The Sheraton Universal twinkled with stars, celebs and supporters of A New Way of Life Reentry Project’s “Catching Falling Stars” fundraising gala on November 17.
The red carpet sparkled with celebrities and media partner Reelz Channel in support of CNN Hero and charity founder Susan Burton’s cause, including presenters Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter), Charlotte Ross (Glee), Kathryn Joosten (Desperate Housewives) and SNL legend Garret Morris (2 Broke Girls) and host KPFK’s Margaret Prescod.
The night featured a heartwarming awards presentation, where Jason Isaacs presented the Synergy Teamwork Award to Vinny Green and the Children of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple School for donating their change to help provide educational scholarships for women living at a New Way of Life.
Charlotte Ross presented Dr. Nina Gray with the Community Partner Award, for providing free dental services to the charity’s women residents – women whose minds, bodies and spirits, were once ravaged by the disease of addiction, but who now have so many reasons to smile.
Kathryn Joosten awarded the Community Champion Award to Kimberle Crenshaw, a Professor of Law at UCLA, for helping the charity launch its legal clinic in 2007.
Finally, comedian/actor Garrett Morris gave a lively and memorable presentation of the Lifetime Committment Award to LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas, for being a lifelong champion to the community.
Special guest celebrities showing their support included: Nia Peeples (Pretty Little Liars), Lennie James (HBO’s Hung), Tony Denison (The Closer), Iqbal Theba (Glee), Cedric Sanders (All Things Fall Apart), Kaya Jones (original Pussycat Dolls), Mimi Lesseos (America’s Next Action Diva), Jennifer Gimenez (Sober House) recording artist Tionne Williams, Joan Severance (Wiseguy) and Garland Whitt (NCIS Los Angeles).
Guests arrived to live performance by Malik Pointer and dined on exquisite cuisine while watching the moving video of Marisa Tomei present the CNN Hero award to Susan Burton and a headline performance by Chuck Negron (formerly of Three Dog Night). The event drew hundreds of supporters of the organization’s work, which provides housing and support services to formerly incarcerated women in South Central LA, facilitating a successful transition back to community life and reducing recidivism. Find out more here.