First Star, the leading national advocacy group dedicated to improving life for child victims of abuse and neglect, held its eighth annual Celebration for Children’s Rights event May 20, 2011 at the private Los Angeles home of one of the city’s prominent philanthropists.

Celebrity supporters Jamie Bamber, Isabella Rae Thomas, Beau Dunn, Eric Ladin, Janessa Rose, Barbara Alyn Woods, Alyvia Alyn Lind, EmilyAlyn Lind, Natalie Alyn Lind and Zach Callison joined families from the Los Angeles business, entertainment, and legal communities honoring this year’s award recipients – Sarah Aubrey & Eric Harmon, “Battleship” producer and LA Deputy District Attorney; Ellen Goldsmith-Vein and Jon Vein, Principal at The Gotham Group and CEO of Market Share; Sara Miller McCune, Co-Founder and Chair of SAGE Publications; and Jim Wilson, CEO of Atari – for their humanitarian efforts on behalf of children. 14-time Emmy winner, Fox 11 and My13 News anchor, Christine Devine returned as Emcee.

Celebration For Children’s Rights is First Star’s annual fundraiser to help fund reform efforts and academy programs that seek to change the appalling statistic that fewer than 2% of foster youth benefit from a college education, as compared to close to 30% of the general population. Celebration is a celebrity & family-driven casual event with live entertainment, carnival games and prizes. This yearssponsors include Hasbro, Inc., NBCUniversal, SAGE Publications, Atari and American Airlines.

First Star opened first-of-its-kind summer academy for foster youth at UCLA in 2011, 2012 program begins in July. Following in UCLAs footsteps, University of Rhode Island academy program opens this Summer; University of Michigan in funding phase, expected program to commence in 2013; additional universities expressing interest in program.

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