Variety’s sixth annual Power of Youth event on Saturday was hot — both figuratively and literally.
The event, held once again on Paramount’s backlot, celebrates the youth of Hollywood who give back to the community, but this year, it felt different for Variety publisher Brian Gott. “This event has transcended being a ‘kids only’ event.”
The party brought together a who’s who of young stars as well as more mature talent and execs including Stuart Snyder, president-COO of presenting sponsor Cartoon Network.
The “Level Up” cast kept the energy high in the wilting heat. Power of Youth honorees included “Rock of Ages” star Diego Boneta, for his work with the Vannie E. Cook Jr. Children’s Cancer and Hematology Clinic; “The Vampire Diaries” star Kat Graham, who champions the Water Project; Vanessa Hudgens, who’s committed to the Make a Wish Foundation; “Modern Family’s” Sarah Hyland, who works with George Lopez’s Lopez Foundation; singer Jordin Sparks, who campaigns for Childhelp; and the Jonas brothers, whose Change for the Children org supports a variety of programs that inspire and motivate young people.
Despite the presence of Hollywood’s hottest young stars, it was cancer patient Brooke Hester (who flew in from Florida with her mom) who made the biggest impact, handing out flowers on the red carpet and bringing smiles to everyone.
“I enjoyed meeting all of the other kids,” Hester said. “Jordin Sparks gives awesome hugs.”
Guests getting inspired included Greg Louganis (himself inspiring young Olympic hopefuls), George Lopez, Derek Luke, Michael Urie, Michael Trevino, Kenny Ortega, RJ Mitte, Zachary Gordon, Ariana Grande, “Glee’s” newest star Alex Newell, “Mad Men’s” Kiernan Shipka and Ashley Rickards.