NBA Legend, entrepreneur and philanthropist

May 8, 2008

Earvin “Magic” Johnson received the 3rd annual USA TODAY Hollywood Hero Award. It was presented by USA TODAY President and Publisher Craig A. Moon. Johnson was honored for his work in entertainment, under served communities and funding of the Magic Johnson Foundation.

The foundation was founded in 1991. Its purpose is to work on developing programs and support community-based organizations that address the educational, health and social needs of ethnically diverse, urban communities.

Over the past few years, the Magic Johnson Foundation awarded more than $1.1 million to community-based organizations that focus on HIV/AIDS education and prevention It supported more than 800 minority high school students with college scholarships (through the Taylor Michaels Scholarship Program), opened 20 Magic Johnson Community Empowerment Centers located in under served communities across the country, and provided a range of community-based initiatives including an annual Children’s Mardi Gras and holiday toy drive.

“He’s the perfect Hollywood Hero,” said USA TODAY president and publisher Craig Moon, “the award is about someone who gives more than just their name or money. Magic is a man who gives his time.” -looktothestars.org

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Jolie and Charity

May 8, 2008

Besides being on the board of advisors for the Yele Haiti Foundation, Angelina Jolie is also the Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR. Brad Pitt and her took time to help Wyclef Jean with his Clean Streets project. She has arranged a deal with People Magazine allowing them to print the first picture showing her visibly pregnant for a $500,000 in exchange to give to the charity.

Angelina has traveled to refugee camps around the world since filming Tomb Raider. When she visited Afghan refugees in Pakistan, she donated $1 million to help. She also took time during her missions to visit places like Sudan’s war-torn Darfur, Sierra Leone, Cambodia and Tanzania.

She covered all her costs while on the missions, and shared the working and living conditions as the UNHCR field staff. Jolie pledged $5 million to set up a wildlife sanctuary in the north-western province of Battambang in Cambodia.

According to tax records, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt donated more than $8 million to charity in 2006 alone.


Rainforest Help :)

May 8, 2008

Sting and his wife Trudie Styler co-founded the Rainforest Foundation International (RFI). It’s a foundation fund that was created in 1989. The charity is to save the world’s rainforests, and so far it has raked in millions, but less than half the riches actually funded tree-saving programs, according to charity watchdogs and a New York Post review of tax records.

According to Look To The Stars the purpose of the fund is to raise awareness about the need to conserve tropical forests, support indigenous peoples, their land, their rights and to develop resource management. Sting and his wife will celebrate their 15th annual Rainforest Foundation Fund benefit concert, called some Kinda Legacy, at Carnegie Hall on May 8th. RFI began its focus on Brazil and then spread throughout Latin America, Africa and Asia.

The Mayor declared May “Rainforest Awareness Month.” This is to help raise awareness of both the rainforest and the Fund’s mission. Furthermore, the Empire State Building will be lit in green Thursday evening during the event.

Other than sting, performers at the concert will include Billy Joel, James Taylor and Brian Wilson. After the concert their will be a dinner at the Grand Ballroom at the plaza Hotel, then items will be up for auction to raise money. Some of the impressive items will be a smart car, an opera night in Paris and stay at the Ritz, Bruce Springsteen memorabilia and concert tickets, tickets to a Police concert, a meeting with Tiger Woods, a visit to Law & Order, and much more.


Making a Difference

May 8, 2008

A popular organization people and celebrities get involved with is Save the Children. It is the leading independent organization creating lasting change in the lives of children in the United States and all over the world. Actress, Mischa Barton showed her support at the 75th Anniversary Benefit at Avery Fisher Hall in New York City. This organization is recognized for its commitment, heart, innovation and collaborating events. Volunteers are welcomed into the communities. They help children and families help themselves.


Rascal Flatts Helps Children’s Hospital

May 7, 2008

Rascal Flatts, country music band will receive the &th Annual Academy of Country Music/Home Depot Humanitarian Award this month for their donation. According to looktothestars.org the generous band donated over $2 million to the Monro Carell Jr Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville. This is known to be the largest fund-raising donation in the hospital’s history.

The 43rd Academy of Country Music Awards on May 18 will take a look and recognize “country music artists who serve others, have a kind heart and spirit and help build the dreams of those in need.” The award will be presented to the members Jay DeMarus, Gary LeVox and Joe don Rooney.

The donations from the band will be given to the research hospital, one of the top 10 pediatric cancer care centers in the US. The proceeds came from their concerts.

“We have been blessed with some incredible successes in our career the past couple of years,” said Rooney. “The most rewarding thing for us is the opportunity to give back to our communities.”


Celebrities Make Their Voice Heard For Burma

May 7, 2008

Entertainers like Will Ferrell and Jennifer Aniston have joined the Us Campaign for Burma. They are asking others to help and do the same for the Burma: It Can’t Wait Campaign. Celebrities are striving tp raise one million voices in 30 days against the human rights atrocities that are involved in the Southeast Asian country.

The government of Burma aren’t being fare and serving justice to the people of the country. They are asking for the freedom of Nelson Mandela. The focus of the campaign is asking people to speak up for the leader of Burma’s democratic party, Aung San Suu Kyi, which has been deprived of her freedom for 12 of the last 18 years. She has appealed to people around the world, saying “Please, use your liberty to promote ours.”

On Friday, May 2 southwestern Burma was hit by a cyclone, leaving up to 60,000 dead. Tens of thousands went missing after the disaster and hundreds of thousands displaced or homeless. This devastating disaster is being called the worst in Asia since the 2004 tsunami. Despite the information about the approaching cyclone in advance, the government did not warn its citizens. The Campaign For Burma is accepting donations to help with the relief efforts in the medium-term. The Burmese government is currently blocking aid agencies from offering their support.

For more information visit the U.S. Campaign For Burma and to view celebrity videos go to BurmaItCantWait.org


Major Story

April 24, 2008

Opportunity Village is a 100% local Las Vegas not-for-profit organization, raising 80% of its own annual $11 million operating budget wile continuing to be self-sufficient. Economic impact studies show that it has saved Nevada’s taxpayers almost $1 billion in its fifty year history (Ed Guthrie, Opportunity Village Executive Director.) It serves people with intellectual disabilities and has been for 54 years. This charity helps them by providing them with vocational training, employment for future jobs, and social recreation services that make their lives much more and fulfilling. There are a variety of programs and services they carry. Many individuals in our city raise awareness and much needed funds to support the very special people they serve.

Opportunity Village Fundraiser

Some of the benefits the disabled have are long term work experience. It’s common that short-term job placements that come today and gone tomorrow. Instead, Opportunity Village has commodities and services through negotiations with local businesses. These businesses are effective and can help even people with severe disabilities get long-term stable employment. Usually, this is their only vocational option.

Celebrities like Siegfried and Roy help out with events. Taken with OV Staff- Caesars Palace

Siegfried and Roy with OV Staff and Client

At this organization, they get a lot with vocational training and employment programs. The disable have a chance to develop important job skills that offer a variety of opportunities for higher placement for each person. With the learning experience they get, they grow and enhance their abilities. Some are able to grasp new assignments and eventually get to higher levels of difficulty. With the classes and important vales they learn, it prepares them for more jobs, whether it be within Opportunity Village Work Centers, or at other jobs throughout the community.

Furthermore, Opportunity Village has paid over 2.5 million in wages to people in the community who are known to be unemployable. Having done this, it allows people with significant disabilities to be independent, self-sufficient and more involved and productive in the community. Donations come from cash gifts, deferred gifts, real estate, appreciated securities, and in kind gifts. Here is a link to how there 990 form works.

Document Shredding is done there. They provide document destruction services to leading banks, gaming properties, small businesses and government entities. They wanted to become the best in the industry. Nonetheless, they agreed with the demands of the National Association of Information Destruction (NAID), they accomplished their standards and became Nevada’s leading document destruction facility.

They have numerous events being held throughout the year. One of the most popular events that take place every year is called the Magical Forest, which operates nightly. They have million of lights, festive displays on the entire campus, new attractions and exciting rides for kids. Check out their calender for upcoming events.

I had a chance to interview Holly Spoor, Resource Development Director. She answers questions having to do with the organization and talks about celebrities that have contributed. This is what she had to say…

Overall, year after year they are proud to be honored as Las Vegas’ favorite charity in the RJ’s “Best of Las Vegas” reader poll. With your contribution you will keep everything secure and stable for the future of Opportunity Village and leave a lasting legacy for many years to come.

Below is an inspiring video of a girl named Dana whos life changed forever after being in a serious car accident. Her family turned to Opportunity Village when she became disabled.