WE ARE FAMILY FOUNDATION'S CELEBRITY FETE
ADAM LAMBERT HONORED
|Taylor Dayne And Nancy Hunt|
|Tara Fowler And Montel Williams|
|LuAnn De Lesseps And Aviva Drescher|
|Ramona Singer And Judy Goss|
|Kate Pierson With Adam Lambert,Taylor Dayne And Nile Rodgers|
Daniel H. Stern
The We Are Family Foundation® (WAFF), a not-for-profit organization founded by legendary songwriter and producer, Nile Rodgers, honored Adam Lambert with the Unity Award at its annual Celebration Gala, on Thursday, January 31, 2013, at Manhattan Center’s Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. The evening was hosted by actress Rosie Perez and Touré, co-host of MSNBC’s “The Cycle,” and included a concert featuring Adam Lambert, Nile Rodgers & CHIC and special guests, Taylor Dayne, Grandmaster Melle Mel, Grandmaster Caz, Kathy Sledge, Sam Sparro, and Russell Peters. The night kicked off with a star-studded red carpet and cocktail hour where guests mingled and congratulated extraordinary global citizens Adam Lambert and fellow honorees, Jeni Stepanek, Ph.D. and Reservoir Capital Group founder Daniel H. Stern, as well as a group of 21 extraordinary teenagers who are part of WAFF’s Three Dot Dash Global Teen Leader program.
After an introduction by Touré, WAFF Founder & Chairman, legendary songwriter and producer Nile Rodgers took the stage to welcome the evening’s guests. WAFF President Nancy Hunt spoke next, thanking guests for their support and emphasizing the significance of investing in the world’s youth through WAFF’s mission and existing programs such as Three Dot Dash, WAFF’s signature program, which identifies, supports and mentors Global Teen Leaders actively working on programs that address basic human needs and promoting a more peaceful world; and TEDxTeen, a global educational platform for extraordinary teens to share their stories and inspire millions.
“These are the leaders of the NOW and the future,” Hunt said. “These are the people that really exemplify the We Are Family Foundation. These are the people we have invested in, and these are the people that you have invested in tonight.”
After an introduction by WAFF Board of Governors members Rosie Perez, who wore a jumpsuit by Lorena Sarbu, and Simon Cohen, 21 Global Teen Leaders from eight different countries spoke about their experiences with the program and how they have been able to affect positive change in the world.
Adam Lambert received the Unity Award for his commitment to spreading peaceful messages through their music. This year, Lambert graciously donated his 31st birthday, January 29, 2013, to WAFF, asking his fans, friends and family to donate to the cause. Those who donate $31 or more to the cause will be able to record a 10-second video birthday message to Lambert, which will be included in what WAFF hopes will be the “World's Biggest Birthday Card.” Those who donate less than $31 will still have a chance to sign birthday card as well. Lambert’s birthday card donations have raised close to $45,000 so far.
Jeni Stepanek, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation, received the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Peacemaker Award, named in honor of her late son, 13-year-old poet and peacemaker, Mattie J.T. Stepanek, for her significant contribution toward promoting a peaceful society. Daniel H. Stern, founder of Reservoir Capital Group, was honored with the Visionary Award for his extraordinary local and global philanthropic contributions.
Celebrating the honor, Lambert later took to the stage with Sam Sparro and music legend Nile Rodgers for their first performance of 'Shady', a track which they collaborated on for Adam's second album “Trespassing”. Afterward, Nile Rodgers and CHIC took over, performing such iconic tunes as “Le Freak,” “Everybody Dance,” “I Want Your Love,” and “Good Times” with Grandmaster Caz, Grandmaster Melle Mel and Russell Peters before the honorees, Foundation team and guests took the stage together to close the evening with a show-stopping rendition of “We Are Family” with Sister Sledge’s Kathy Sledge, the original voice of “We Are Family.”
An exciting live auction attracted bidders with such items a one-of-a-kind, large format Polaroid portrait by Timothy Greenfield Sanders of 20x24 Studios; a private guitar lesson with Nile Rodgers, an autographed Fender Stratocaster & “LeFreak,” his best-selling memoir; a VIP experience at the 2013 Montreux Jazz Festival; a seven-night Caribbean holiday at Amanyara in Turks & Caicos; a visit to the set of America’s Next Top Model and one-on-one fashion consultation with Kelly Cutrone; a limited edition 1990 Stevie Ray Vaughan Fender Stratocaster signed by Jimmie Vaughan, Nile Rodgers and Buddy Guy; access to Sooze Plunkett-Green, Nile Rodgers’ infamous, British spitfire of an Executive Assistant, for one week; and an unlimited number of opportunities to sponsor a Three Dot Dash Global Teen Leader.
About We Are Family Foundation
The We Are Family Foundation® (WAFF) is a New York City based 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to the vision of a global family by creating and supporting programs that inspire and educate the next generation about respect, understanding and appreciation of cultural diversity – while striving to solve some of our biggest global problems at the same time. Since its inception in 2002, WAFF, founded by legendary songwriter/musician/producer Nile Rodgers, has created Three Dot Dash, a Global Teen Leader initiative that has empowered exceptional teens from 36 countries on six continents working together to alleviate issues related to basic human needs; created worldwide curricula that is currently used on six continents; produced TEDxTeen, an annual conference that gives extraordinary teens an educational platform to share their work, tell their stories and inspire others; built a global coalition of more than 75 organizations; created and distributed the award-winning PSA and early childhood educational DVD program, “We Are Family: A Musical Message for All,” to more than 60,000 schools and youth programs internationally; built 17 new schools, providing an education to more than 3,500 boys and girls in Mali and Malawi, Africa, Nepal and Nicaragua. To date, WAFF has made a positive impact on 15 million+ people worldwide.
About Nile Rodgers
Four-time Grammy nominee Nile Rodgers is one of the most enduring and prolific artists and producers in the music business. In 1977, he and his late partner, Bernard Edwards, created the group CHIC, whose number-one hit "Le Freak" remains Warner Bros.' biggest-selling single of all time. Rodgers has produced, written or played for some of the greatest artists in the business, including Madonna, David Bowie, Diana Ross, Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, Sting, Duran Duran, the B-52's and Joss Stone. As artist, producer or writer, Rodgers is responsible for the sales of more than 100 million records–including his world-famous "We Are Family," which he co-wrote with Edwards. Rodgers is currently the only African-American to own a national music distribution company. After a lifetime of supporting charitable efforts and organizations, Nile founded the We Are Family Foundation in 2002.
About Adam Lambert
After appearing on the eighth season of “American Idol,” Lambert skyrocketed to fame, earning a Grammy nomination for his hit single, “Whataya Want From Me,” and becoming the first openly gay mainstream pop artist to debut at Number One on the Billboard chart with his most recent album, Trespassing. Lambert has channeled his fame into raising awareness about issues close to his heart, advocating on behalf of LGBT causes, The Trevor Project, Equality California, and GLAAD, as well as for charity organizations MusiCares, charity:water and DonorsChoose.org.
About Jeni Stepanek Ph.D.
Award-winning speaker, New York Times Bestselling author and Executive Director of the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation, Jeni Stepanek, Ph.D., will receive the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Peacemaker Award. Named after her late son, 13-year-old poet and peacemaker, Mattie J.T. Stepanek, the award honors any person, regardless of age, who has made a significant contribution toward promoting a peaceful society. The author of “Messenger: The Legacy of Mattie J.T. Stepanek and Heartsongs,” Stepanek advocates for personal and world peace, as well as children’s & families’ needs and rights in health & education, sharing her message of hope, peace, motivation, and inspiration. Stepanek also serves as a National Vice President for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and as a Governor for the We Are Family Foundation.
About Daniel Stern
Daniel Stern, founder of Reservoir Capital Group, will receive the We Are Family Visionary Award, which honors a corporation or a person in the corporate world whose philanthropic efforts have made a meaningful difference in our world. Stern is President of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, a Trustee of the Mt. Sinai Medical Center, Educational Broadcasting Corporation (PBS Channel 13), Jumpstart for Kids, The City Parks Foundation, Big Apple Circus and several other non-profit organizations.
For more information, visit wearefamilyfoundation.org