Make It Right has announced that Ellen DeGeneres will join Brad Pitt as host of “A Night to Make It Right”, a charity gala to raise vital funds to complete Make It Right’s goal to build 150 environmentally friendly homes in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward.

The gala will be held at Hyatt Regency New Orleans on Saturday, March 10, 2012 and also celebrates the hotel’s grand re-opening. Performers will include Rihanna, Sheryl Crow, Seal and The Neville Brothers, and the host committee includes Sean Penn, Kevin Spacey, Spike Lee, Blake Lively, Djimon Hounsou, Josh Brolin, Bennett Miller and Chris Paul.

“I’m so happy I can be a part of this incredible foundation,” said Ellen DeGeneres, a long-time supporter of Make It Right. “I’m from New Orleans, I love New Orleans and I love that Make It Right continues to help the people there rebuild their beautiful city. Brad Pitt is amazing – not only for what he started, but also because, who else can make a hard hat look like a jaunty fall fashion accessory?”

DeGeneres grew up in New Orleans and has been a tireless advocate for the city’s rebuilding. She and her fans have raised more than $1.6 million for Make It Right and their incredible generosity has helped more than 300 people return home so far.

“After Hurricane Katrina, many people said the Lower 9th Ward could not be rebuilt, but the spirit of the Lower 9th and its residents is vibrant and resilient. Today, the neighborhood is growing and alive with new homes, playgrounds, gardens and block parties,” said Brad Pitt, founder, Make It Right. “With the help of generous supporters like my friend Ellen DeGeneres and Hyatt, Make It Right will fulfill our goal of building 150 sustainable homes for those in this community who lost everything in the storm.”

Led by actor Brad Pitt, founder of Make It Right and Honorary Chairman of the gala, and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who will serve as Honorary Co-Chair, the evening will bring together a guest list of major entertainers, political leaders, corporate donors and philanthropists. The festivities will begin with a VIP cocktail reception for major sponsors and dignitaries. The dinner menu will celebrate the finest culinary traditions of New Orleans. The evening will culminate with a grand after-party featuring musical performances by locally-celebrated and internationally-renowned musicians. Corporate sponsorships and individual table sales for the event are available through Make It Right. Hyatt Regency New Orleans’ generous sponsorship of the charity gala will allow all proceeds from corporate sponsors and ticket sales to go directly to building Make It Right homes.

"Through our partnership with Make It Right, we continue to solidify our commitment to the city of New Orleans," noted Michael Smith, General Manager, Hyatt Regency New Orleans. “We are proud to toast our milestone re-opening by hosting one of the most noteworthy events to date in the effort to raise funds for the rebuilding of Lower 9th Ward.”

The evening is planned to be one of the most ambitious single night fundraising events in New Orleans’ history. Earlier this year, Hyatt Regency New Orleans kicked off fundraising efforts for this campaign by donating $300,000 to help build two Make It Right homes in the Lower 9th Ward, the neighborhood hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

For more than 30 years, Hyatt Regency New Orleans, centrally located downtown adjacent to the Louisiana Superdome, has been one of the most important and largest hotels in New Orleans. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Hyatt Regency New Orleans played a vital role as it served as the center of operations for the city’s leadership and recovery efforts. Hyatt Corporation and hotel ownership made a commitment to restore Hyatt Regency New Orleans to its stature as one of the city’s grandest hotels, and following a $275 million redesign and revitalization, the hotel will re-open on October 19, 2011.

Make It Right and some of the world’s most renowned architects have designed and constructed 75 homes in the Lower 9th Ward, the neighborhood hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina. Make It Right’s is establishing new standards for affordable, energy-efficient, single-family homes and the neighborhood is now recognized as the “the largest and greenest community of single-family homes in the world” by the U.S. Green Building Council.

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