At a beautiful private estate on the bluffs of Malibu, the Children Mending Hearts charity held its seventh annual fundraiser to benefit disadvantaged youth around the world.
“I had this idea about creating an organization where you actually taught empathy and global citizenry,” CMH founder and chairman Lysa Heslov said of the impetus to form the charity.
The organization, of which Ben Affleck is a member of the board of advisers, aims to engage youth in America in global children’s causes. The fundraiser featured an array of young talent that walked the orange carpet and spoke about their involvement with CMH.
“I think that encouraging kids to find their voice through arts — which I think is the most powerful thing in the world — is a really good thing,” said Pretty Little Liars‘ Lucy Hale. The star celebrated her birthday at the fundraiser and also presented her co-star and offscreen pal Shay Mitchell with the Global Citizenship Award.
“It’s so important to give back and just encourage these children that no matter where you come from, no matter what walk of life, you can be an agent of change yourself,” Mitchell told THR. “Seeing what one person can do really inspires me. It’s important to empower these kids to know that they can be such a huge change in the world.”
Other honorees at the event included singer-actress Zendaya, the cast of MTV’s Teen Wolf for the Cast of Heroes Award and Nicole Avant, former U.S. ambassador to the Bahamas.
“The key here is humans connecting positively with one another,” Avant told the crowd with award in hand.
Amid the sprawling grounds of the estate, guests young and old took part in ping-pong, T-shirt-making and face-painting as well as an opportunity to pose with life-size, mascot-costumed versions of Cartoon Network’s The Amazing World of Gumball characters Gumball and Darwin.
“My opinion is that art should be in everything,” Heslov, married to Oscar-winning producer Grant Heslov (Argo), told THR. “The way that we teach empathy and global citizenship is through art. For me, it’s so important.”