The Weekend's Hottest Charity Benefits: Two Star-Studded Green Events Go Head to Head
Hollywood environmentalists are having to choose between competing eco-benefits this weekend on L.A.'s Westside.
On Saturday night, June 4, a star-studded 300-person dinner in Malibu to benefit the Natural Resources Defense Council will go head to head with climate-change group Global Green’s annual Millennium Awards.
The NRDC dinner, to be held at an undisclosed private home, has a luxury sponsor in Chanel and is chaired by Ron and Kelly Meyer, Bradley and Colleen Bell, and Steven and Dayna Bochco. It benefits the organization’s Oceans Initiative. Industry heavyweights on the NRDC benefit committee include J.J. Abrams, Skip Brittenham, Jim Gianopulos, Brad Grey, Robert Iger, Michael Lynton, Peter Morton, Tom Rothman and Barbra Streisand.
Meanwhile, Global Green — which has previously worked with Brad Pitt on the design of sustainable housing in post-Katrina New Orleans — is honoring Mark Ruffalo, an opponent of the controversial natural gas extraction method known as fracking. He'll get this year's Entertainment Industry Environmental Leadership Award, which has previously gone to Leonardo DiCaprio and Pierce Brosnan. Global Green is also giving actor and well-known eco-advocate Ed Begley, Jr. its Individual Environmental Leadership Award. On its committee roster? The big entertainment names are Norman and Lyn Lear and Jerry and Ann Moss.
So how did two big green events end up on the same night? And is this town big enough for the two of them? Global Green exec director Matt Petersen says he talked with Kelly Meyer about trying to move one of the events to another night, but it didn’t work out. “We don’t like to do it this way. We don’t like to compete with each other, but for these specific events we are drawing from some different audiences,” says Petersen. There are exceptions though. Global Green is also honoring Wendy Schmidt, president of the Schmidt Family Foundation and the wife of Google’s Eric Schmidt, with its Community Environmental Leadership Award. She recently launched the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X Prize Challenge to discover innovative ways to ameliorate oil spills. But Schmidt also a trustee of the NRDC. “She definitely had to choose be with us. She may try to make it to both,” says Petersen.
No word yet on where former Warner Bros. president Alan Horn and wife Cindy will be. Their names are on the committee list for both events.