The Christina Grimmie Foundation announced today the honorees for its September 26, 2019 third annual Gala fundraiser at the Burbank Marriott.
The evening will honor two-time Primetime Emmy-winning voiceover artist Maurice LaMarche (“Pinky and the Brain” and “Animaniacs”), award-winning author and advocate Travis Flores and the Ventura County Community Foundation. LaMarche will be on-hand to accept the Trailblazer Award for his invaluable assistance in helping launch the Foundation. Flores will receive the Inspiration Award for his unwavering dedication to the Foundation despite severe obstacles. Ventura County Community Foundation will receive the Legacy Award for their diligent and honorable handling of the Thousand Oaks Borderline donations. Returning for his third year as host will be co-host of E!’s hit show “Nightly Pop!”, Hunter March. Tickets may be purchased here.
With a big voice and an even bigger heart, beloved singer, songwriter, fan-favorite from NBC’s “The Voice” and YouTube icon Christina Grimmie was one of those stars. The 22-year old New Jersey native built a staggering fan base of 3.8 million YouTube subscribers, delivered one of the most talked about performances on The Voice with her show-stopping season six rendition of “Wrecking Ball” and achieved numerous accolades. Christina’s diligence and dedication transformed her into a phenomenon.
In 2016, she toured with Rachel Platten and opened the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas. With each subsequent song and show, her voice resounded louder in the hearts of listeners everywhere. In June of that year during a fan meet-and-greet, she was killed. After her tragic passing, the Grimmie family were determined to create a legacy in her honor by establishing the Christina Grimmie Foundation.
“Our own community experienced an unspeakable tragedy last November,” commented Albert Grimmie, CEO of the Christina Grimmie Foundation. “As a result of our previous work with the Ventura County D.A.’s office, we were able to witness the amazing work of Vanessa Bechtel and the Ventura County Community Foundation. Their dedication and drive was amazing to watch and exemplifies what our Legacy Award represents. Maurice LaMarche is one of those rare friends that seems to know what someone needs before they even know. He has been by our side throughout this journey and we are thrilled to honor him with the Trailblazer Award. We are extremely fortunate to have such a dedicated supporter in our host, Hunter March. He has been part of our team since the Inaugural Event and we are thrilled he is able to join us again this year. Travis has been an incredible inspiration to our family and a true friend. Despite the challenges he faces on a daily basis, he is always thinking of how he can help us.”
“In the immediate aftermath of the tragedy at Borderline, The Christina Grimmie Foundation was there as a partner, a resource, a support network, and friend,” said Bechtel. “We, at the Ventura County Community Foundation, could not be more honored to receive this incredible recognition from our deeply respected and vital partner. While we know that financial support cannot begin to alleviate the pain of recent tragedies, we hope the donations from around the region and around the globe will offer some basic aid and support during these difficult times of transition and recovery.”
Since its inception in 2017, the Christina Grimmie Foundation has given out over $100,000 in grants to families dealing with the tragedy of gun violence as well as those fighting the devastating diagnosis of breast cancer. Most recently, the Foundation was able to assist 10 of the 12 families experiencing loss from the tragic Thousand Oaks Borderline shooting. The Foundation has also added Ambassadors who were survivors of the Pulse shooting, Route 91 Las Vegas shooting and the Parkland School shooting.