LOS ANGELES, Oct. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles (BBBSLA) honored members of the Los Angeles community at ‘The Big Night Out & In’ hybrid gala, Thursday, October 21 at the Fairmont Century Plaza, in conjunction with a Virtual Event with celebrity chef Antonia Lofaso and host, Billy Harris. This year’s event raised more than $1,050,000, breaking BBBSLA fundraising records. Michael E. Kassan, Founder, Chairman & CEO, MediaLink, took home the Walt Disney Philanthropist of the Year Award. Stacy Green, Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer at Sony Pictures Entertainment, was honored with the 2021 Sherry Lansing Award, and the Los Angeles Rams received the Defender of Potential Award.
The gala’s co-hosts, actress, director and Big Sister Heather Hemmens and auctioneer Nick Di Nieri, began the awards portion of the evening.
Paul Buccieri, President & Chairman of A+E Networks Group®, presented Stacy Green with the Sherry Lansing Award in recognition of her lifelong personal and professional commitment to diversity and inclusion, public education and mentorship.
Upon accepting her honor, Green said, "Being in the Women in Entertainment mentorship program and partnering with Big Brothers Big Sisters has brought me more than I’d ever thought. My time as a mentor was a silver lining and affirmed my professional experience, giving me a renewed sense of hope. The key to my personal success is helping others fulfill their dreams."
Nick Di Nieri presented the Defender of Potential Award to the LA Rams and the Community Relations team. The Los Angeles Rams and its Community Relations team’s involvement in BBBSLA has included NFL Inspire Change and game tickets that offered BBBSLA’s Big/Little matches memorable experiences. Their outreach extends to a $25,000 Giving Tuesday donation, grants, and, most recently, Tyler Higbee and A’Shawn Robinson’s participation in BBBSLA’s fashion show.
Carolyn Everson, President of Instacart, presented the Walt Disney Philanthropist of the Year Award to Michael E. Kassan, for his involvement in the organization and believing that mentorship represents the foundation of a successful life path. He is a leading member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America’s Board of Directors.
Kassan shared, "From the beginning, it has been clear to me that the work of Big Brothers Big Sisters is so valuable because it is so personal. Personal to every Big and every Little and personal to me." Continuing, Kassan said, Big Brothers Big Sisters puts the children first, and in great company, by pairing them with the Bigs as mentors and champions. Helping hands and believers who can liberate the potential in every child."
This year, for those not able to attend the live event, the "Big Night In" aspect of the gala, guests joined a virtual dining experience led by celebrity chef Antonia Lofaso. The evening included a gourmet multi-course meal with wine and cocktails delivered to guest’s home, a virtual lesson from master mixologist Charlotte Voisey, and an interactive Zoom hosted by "Iron Chef" judge Billy Harris.
The Big Night Out & In Gala was generously sponsored by Ascential, A+E Networks, Oro Capital Advisors, Disney Ad Sales, Fox, Hearst, Horizon Media, Marilyn & Jeffrey Katzenberg, Publicis Media, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Warner Media, AT&T, Dentsu, Facebook, IPG, Lion Tree, Media Brands, Viacom CBS, American Express, The Chuck Lorre Family Foundation, City National Bank, C.I.T./One West Bank, The Fries Family & Liberty Global, Macerich, Mar Vista Investment Partners and Silas Meyers, NBCUniversal, Mattel, Nickelodeon, Sherry Lansing Foundation, Spotify, Navid & Joanne Mahmoodzadegan, Union Bank, Universal Music Group, Vicki Martin & Preston Johnson, WWP / Group M, United Talent Agency, Adriana & Jay Baliban, Omnicom Group, Sucherman Group, Procter & Gamble, The Hollywood Reporter, Media Village.
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SOURCE Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles