressed in their “backyard best” to dance to the sounds of PhearNone (Violin/DJ) and take advantage of fabulous live and silent auction items.  Leonard E. Burnett Jr. of Uptown magazine served as the co-chair for the event that was hosted by Toni Belafonte.

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5th Annual Smaltz Foundation Summer Fundraiser Backyard Bash

What began as a gathering of friends and family in the backyard of founder Ken Smaltz’s home, has become the core fundraiser for The Kenneth A. Smaltz, Sr. Foundation. The ANNUAL SUMMER BACKYARD BBQ BASH is an opportunity to raise money to gift families who cannot afford adult day care at local centers, increase awareness about Alzheimer’s care, and honor the families and recipients of the foundation’s gifts.

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