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Women power praised

Variety honors femmes who done good and do good

Nancy Dubuc, prexy-g.m. of cablers Lifetime and History, said Variety’s Power of Women luncheon Thursday was designed to celebrate “the magic that happens when power and passion come together.”

The second annual event, at the BevHills Hotel, offered plenty of laughs as 450 guests honored women for their philanthropic work. By the end, however, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house, as Eva Mendes showed a clip about the Art of Elysium, dedicated to bringing art to critically ill youngsters. The star of that short film, teen Anna Rahm, got a standing ovation (she smiled, saying she couldn’t eat because she was going directly from the event into surgery). The aud gave a big hand to another AOE participant, whom Mendes intro’d as “my hot date David (Aguilera).”

Also honored were Amy Adams (Ghetto Film School), Jennifer Garner (Save the Children), Katie Holmes (Dizzy Feet Foundation), Suzan Bymel (Global Creative Forum) and Diane Lane (Heifer Intl.). Shannon Lambert was honored for her Pandora’s Project.

Other highlights included taped remarks for Bymel from U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Lily Tomlin proved the perfect host, feigning surprise she wasn’t being saluted for giving back. “I expect to be a serious contender when they honor women who recycle,” she deadpanned. “Giving back is the new putting out!”

Among those introducing the honorees were David O. Russell, Ryan Kavanaugh, Mark Shriver, John Malkovich and Anne Hathaway, who said, “These are the sort of days that make you believe in the power of good.”

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