Roy P. Disney, Megan Colligan Honored at Big Brothers Big Sisters Rising Stars Gala

10:00 AM PST 10/26/2013 by Tamara Rawitt
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Megan Colligan

Industry heavyweights Robert Iger, Rob Moore and Sherry Lansing showed their support for the mentorship program.

Filling the Beverly Hilton Ballroom for the 2013 Big Brothers Big Sisters Rising Stars Gala were the likes of Walt Disney Co. chairman and CEO Robert Iger, Sherry Lansing, Paramount Pictures vice chairman Rob Moore and Fred and Mary Willard, who came out to support the organization that provides one-to-one mentoring relationships between children faced with adversity and screened adult volunteer mentors.

This year's honorees were Roy P. Disney with the Walt Disney Man of the Year Award; Megan Colligan, president of domestic marketing and distribution at Paramount Pictures, who received the Sherry Lansing Award; and Cynthia Bengtson-Budzyn, co-founder of Big Sisters of Los Angeles and the recipient of the Trailblazer Award.

In presenting Colligan with her award at the Friday gala, Lansing joked that minus the attendees of the dinner, everyone else was out seeing Paramount’s Bad Grandpa.

Colligan made an impassioned acceptance speech and said one of the things she was most grateful for, in receiving the award, is that it finally allowed her to meet one of her idols for lunch: Lansing.

"Throughout my career I’ve been such an admirer of Sherry's, and yet I had never had the opportunity to meet her," said Colligan. "Lucky for me, this award helped rectify that and During our two hours together, she graciously imparted so much wisdom."

Iger presented Disney, who is chairman, CEO and founder of The Apogee Companies, with his award.

“I am humbled to receive this award tonight. It means a great deal to me personally,” said Disney.  “I wish to accept it not for myself, but for the Disney family.”

Disney, who followed in the footsteps of his family (the organization was started in 1955 by Walt Disney and Meredith Wilson), learned from his elder role models as a father and a mentor.

“I am reminded of a saying, that our job as parents is to put our children on our shoulders, so that they may see farther,” he said. “I hope each of you will take that opportunity.

Another tribute of the evening was from "Big Brother" and OB/GYN Dr. Ben Yehuda. He recounted how the young man he mentored has now gone onto to follow in his footsteps in becoming an OB/GYN and couldn’t be there that evening since he was on call delivering babies.

Later in the evening, during a live auction, guests were asked to raise glowing light sticks and make spontaneous donations to the organization. The event raised $760,000.

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