Six-time Oscar nominated, Emmy, Golden Globe and Tony Award winning actress Glenn Close will be honored with the AGA Leadership Award for her philanthropic endeavors at the second annual American Giving Awards (AGAs) presented by Chase.

Hosted by Joel McHale (NBC’s “Community,” “The Soup”), the AGAs will air on Saturday, December 8 (8-10 p.m. ET) on NBC from the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, CA.

“We are proud to present Glenn Close with the AGA Leadership Award,” said Peter L. Scher, Executive Vice President and Head of Corporate Responsibility, JPMorgan Chase. “Glenn’s continuous generosity and her commitment to raising awareness for mental illness have shown that in addition to being a remarkable actress, she is also an extraordinary advocate.”

In 2009, Glenn Close — with the blessing of her sister Jessie, who lives with bipolar disorder and her nephew, Calen, who lives with schizoaffective disorder — co-founded BringChange2Mind, a not for profit organization committed to ending the stigma, and prejudice around mental illness. The Close family had learned that stigma can be as devastating as the diseases themselves. The evolution of this movement began when Jessie asked Glenn to use her celebrity to focus on the stigma. It grew out of Glenn’s first-hand observations of Jessie’s and Calen’s struggles with their illnesses and their brave journey to recovery. It was further informed by Close’s subsequent volunteer work at Fountain House, a globally-acclaimed, New York based, clubhouse model program that provides people with mental illness critical access to education, employment and community.

BringChange2Mind was created with The Balanced Mind Foundation, Fountain House, Garen and Shari Staglin of IMHRO (International Mental Health Research Organization), and has the support of the major mental health organizations in this country. BringChange2Mind partners with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) on a national walk series called NAMIWalks, which had 40 BringChange2Mind teams across the country raising awareness about anti-stigma messaging and raising funds for local mental health services earlier this year.

In October 2009, BringChange2Mind created a national anti-stigma public service campaign. Its powerful, signature PSA is raising awareness about mental illness and has, to date, reached nearly one billion media impressions. The PSA was directed by Ron Howard and John Mayer lent his song “Say” to the cause. Not only were Glenn, Jessie and Calen in the PSA, but they were joined by Jessie’s daughter, Mattie and Glenn’s daughter, Annie — demonstrating their belief that mental illness is “a family affair.” BringChange2Mind continues to develop a vital and effective global grassroots community of people affected by mental illness, who have the courage to tell their stories without fear or shame, supported by their families and loved ones. Close and members of her family are actively involved in the BringChange2Mind challenge of addressing the prejudice and stigma around mental illness where it can be found — in all of us.

During the broadcast produced by dick clark productions and Intersport, Colbie Caillat will join performers Darius Rucker and Lifehouse with Natasha Bedingfield by taking the stage to lend their voices to honor the local heroes from each AGA finalist. Previously announced presenters include Anthony Anderson (Guys with Kids), Olivia Culpo (Miss USA 2012), Jenna Elfman (1600 Penn), Jenna Fischer (The Office), Jamie-Lynn Sigler (Guys with Kids) and Gary Sinise (CSI: NY).

The AGAs is a televised celebrity tribute to community heroes, offering twenty-five charities an opportunity to share in $2 million in Chase grants so they may continue their work in helping others. Fans of Chase Community Giving can vote for their favorite charity on Facebook, and Chase online customers can vote on www.chase.com/chasegiving during the voting period, which runs from November 27 – December 4. Of the five top vote-getters from each category, the charity with the most votes will receive a $1 million grant, the runner-up will be granted $500,000, a third organization will receive a $250,000 grant and two will be given $125,000 grants.

For more information, please visit www.facebook.com/chasecommunitygiving and click the “American Giving Awards” tab. Get updates and join the conversation on Twitter by following @ChaseGiving and using #GivingAwards.

For the full program rules, visit: apps.facebook.com/americangivingawards/pages/program-rules.

Source: PR Newswire

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