Alliance for Children’s Rights Dinner Raises $1.6M

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From left: Jennifer Braun, Mitch Kaplan, Aloe Blacc and Kevin Beggs

Lionsgate TV Group's Kevin Beggs and Kaplan Stahler Agency's Mitch Kaplan were honored at the annual event.

Aloe Blacc, Willie Garson and Brandon Bell all walked the Beverly Hilton red carpet on Monday evening in support of the the 27th Annual Alliance for Children’s Rights dinner to raise funds and awareness for the organization dedicated to fighting for the rights of Los Angeles foster children.

The Alliance provides completely free legal services and access to vital social service programs to hundreds of children and families that are going through the adoption process every year.

Garson shared with The Hollywood Reporter why supporting the Alliance was such a deeply personal issue for him. "I’ve been raising funds for them for years and then I went in to adopt, they stepped in and they helped me and it's the only time during the process when someone steps up and says, 'We got this,'" said the actor. "There’s so many hurdles put in people’s way, most importantly in the kids' way, and it's really nice that there’s something like the Alliance that says, 'Let’s get this done. Let’s take care of these people. Let’s create these families.'"

Erin and Sara Foster served as emcees for the gala, and they touched on some hot-button Hollywood issues including the ongoing feud between the Writers Guild of America and talent agencies, which elicited a chill in the room full of agents.

Honorary co-chairs for the event included Dick Lippin, Sandra Stern, Leigh Brecheen, Michael Burns and Jon Feltheimer.

It was an evening to celebrate both the nonprofit as well as the parents and children it serves. Adoptive parents spoke to the life-changing impact that the Alliance had had on their lives. 

"There was no way I could have done this by myself," adoptive parent Imelda Padilla-Frausto told guests from the podium.

Following a live fundraiser that raised over $100,000 to support services for the coming year, Mitch Kaplan, a partner at the Kaplan Stahler Agency, was honored with the Francis M. Wheat Community Service Award.

"The work you do here is so important, so beautiful and so nourishing to our great city," Kaplan said while receiving his honor. "Service is hard work. Service is tiring and not always convenient, but service, as Barack Obama says, continues to inspire me to be a better man."

Entertainment was provided by Blacc, who performed his hit "Wake Me Up."

Lionsgate Television Group chairman Kevin Beggs, who was given the National Champion for Children Award, told THR why the Alliance’s mission was so important to him: "They’re helping vulnerable youth that are caught up in a system that doesn’t always take care of them, that have biological families that may have disappeared. They do hundreds of adoptions a year and they're advocates for the disenfranchised, and that’s really hard.”

The dinner raised $1.6 million to provide for adoption and other social services for Los Angeles youths.