Hollywood Beat, Nov 21, 2009
Hollywood Hero Awards, Young Musicians Foundation
Hollywood Hero Awards
The ballroom of the new Montage Hotel was the perfect venue for the Hollywood Hero Awards, hosted by USA Today. Editor, John Hillkirk presented the award to Actress Ashley Judd, for her work as a Global Ambassador for YouthAIDS. Looking gorgeous in a fitted black cocktail dress, Ashley was with her handsome hubby, IndyCar champion, Dario Franchitti, and was overwhelmed by the honor bestowed upon her. She was particularly thrilled by Morgan Freeman, her co-star in High Crimes and Kiss The Girls. He made reference to these two films when he stated, “Not to steal any of her hero thunder, but twice I had to save her!”
Debra Messing, a fellow Global Ambassador, stated, “Ashley inspires us all”. And Magic Johnson, last year’s Hollywood Hero, flew in to surprise Ashley. “After I received my award lat year, I said, “The next person has to be beautiful, caring and give back to the community with passion and a good heart.” This certainly describes Ashley.
Other celebs feasting on Sustainable Chilean Sea Bass (whatever that is) and sipping fine California wines, included Oscar Winner Ellen Burstyn, who read a poem, When Death Comes; Councilman Bobby Shriver, and Zina Bethune, who was the first recipient of the Hero Awards.
USA Today, founded in 1982, has a mission to serve as a forum of understanding and unity, and to help make the USA truly one nation. They are the nation’s number one newspaper in print, and reach nearly 1.9 million readers. The Hollywood Hero Awards are presented to an entertainment industry humanitarian who has made remarkable contributions of time and energy to enrich the quality of life for others. Ashley Judd, who has traveled the world to educate them about the reality of global poverty and social injustice, was the perfect Hollywood Hero indeed..
Actress Molly Simms (Las Vegas) with Debra Messing
Magic Johnson with Ashley Judd – Two Hollywood Heroes
Actress Ashley Judd with her husband, IndyCar Champ, Dario Franchitti
Young Musicians Foundation
Legendary lyricist Hal David presented the first Emerald Award to honoree Dionne Warwick at the Emerald Anniversary of the Young Musicians Foundation. As celebrated composer/conductor John Williams stated, “Much rich talent has been encouraged and nourished by this program, and its success is essential to our community’s cultural well being.”
The black tie event was held at the beautifully designed Broad Stage in Santa Monica, which easily held the 80 players of the Debut Orchestra, ages 18-25. They opened with the delightful Wizard of Oz Concert Suite and included selections from Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story and Candide.
Warwick, who is best known for her recordings of David-Bacharach songs, warbled, What the World Needs Now, and That’s what Friends are For. In contrast to the seasoned performer, newscaster Giselle Fernandez introduced nine-year old soprano Naomi Montero, who sang the Puccini aria, O Mio Bambino Caro.
Truly a memorable musical mélange on the Hollywood Beat.
Debut Orchestra Conductor, Case Scaglione with Dionne Warwick
Edye Rugolo, Executive Director of YMF, and Benefit Gala Chair, Gina Rugolo Judd