Actors Jason George, Nestor Serrano and Meagan Tandy Will Serve as Celebrity Award Presenters; Henri Termeer, Former President and CEO of Genzyme, Will Receive Lifetime Achievement Award
DANA POINT, Calif., Aug. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Global Genes | R.A.R.E. Project (www.globalgenes.org) today announced that Faircraft Records/Universal Republic recording artist Chris Mann and singer/songwriter Katrina Parker, both fan favorites and stars of the second season of the NBC hit television show "The Voice," will perform at the first annual 'RARE Tribute to Champions of Hope' benefit on September 27, 2012, at the Balboa Bay Club & Resort in Newport Beach, CA. Tickets to the event are available at http://globalgenes.org/2012Tribute.
Global Genes | R.A.R.E. Project is the leading non-profit organization advocating for the roughly 30 million Americans and approximately 350 million people worldwide who are affected by rare and genetic diseases and disorders. In the United States, a disease is considered rare if it affects fewer than 200,000 Americans per disease. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), there are nearly 7,000 such rare diseases and an estimated 95% do not have a single approved drug treatment.
"Music is a universal language that connects us all, has the power to soothe the soul and can play an important part in a patient's healing process," said Chris Mann. "I am honored to be able to use my gift of music to help raise awareness for the prevalence of rare and genetic diseases that affect millions of people worldwide."
"Millions of people suffer from rare diseases that are misrepresented or misunderstood by the world at large," said Katrina Parker. "These people face unique challenges and achieve unique victories every single day. They are fighters in the truest sense of the word. I am delighted to be part of this benefit to help lead the way for more support, research, empathy and community."
In addition to musical performances by Chris Mann and Katrina Parker, "Grey's Anatomy" star Jason George will join actors Nestor Serrano (Act of Valor, The Negotiator, The Insider, Secretariat) and Meagan Tandy (Jane By Design, 90210, CSI: NY, Dark Blue) as celebrity presenters and will introduce some of the evening's distinguished honorees.
"I became aware of rare diseases when I was starring on a medical drama series and one special episode dealt with childhood cancer," said Jason George. "I had no idea that all childhood cancers are considered rare diseases and I was floored when a number of families whose lives had been rocked by childhood cancer reached out to me on Facebook to thank me for being part of the episode. I have young children of my own and the "what if it was my child" question landed hard, and ever since I've tried to support awareness for rare diseases in any way possible."
Gracie Van Brunt, a young girl battling a rare disease called Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome, will take the stage and perform a special song of hope that she wrote, which chronicles her journey as a rare disease patient. Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome is a rare congenital disorder that attacks the pancreas, making it difficult to digest food. The disease also attacks bone marrow, stunting growth.
In addition to numerous award presentations, a special Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Henri Termeer, former President and CEO of Genzyme Corporation.
Sponsors of the "RARE Tribute to Champions of Hope" Gala and Rare and Genetic Disease Patient Advocacy Day include: Amicus, Amylin, Alexion, Bayer, BIO, BioMarin, Burrill & Company, Centric Health Resources, EveryLife Foundation, Feinstein Keen Healthcare, Genzyme, Goldman Sachs, Hollencrest Capital, Illumina, Oprhan Europe, PatientsLikeMe, Pfizer, Shire, Sigma Tau, Synageva, Vertex, and Walgreens.
To purchase tickets to the "RARE Tribute to Champions of Hope" benefit visit: http://globalgenes.org/2012Tribute.
About Global Genes | R.A.R.E. Project
Global Genes is the leading rare and genetic disease patient advocacy organization in the world. The non-profit organization is part of R.A.R.E. Project and promotes the needs of the rare and genetic disease community under a unifying symbol of hope – the Blue Denim Genes Ribbon™. The organization's mission emphasizes increasing rare disease awareness, public and physician education, building community through social media and supporting research initiatives to find treatments and cures for rare and genetic diseases http://globalgenes.org/ Twitter: @GlobalGenes
About Chris Mann
As a finalist on the hit NBC television series "The Voice," Chris Mann captured the hearts of millions while drawing the respect of multi-platinum talents such as Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo. Following one of his many dynamic live performances on the show, Aguilera told him, "I feel the heavens open up when you sing." America agreed, and when the series ended, Chris had not one, but two songs on the iTunes Top 10 Pop Singles Chart.
Influenced by Pavarotti, Robbie Williams and vintage Sinatra, Chris' blend of classically-trained tenor and contemporary pop vocals is a sound that's rare in music today. Said Cee Lo, "He is by far one of the most incomparable vocalists I have ever heard."
Mann is currently in the studio working on his debut album with producers Walter Afanasieff (Josh Groban, Andrea Bocelli, Celine Dion, Mariah Carey), Keith Thomas (Charlotte Church, Luther Vandross, Vanessa Williams), Marco Marinangeli (Josh Groban, Il Divo), Marius de Vries (Madonna, U2, Josh Groban, Jackie Evancho) and Bleu (Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato). The album is being executive produced by Ron Fair, the head of Faircraft Records, who's produced and supervised multi-platinum artists such as Christina Aguilera, Mary J. Blige, the Black Eyed Peas, Fergie, The Pussycat Dolls and Il Volo, among others.
Chris has toured with Grammy Award-winner India.Arie and Tony Award-winner Idina Menzel. He's also performed at high profile events including the Sundance Film Festival, the Academy Awards Young Hollywood Party, and the American Film Institute Awards, among others. Chris was also featured in "David Foster and Friends" at special events in Los Angeles and Washington D.C, performing "The Prayer" with Katharine McPhee and David Foster. His voice has also been featured in films such as Avatar, Glee 3D, Letters to Juliet, Tangled, Sex and the City 2, The Smurfs, 2012, and many more.
Chris will be releasing his debut album through Faircraft/Universal on October 30th and his Christmas CD is coming out October 9th exclusively at Wal-Mart.
http://www.chrismannmusic.com/ Twitter: @IAmChrisMann
About Katrina Parker
After two years away from music, Katrina Parker stepped back onstage to audition for season two of NBC's hit show "The Voice," securing a spot on Team Adam led by Maroon 5's Adam Levine.
With a voice described as "powerful but tender" (Unreality TV), "passionate" (LA Times) and "flawless" (Pop Crush), the L.A. singer/songwriter went on to become a fan favorite, a Top 8 Semi-Finalist and "the embodiment of [The Voice]" (Rolling Stone). Stunning live performances of songs such as Christina Perri's "Jar of Hearts" and The Fugees "Killing Me Softly" won America's hearts and votes and prompted Christina Aguilera to exclaim "Take a look at Katrina Parker because she's a star," a sentiment echoed by fans around the world.
Since the show's end, Katrina has been writing and recording in preparation for an EP release due out in late 2012.
http://www.katrinaparker.com/ Twitter: @katrinapmusic
About Jason George
Jason George is a teacher and actor with over fifty guest star and eight series regular television roles to his credit. Originally, George and his mentor—a Virginia Supreme Court Justice—had mapped out a career path in law. However, a college friend coaxed Jason into taking an acting class where he discovered his true calling on the stage. The career change paid off when George beat out 14,000 hopefuls in a nationwide search and landed his first major acting job on Aaron Spelling's Sunset Beach. Most recently seen on GREY'S ANATOMY as Bailey's love interest, Dr. Ben Warren, Jason is also now shooting the new ABC series MISTRESSES with Alyssa Milano.
George is also known for his work on EVE and ELI STONE with Victor Garber and Jonny Lee Miller or films such as THREE CAN PLAY THAT GAME, THE CLIMB or BARBERSHOP with Anthony Anderson and Ice Cube. A classically trained theater actor, George starred in U.S. poet laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Rita Dove's epic drama, THE DARKER FACE OF THE EARTH. The play relocates Sophocles' OEDIPUS REX to the plantation south in 1820 and received accolades from The Los Angeles Times and The Hollywood Reporter. When not on stage or in front of the camera, George's passion turns to educating and engaging with other artists and young people.
About Nestor Serrano
Nestor Serrano is a native New Yorker whose acting career spans more than three decades. Serrano has been seen in some of the biggest blockbuster features, from his first role as the charmingly annoying house painter, Jose, in The Money Pit to Hangin' with the Homeboys, Bad Boys, The Negotiator, The Insider, Bringing Out the Dead as well as Runaway Jury, starring opposite Gene Hackman and Dustin Hoffman, The Day After Tomorrow starring opposite Dennis Quaid and Jake Gyllenhaal. More recent films include Definitely Maybe, opposite Ryan Reynolds and Rachel Weisz, and Secretariat opposite Diane Lane, John Malkovich, James Cromwell and Dylan Baker and Act of Valor.
Serrano's film career has been augmented by constant work on television and has had series regular roles in Witchblade, True Blue, Hat Squad, and Maloney. He has also guest starred in many prime time programs including CSI Miami, ER, Law and Order, Special Victims Unit, Criminal Intent, Medium, Boston Legal, Fringe, Shark, Cold Case, The Good Wife, Burn Notice, Ugly Betty, "90210", Blue Bloods, Homeland among many others.
http://nestorserrano.com/ Twitter: @ _NestorSerrano
About Meagan Tandy
Meagan Tandy stars in the new hit ABC Family drama series Jane By Design. She plays Lulu Pope, the most popular girl in school and Jane's best friend Billy's girlfriend. She has the beauty and the brains… the classic "it girl," who causes drama for Jane. Meagan will star in John Gulager's remake of the iconic Piranha 3DD and will premiere in 2012. Meagan's first feature film role was in 20th Century Fox's Unstoppable as Maya, the daughter of Denzel Washington's character. On television, Tandy has guest starred on 90210, CSI: NY, Accidentally on Purpose, 10 Things I hate About You, TNT's hit show Dark Blue, and VH1 Single Ladies.
Interviews are available before the event and onsite at the event with Global Genes | R.A.R.E. Project executives, parent advocates, celebrity hosts and performers. Please call Amy Malin at Trueheart Events at 818-672-1268 to schedule an interview.
SOURCE R.A.R.E. Project