WWO Honors Ethiopian Ambassador and Others

By Tadias Staff

Published: Monday, November 10, 2008

New York (Tadias) – The Worldwide Orphans Foundation, dedicated to transforming the lives of orphans around the world (with work in several countries, including Ethiopia), held it’s fourth annual benefit gala at Cipriani Wall Street on Monday, November 3.

The organization raised more than $1.3 million at the gala, according to a press release sent to Tadias Magazine. In addition: “In a surprise announcement that evening, an anonymous donor pledged to match all donations made at the benefit gala – raising the pre-gala donations by approximately $240,000 that evening.”

Brooke Smith, star of Grey’s Anatomy presented an award to Ethiopian Ambassador Dr. Samuel Assefa (pictured above) for Ethiopia’s support of WWO programs and services. In accepting the award, the Ambassador said: “A decade ago, a child born with HIV/AIDS had no future. Today, thanks to the commitment of the Worldwide Orphans Foundation, hundreds of Ethiopian children with HIV/AIDS are not just surviving but living full lives.”

According to the press release, Mary-Louise Parker, Tony-award winning actress and star of TV’s Weeds, presented another award to RBC Dexia Investor Services, which was recognized as WWO’s first Corporate Honoree for its financial support that helped to launch WWO Canada, the organization’s first chapter outside the United States. The event also honored Lois Whitman for her work as Executive Director of Human Rights Watch, Children’s Rights Division, in advocating for the rights of vulnerable children.

The press release also noted that Actress Naomi Watts was in attendance at the benefit gala. Actor Liev Schrieber narrated the WWO film highlighting programs and the children served.

The WWO founder invited supporters to become more engaged with the organization by volunteering their time, energy and skills as “Service Rangers” to help children living in orphanages worldwide. “We are responsible for these children and must keep our promises,” proclaimed Dr. Jane Aronson, who emphasized that WWO is committed to ensuring that no child is forgotten.

The 2008 Gala theme was “Every Child Ought to Know: What Love Is, What Health Is, What Childhood Is,” and the event was co-chaired by Janet Kagan, WWO’s Board Chair, and Brittany Levinson.

Children from the National Dance Institute presented an electrifying African dance performance. Vocal selections by performance artist Sasha Lazard and the musical duo John Pizzarelli and Jessical Molaskey entertained gala guests. Tony-award winning director Kathleen Marshall served as Entertainment Chair.

Related: Hot shots: WWO honores Liya Kebede













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