Entertainment bizzers and philanthropists rallied on Friday to honor former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s humanitarian work and raise money for the International Medical Corps.
DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, co-chairman of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Rob Friedman, Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone, Lenny Kravitz and Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda were among the industry elite in attendance at the annual awards celebration at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Although Clinton didn’t mention whether she will run for president in 2016, she’ll clearly have Hollywood heavyweights in her corner if she does choose to throw her hat in the ring.
The event raised almost $2 million for IMC, which provides health care services and development projects to those affected by natural disaster, conflict or disease in over 70 countries. Clinton received the global champion award for her “profound dedication to advancing human dignity” — as IMC president and CEO Nancy Aossey put it — with her advocacy work on behalf of women around the world. As First Lady, she spearheaded the creation of mine awareness comic books, which were published by Time Warner and DC Comics, for teens in the Balkans.
Years later as Secretary of State, Clinton worked with IMC in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where millions have died in the longest-running civil war of our time. Clinton encouraged the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development to launch the $17-million Care, Access, Safety and Empowerment Project that provided support and services for sexual and gender-based violence victims.
Clinton visited refugee camps in Goma, the war-torn eastern region of the Congo, where she “experienced not only some of the darkest chapters that one can imagine in humanity, but also some of the most inspiring and admirable,” Clinton said. “They have lost everything, they have suffered unspeakable atrocities, but their spirits were still so alive and vibrant. They weren’t sitting around waiting for people to pity them. They were asking just for the helping hand and IMC was there to offer it.”
Once she arrived to the camp, Clinton said she found that IMC had already initiated programs to alleviate malnutrition, improve sanitation and provide support to victims of sexual violence. She praised the non-profit’s proactive approach of training first responders.
“I was so struck by the enormity of the problems and horrors that were being confronted, but the practical down-to-earth commitment of those in the IMC, who were just taking this day by day, provided support and sustenance and hope.”
Jonathan Glaser, founder and chief investment officer of JMG Capital Partners, L.P. , received the humanitarian award. He was given a standing ovation before even taking the stage during his introduction.
“Only in America could you empty people’s wallets and get an ovation like that,” Glaser teased. “No wonder Hillary’s running for president.”
The jokes continued rolling when he recalled his father’s sage advice.
“When I was a kid, my dad always told me to give until it hurts,” he said. “Well Nancy Aossey must have been eavesdropping on that father-son talk because I’m feeling pretty sore.”