Stacey Snider Hosts Star-Studded Charity Benefit at Sony Studios

4:10 PM PST 04/20/2014 by Arlene Washington
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(L-R) Lauren Parsekian, actor Aaron Paul, Co-Chair Dreamworks Stacey Snider and City Year Los Angeles AmeriCorps member attend the City Year Los Angeles "Spring Break" Fundraiser at Sony Studios on April 19, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.

Aaron Paul, Betsy Brandt, Jason Bateman and Octavia Spencer attended an outdoor party on Saturday, which benefitted Americorps.

The commissary lawn at Sony Pictures Studios in Los Angeles was transformed into a outdoor party space on Saturday, where celebrities including Aaron Paul, Julie Bowen, Jason Bateman and Usher celebrated the importance of education.

The fourth annual event, the City Year L.A. Spring Break: Destination Education, was held to benefit Americorps members who tutor and mentor at-risk students in schools throughout Los Angeles. The event raised nearly $1.5 million.

"This party is to raise money, but it’s also to celebrate what they do and make them feel that we’re supporting them the way that they support the kids in school," said DreamWorks co-chairman and CEO Stacey Snider.

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Snider, who serves as the event’s co-chair, wanted to have a party that tweens, teens and their families could all enjoy together while remembering their obligations to education. Guests were able to shoot basketball hoops, try their hosting skills on the E! News camera and get their hair and makeup done at booths provided by the event’s sponsors, including JCPenney, J Brand and Microsoft.

Actress Betsy Brandt, who said she was hesitant to try her judging skills in the chair at The Voice booth, reiterated the importance of finishing high school. "Everybody just needs a little encouragement and help, and the great thing about this organization is a lot of these kids that mentor were in that situation," she said. 

Actress Octavia Spencer, a regular in attending the bash, praised the annual event. 

“Every child that can walk across that stage and get their graduation certificate keeps me coming back,” said Spencer. “That’s what is so important about City Year. You look around and you see these young ambassadors, they’re all people who were on the verge of not making graduation but they did.”

City Year L.A. chair Andrew Hauptman and fellow Americorps members shared their success stories in helping students stay on track to graduate from high school. The remarks were followed by a musical performance by Aloe Blacc.

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