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The stars came out in early September not only to celebrate the marking of the 75th anniversary of Save the Children but to hail the former U.S. Commanders in Chief George Bush Sr and Bill Clinton for their humanitarian efforts worldwide. The specific work recognized was the presidents’ efforts to raise money for the victims of the tsunami in Indonesia and Hurricane Katrina.

Melinda French Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, was also recognized. The foundation has given $110 million to Save the Children over 11 years in an effort to help reduce child mortality rates in 18 developing countries, said Foundation spokesman Mike Kiernan. Save the Children was created in 1932 to ensure the well-being of children worldwide, including 12 and more than 50 countries.

Academy Award-nominated Samuel L. Jackson was the master of ceremonies at the event, which took place in a tent outside of the renowned Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall. A long list of dignitaries and a who’s who of Hollywood attended the event, including Julianne Moore, Drew Carey, Mischa Barton, Edie Falco, and Blythe Danner. Representing Save The Children on the night were Mark Kennedy Shriver, vice president and managing director of the charity’s U.S. programs, and Charles MacCormack, president and CEO.

The evening also featured Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, a group of musician who lived in refugee camps after fleeing the tumultuous environment of their homeland. The band’s leader, Reuben Koroma, worked with Save the Children in the camps where he encouraged the children to express their experiences through music and dance.

The work of Save the Children has made significant inroads in countries around the world. The organization states that most children are polio free, that the number of children who can read and write has increased by almost 50 percent, and that half as many children age five die each year now compared to in 1960.

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