LOS ANGELES, Oct. 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles (BBBSLA) will host a hybrid ‘Big Night Out/ Big Night In’ Gala on Thursday, October 21, at the Fairmont Century Plaza, in conjunction with a Virtual Event with celebrity chef Antonia Lofaso. The live event will kick off at 6:00 p.m. PT with red carpet arrivals, followed by the program at 7:15 p.m. PT, honoring Michael E. Kassan, Founder, Chairman & CEO, MediaLink, with the Walt Disney Philanthropist of the Year Award; Stacy Green, Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer at Sony Pictures Entertainment, with the Sherry Lansing Award; and the LA Rams with the Defender of Potential Award. "The Big Night Out & In" Gala benefits youth facing adversity from underserved communities in Los Angeles by providing and supporting one-to-one mentoring relationships.
"We are incredibly grateful to this community who believe in the power of human connection, especially as we slowly evolve out of this historic pandemic. We are experiencing the influence of mentorship and the importance of keeping kids connected and celebrate the impact that this year’s honorees – Michael E. Kassan, Stacy Green and the LA Rams – have had reaching out to our youth! We honor their long-time dedication and generosity to BBBSGLA," said Lauren Plichta, President & Chief Executive Officer, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles.
Honorees will receive their awards during the ceremony. Michael E. Kassan will be honored with the Walt Disney Philanthropist of the Year Award, presented to an individual who sets a high standard of excellence in their professional accomplishments, personal humanitarianism and has made a significant impact in the areas of youth empowerment. Michael has been part of the organization for many years, believing that mentorship represents the foundation of a successful life path. He is a leading member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America’s Board of Directors.
Said Kassan: "Mentorship is what lifts us up in both our personal and professional experiences, and it represents the foundation of a successful life path. I’ve witnessed firsthand that BBBSLA understands this and have watched with awe at how they’ve transformed our community for the better. It’s one of the most sophisticated organizations out there in terms of the programs it runs for our underserved youth and the relationships it forges that set the tone for their futures."
Stacy Green will be honored with the 2021 Sherry Lansing Award, in recognition of her lifelong personal and professional commitment to diversity and inclusion, public education and mentorship. Since moving to Los Angeles in 2018, she has brought this passion to BBBSLA through her focus on their long-standing corporate partnership with Sony Pictures Entertainment, her personal support of the BBBSLA community and her outstanding volunteer service as a Big Sister in their Women in Entertainment (WIE) Mentorship Program. The award was established in honor of Sherry Lansing to recognize women in entertainment for their professional accomplishments, exemplary commitment to making our community a better place and investing in the next generation of leaders.
"Being Sabrina’s WIE Big Sister was the platinum lining of 2020. BBBSLA pivoted seamlessly to creating a virtual community that filled the hearts of all involved with gratitude and connection, while paving the way to incredible opportunity, "said Stacy.
The LA Rams are the recipients of the Defender of Potential Award. BBBSLA has embraced its role not only as "Defenders of Potential" of the youth they serve, but also "Defenders of Futures" for every young person in Los Angeles. Over the past five years, The Los Angeles Rams and its Community Relations Team’s involvement in BBBSLA has include NFL Inspire Change and home game tickets that offered BBBSLA’s Big/Little matches memorable experiences. Their outreach extends to a $25,000 Giving Tuesday donation, grants, and, most recently, Tyler Higbee and A’Shawn Robinson’s participation in BBBSLA’s fashion show – all inspiring activities of tremendous impact.
This year, for those not able to attend the live event, the "Big Night In" aspect of the gala, will be a virtual gourmet dining experience led by celebrity chef Antonia Lofaso, also to be held on Thursday, October 21, at 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. PT. The evening includes a gourmet multi-course meal with wine and cocktails delivered to each guest’s home, a virtual lesson from master mixologist Charlotte Voisey, and an entertaining, interactive zoom hosted by Iron Chef judge Billy Harris. Antonia Lofaso has appeared on the reality TV shows Top Chef, Chopped, Cutthroat Kitchen and Restaurant Startup, among others. She owns the restaurants Black Market Liquor Bar, Scopa Italian Roots, and DAMA in Los Angeles.
Join the generous Empower Sponsors – Ascential, Oro Capital and A&E Network – along with many other partners and donors, in supporting Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles’s "The Big Night Out & In" Gala. To make a donation, visit www.classy.org/give/donation
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About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles (BBBSLA) provides children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one mentoring relationships that change their lives, for the better, forever. Founded by Walt Disney and Meredith Willson in 1955, BBBSLA is a leading non-profit in the Los Angeles community and one of the largest youth mentoring organizations in Southern California. To learn more, visit www.BBBSLA.org.
SOURCE Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles