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On Thursday evening at the iconic Clifton’s Republic nightclub in downtown Los Angeles, UNICEF Next Generation hosted its sixth annual UNICEF Masquerade Ball. The postmodern surrealist-themed fete celebrated all that UNICEF does to save and protect children around the world and was attended by guests such as Will Forte, Ahna O’Reilly, Claire Holt and Jon Rudnitsky.
Foster the People, who performed at the event in addition to Lion Babe, shared with The Hollywood Reporter that they got involved in UNICEF through their manager, who is on the board of the organization, and what drew them in to supporting the work UNICEF does, “I remember as a kid, going to school with your UNICEF cardboard box and collecting change and getting whatever you could to fundraise. It’s a really good organization,” lead singer Mark Foster said. “I feel like a lot of the organizations that are that big, sometimes it’s like a pyramid where all the money that gets donated goes to fund CEOs to take massive vacations and fly private around the world. UNICEF is an organization that spends 90 percent of its money on the kids that it’s trying to help. It’s in 190 countries, and I think that’s pretty impressive.”
Forte shared how he hopes to get more involved in UNICEF, given the increase in free time he has with the cancellation of his Fox show The Last Man on Earth. “I have not been involved with UNICEF, other than sending in occasional donations from mailers I get at home, but my friend Pete has been involved for years and years,” said the actor. “I have come to this event before. UNICEF is such an amazing organization. They do so much good work around the world. Now that I do have a little more time, I would love to see if I can be of more help.”
O’Reilly, on the other hand, told THR how she has been involved with UNICEF for several years: “About five years ago, I came to join UNICEF NextGen. I feel so passionate about getting folks of our generation excited about UNICEF the way the generations before us were. In these divided times politically, it’s so wonderful to show up for a cause that isn’t about anything but children. No matter where they were born, we can all show up to try to save a child’s life.”
UNICEF NextGen is a group of young leaders, philanthropists, entrepreneurs and innovators in their 20s and 30s who commit their resources, resolve and enthusiasm toward supporting UNICEF’s lifesaving work.
In addition to Foster the People, the R&B duo Lion Babe, consisting of lead singer Jillian Hervey and record producer Lucas Goodman, shared how their music’s message connects with UNICEF. “Part of our message is we love to help and support any organization that is near and dear to us. Obviously, children are the future. They’re probably the staple and model for an organization that provides so many different outreaches and things to do to help children all over the world. We were just happy to be a part and have our music and that element just add to celebrating them and their cause,” Hervey said. “They’re dealing with a lot of areas that are very poverty stricken. Even with their work with sanitation and what’s going on with Flint, Michigan, and the fact that they’re doing that on the local scale and have been doing that for many years to just try to get clean water to children. We have to invest in our kids, because that’s the framework for where our world is going.”
Over $280,000 was raised on the evening for UNICEF’s Emergency Relief Fund and also for programs ending violence against children in Madagascar.
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