Darren Criss, Jason Ritter, Zoey Deutch Help Raise $2.2M at Annual 'Spring Break' Party
The youth-oriented event yet again proved a popular mingling point for stars, teens and tweens while fundraising for the nonprofit.
For most people, spring break is an opportunity to forget about school and focus on having a good time, but City Year’s annual “Spring Break: Destination Education” event once again prioritized education with fun.
Held in its traditional location around the Sony Studios commissary in Culver City, City Year — which focuses on programs and initiatives designed to ensure that Los Angeles school students who are at considerable risk of dropping out remain committed to their education — lured another A-list coterie of Hollywood stars and industry insiders, many accompanied by their own teens and tweens, to mix and mingle with the families and volunteers.
Darren Criss was among the early arrivals, stopping every few feet as he roamed through the party to pose in selfies with the many young attendees, including the yellow-jacketed AmeriCorp volunteers, while once-and-future film co-stars Zoey Deutch and Glen Powell effortlessly shifted in and out of their conversation together to chat with rom-com fans.
Simon Cowell charmed the guests, while Terry Crews animatedly entertained partygoers on the periphery of the main stage (getting laughs out of his wife Rebecca King-Crews in the process) until the event’s headlining performer, 16-year-old Brynn Cartelli — the victor of the spring 2018 season of The Voice — took the stage and prompted some energetic dancing in the aisles.
Among the 1,400 guests circulating through the packed crowd and playing modern spins on classic carnival-style games were Yvette Nicole Brown, Jennifer Morrison, Dan Bucatinsky, Deborah Ann Woll, William Jackson Harper, Victoria Justice, Beanie Feldstein, Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker, Georgie Flores, Halston Sage, Garcelle Beauvais, Ginger Gonzaga, Logan Browning and “Weird Al" Yankovic.
Fresh off a conversation with Dave and Odette Annable, Jason Ritter told The Hollywood Reporter why he and so many other Hollywood luminaries make a point to attend this event, which this year raised $2.2 million. “It's sort of like an ‘everybody wins’ type of night,” said the actor. “It's a super fun party every year, and it's a great cause. This is a giant city, and there are certain areas and communities that get left behind. And to me it feels like, 'No, we're all part of the same city. You’ve got to help each other out.'”
Ritter said the cause also helps fight against a perniciously rising anti-education sentiment in the country. “I feel like education is on the front lines of every battle that we fight, especially in the last couple of years where there’s this uprising of non-education,” he explained. “And I think it's important to just have as many young minds have as much information and the ability to discern truth from non-truth. And so it's just a wonderful night, and every year that I can come to it, I love coming to it.”