Assistance League of Los Angeles celebrated 100 years of service in the Los Angeles community on Saturday evening, October 12th, 2019, at the DIAMOND ANNIVERSARY GALA – A CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION, presented by Hasbro and held at Paramount Pictures Studios in Hollywood. Additional sponsors included Paramount, Viacom, eOne, Saban Entertainment, and Nickelodeon, among others.
500 guests were on hand to honor both current and past members of the League, and to celebrate their century of volunteer service. Attendees included leaders from Hasbro, Paramount, eOne, Nickelodeon, CBS Television Network, Paul Mitchell, BeatDapp, American Business Bank, the Los Angeles Police Department, as well as fashion designer Kevan Hall, actors Colin Hanks and Maria Elisa Camargo, and many other notable Angelenos.
The evening kicked off with a champagne reception and silent auction at the beautiful Paramount Theater. Guests bid on items ranging from hotel stays and trips to one-of-a-kind dining experiences and many other items, including wine and restaurant packages. Thanks to the night’s presenting sponsor, global play and entertainment company, Hasbro; VIP guests were treated to a special appearance by TRANSFORMERS character OPTIMUS PRIME while they enjoyed bespoke cocktails.
During the plated dinner, guests watched the world premiere of a short film highlighting the chapter’s activities over the last century. The 100-year legacy in Los Angeles is closely tied to the entertainment community. For several decades beginning in the 1920s, the League’s early pioneers operated a film locations bureau to fund their service projects, and for many years, the Assistance League Tea Room was a lunch hotspot for members and Hollywood stars including Mary Pickford, Shirley Temple, Jean Harlow, Cary Grant, Rita Hayworth, Joseph Cotton, Orson Welles and many others.
Taking the stage, Jim Gianopulos, CEO, Paramount Pictures, spoke about the triangular partnership between Paramount Pictures, Hasbro and Assistance League of Los Angeles as he helped Board President Kathy Balzer honor Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner with the Assistance League of Los Angeles Hero Award. The evening concluded with a stunning performance by Grammy, Tony and Emmy nominee and Platinum recording artist Vanessa Williams, a supporter of the League’s mission and long history in Los Angeles.
“Hasbro is grateful to have the opportunity to support the incredible work that Assistance League of Los Angeles does to improve the lives of thousands of children in the local community each year,” said Brian Goldner, Chairman and CEO, Hasbro, Inc. “While we are deeply honored to receive their Hero Award, the true heroes are the dedicated members of Assistance League of Los Angeles for making the world a better place for children and their families for 100 years.”
Launched by a small group of women in 1919, Assistance League of Los Angeles has directly supported millions of children and families in Los Angeles over the last 100 years. The chapter’s programs, Operation School Bell®, Foster Children’s Resource Center, Preschool Learning Center, Theater for Children Program and Apt. 3C Bright Future Scholarship Program, serve 22,000 homeless, foster or impoverished children every year. League programs provide clothing, hygiene products, school supplies, arts enrichment, preschool education and college funding for some of LA’s most vulnerable children.
“We honor the important and life-changing work of all members – past and present – this evening,” said Melanie Merians, Assistance League of Los Angeles CEO. “We are so proud of the accomplishments of the last 100 years, and of the tireless devotion to service our volunteer members give to help those less fortunate in our community. With more than 17,000 children in the Los Angeles Unified School District designated homeless, and 30,000 children in the foster system, the need, and the urgent mission continues, and our work does not stop.”
About Assistance League of Los Angeles
For 100 years, Assistance League of Los Angeles has improved the quality of life for disadvantaged youth in Los Angeles. The chapter’s programs remove barriers to education for thousands of underserved and impoverished Los Angeles youth, providing education, shoes, clothing, books and an introduction to the arts. Assistance League of Los Angeles currently serves 22,000 homeless, foster or impoverished children annually. For more information, visit http://www.assistanceleaguela.org.