A star-studded crowd, including Octavia Spencer, Liam Hemsworth, Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart, came out Saturday to support City Year Los Angeles, a nonprofit organization focusing on education.
The third annual Spring Break: Destination Education fundraiser was held on the Sony Pictures lot and raised $1.3 million to support AmeriCorps members who mentor more than 4,000 at-risk students to keep them on track for graduation.
“I’m so excited to be here, and I hope that the City Year Spring Break is now taking hold in the community,” said DreamWorks co-chairman and CEO Stacey Snider. “People understand the great work that the City Year corps members do every day, so I feel gratified to be here.”
Guests gathered outdoors on the commissary lawn to enjoy food, music and activities set up by sponsors including JC Penney, the NFL and the Hauptman Family Foundation. Families played outdoor hockey and video games while American Idol finalists Angie Miller, Amber Holcomb, Kree Harrison Candice Glover and Janelle Arthur showed off their hosting skills in the E! News booth.
British actor Ed Westwick, who will appear in the upcoming film Romeo & Juliet, said the fundraiser made him want to explore pursuing a similar initiative for students in London.
The event also was attended by Viola Davis, who danced with her daughter Genesis to performances by Skylar Grey and DJ Skyblu of LMFAO.
“We feel honored to be here,” said Davis. “Just to uplift any charity event that’s about service and education and youth and people who are not otherwise given a chance.”
AmeriCorps members gave testimonials about how their successes in school inspired them to help students who may have been told they would not succeed.
City Year board chair Andrew Hauptman closed the presentation by noting that the Boston Marathon bombing was near the organization’s headquarters and that Martin Richard, the 8-year-old boy killed in the attack, had attended a City Year partner school.