Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, Inc. Announces $600,000 in New Support;
Dozens of Corporate Supporters and Hundreds of Guests Add Gifts, Voices to Cause
PALM BEACH, Fla., March 7, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- American Humane Association, the nation's voice for the protection of children and animals, today bestowed its highest honor, the National Humanitarian Medal, on First Lady of Television, bestselling author and Broadway producer Candy Spelling for her philanthropic work in helping the most vulnerable.
"I am truly honored to be awarded this prestigious National Humanitarian Award by American Humane Association," said Ms. Spelling. "I have always endeavored to support both children's and animal issues and am proud to be associated with American Humane Association whose 135-year legacy is the protection from abuse and neglect for children and animals. This award inspires me to do even more for these vital causes."
"The National Humanitarian Medal is given to those who reflect our core American values of compassion, caring and hope," said American Humane Association President and CEO Dr. Robin Ganzert.
"Candy Spelling's lifetime of achievement in helping children and animals perfectly embodies the powerful spirit of those values, and her work is an inspiration to millions."
Ms. Spelling's efforts on behalf of children and animals are well known. She has worked with many organizations to assist needy children and their families, volunteered with animal rescue and shelter groups, and has even enlisted the help of her own dog, Madison Spelling, who chaired a fund-raising event, "Bark for the Cure," to benefit research into canine cancer. Ms. Spelling's good deeds are even more impressive in light of her busy schedule. This latest award comes on the heels of Mrs. Spelling's Tony Award-winning Broadway play, Promises, Promises, with Kristen Chenoweth, and her current Broadway hit, How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, starring Nick Jonas and Beau Bridges, the announcement of her newest Broadway show Nice Work if You Can Get It, opening on April 24, starring Tony Award winner Matthew Broderick, her New York Times best-selling book, Candyland, and her recent record-breaking two-part series on HGTV, Selling Spelling Manor, Candy's insiders tour of her very famous 56-room Hollywood mansion that she and husband, television mogul Aaron Spelling, built and lived in for more than 20 years.
Remarkable New Pledge of Support by Lois Pope LIFE Foundation
The medal was presented by Dr. Ganzert and First Lady of Palm Beach Lois Pope, who made a major announcement at the Mar-a-Lago gala luncheon, informing the audience of significant new support by the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, Inc. The Foundation, which had previously pledged $1 million to American Humane Association to help protect children and animals, will now support the organization's efforts with $600,000 in underwriting as Exclusive Presenting Sponsor of the 2012 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™.
This annual national effort, which was launched during last year's National Humanitarian Medal luncheon at Mar-a-Lago, reached more than half a billion people worldwide to underscore the importance of the human-animal bond. Broadcast on Hallmark Channel and produced by Emmy® award winning MRB Productions, the awards seek to identify and recognize America's Hero Dogs – often ordinary dogs who do extraordinary things, whether it's saving lives, lending a comforting paw when you're sick, or just welcoming you home at the end of a hard day. Mrs. Pope's announcement today marked the kickoff of this year's effort and nominations are now open for the 2012 search at www.herodogawards.org .
"All across America, there are ordinary dogs doing extraordinary things, serving, protecting, and comforting those in need," said Mrs. Pope. "To me, they are unsung American heroes. Now, it's time we all sing their praises. That's what the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards are all about. So, when I was approached about having my Foundation be the presenting sponsor of this wonderful awards program, it was an easy decision."
"We are deeply grateful to Mrs. Pope and the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation," said Dr. Ganzert. "Her commitment to building a better world for those most in need is truly humbling and her support will allow us to reach millions more with messages of compassion and caring. Lois, thank you!"
An Outpouring of Support from Hollywood and Palm Beach Royalty
Among other notables in attendance to support American Humane Association were Hollywood and Palm Beach royalty – and even some real blue-blooded (and red-blooded) royalty. In addition to Ms. Spelling, Emmy-nominated actress Michelle Forbes (The Killing, True Blood), who served as a judge for the inaugural American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards, was on hand to lend her starpower to the cause. American Humane Association National Ambassadors Tinsley Mortimer and Prince Lorenzo Borghese, who is working with the charity to launch Animal Aid, a new national venture to save shelter animals, brought both glamour and a serious sense of purpose to the occasion. Dick Robinson ("The Voice of Palm Beach") presided charmingly as Master of Ceremonies for the gala. And what royal venture dedicated to animal and child welfare would be complete without Princess Zelda of the wildly popular "Zelda Wisdom" book and greeting card series? The adorable, four-legged bulldog sported a tiara and elicited oohs and ahs from the audience as her owner and creator of the series, Carol Gardner, unveiled a major new initiative in which Zelda and American Humane Association will work to comfort children in hospitals nationwide.
Special thanks were given to the Palm Beach committee, which included Lois Pope, Paul David Pope, Herme de Wyman Miro, Suzi Goldsmith, Nancy Hummel, Marc Ulanowski, and nearly two dozen other dedicated local volunteers who made the National Humanitarian Medal luncheon a breakout success.
Local Organizations and Donors Contribute to Success
Dozens of high-profile organizations and hundreds of local donors gave generously of their time and their treasure to support American Humane Association. Comcast and the Connecticut School of Broadcasting worked with Lois Pope and Dick Robinson to create and broadcast a special television PSA that aired more than a thousand times. Local companies, artists and benefactors donated 85 unique items for the silent auction, including an African safari from Sean O'Keefe Events, a painting by renowned artist Eugene Hollander, a spectacular Gucci-designed chair from MasterCraft, and a pair of John Lennon vases from Lois Pope among other luxury items. The volunteers in the fashion show, coordinated by Marsha Fontanive, modeled Lily Pulitzer sportswear. Funds raised from the event and the auction will benefit children and animals who need our care and compassion.
"The need among America's children and animals is great," said President Ganzert. "But with friends like these, we are making great strides in protecting the vulnerable and building a more compassionate world."
American Humane Association
Since 1877 American Humane Association has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in protecting children, pets and farm animals. Today we're also leading the way in understanding the human-animal bond and its role in therapy, medicine and society. American Humane Association reaches millions of people every day through groundbreaking research, education, training and services that span a wide network of organizations, agencies and businesses. You can help make a difference, too. Visit American Humane Association at www.americanhumane.org today.
About Lois Pope and the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation
Lois Pope is one of America's leading philanthropists and humanitarians. Through her various charitable mechanisms, including the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, Inc., she is devoted to saving lives, helping people help themselves, improving the quality of life for families in need and encouraging young Americans to become leaders by helping others. Her foundations also provide awards for medical research, college scholarships, humanitarian relief, the performing arts, and animal welfare. Among the many organizations that benefit from her leadership are the American Humane Association; the Disabled Veterans' LIFE Memorial Foundation, which she founded to spearhead the development of the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, the nation's first and only permanent public tribute to the three million living disabled American veterans and the thousands who have died; the University of Miami, where her major contribution endowed the Lois Pope LIFE Center, the top catastrophic neurological research facility in the world and home to the renowned Miami Project to Cure Paralysis; Leaders in Furthering Education, which has provided a summer camp experience for more than 15,000 disadvantaged and special needs children, as well as college scholarship support to dozens of disadvantaged high school students who aspire to careers as physicians/researchers; Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel's Red Cross, for new ambulances; and the Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League for a new mobile pet adoption unit.
About Hallmark Channel
Hallmark Channel, owned and operated by Crown Media Holdings, Inc., is a 24-hour basic cable network that provides a diverse slate of high-quality entertainment programming available in high definition (HD) and standard definition (SD) to a national audience of 87 million subscribers. The top tier program service is distributed through approximately 5,492 cable systems and communities as well as direct-to-home satellite services across the country. Hallmark Channel is the nation's leading network in quality family programming with an ambitious slate of original TV movies, lifestyle and general entertainment content, and is the home of "The Martha Stewart Show", which anchors the channel's daytime original programming block. Hallmark Channel's sibling network is Hallmark Movie Channel, also available in HD and SD, which focuses on the family-friendly movies with a mix of classic theatrical films, presentations from the acclaimed Hallmark Hall of Fame library, original Hallmark Channel movies and special events. For more information, please visit www.HallmarkChannelPress.com.
About MRB Productions
MRB's feature department is currently in production on the psychological thriller Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes, starring Jessica Biel and Kaya Scodelario. MRB's other film, Grassroots, starring Jason Biggs and Lauren Ambrose, is slated to premiere later this year. In TV, MRB produced the inaugural Hero Dog Awards in addition to a decade of experience producing the pre-taped segments and VIP program for ESPN's ESPY Awards. Additional TV projects include two seasons of the mockumentary comedy show Free Radio on VH1 and Comedy Central. MRB's commercial repertoire includes collaborations with Leo Burnett, Periera & O'Dell, Saatchi & Saatchi, Publicis, and 72 & Sunny for clients such as Mattel, Samsung, Kellogg's, Sprint, NHL, Corona, Smirnoff, Wal-Mart, Hyundai and University of Phoenix.