Jim Gianopulos to Be Honored for His Work With the Homeless at Chrysalis Butterfly Ball

Jim Gianopulos - Getty - H 2017
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"Far more than the tools, they supply [people] with hope,” the Paramount chief said of the nonprofit.

Paramount chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos will be honored June 2 for his work helping homeless individuals as Chrysalis’ annual Butterfly Ball will celebrate the executive's decade-long support of the nonprofit.

Since 2005, Paramount has also been a supporter of the organization, which provides resources for 4,000 homeless or low-income people each year to help them gain employment.

The 17th annual ball, which Netflix will sponsor this year, is to be held at a private estate in Los Angeles' Mandeville Canyon. In addition to Gianopulos, the organization will recognize chef Curtis Stone and Activision Blizzard Studios’ Stacey Sher with the Spirit of Chrysalis Award.

Gianopulos told The Hollywood Reporter that he became aware of the nonprofit through friends like Brian Robbins, Jeff Skoll, Tony Sella and Mark Gordon, who participated in the ball. Earlier this year, Gianopulos made his first visit to the downtown center near Skid Row to help clients put together résumés and apply for jobs.

"It’s a very deeply emotional experience," he said. "I was just blown away. These are some incredibly dedicated people doing fantastic work, moving people from homelessness and hopelessness into productive lives."

Gianopulos also learned about what he calls a "wonderful tradition," wherein the center of the downtown lobby houses a big bell which is rung whenever someone gets a job. "It's a big celebration," Gianopulos tells THR. "It's a moment of appreciating that 'Someone made it and maybe I can, too.'"

The exec says he hasn’t done "a fraction" of the work that the dedicated staff has, but appreciates the honor this year.

"I don't think of it so much as an honor bestowed on me, but a privilege to be in a position to be able to help," he said. "It's incumbent upon those of us in these positions in town. To me, it's part of the job."

Last year, the event welcomed Halle Berry, Jason Bateman, Jordan Peele, Patricia Arquette and Zendaya. Since 2002, the Butterfly Ball has raised more than $15 million.

"It's extraordinary when you see it firsthand — the kind of assistance that they provide, the kind of encouragement that they provide, the kind of self-worth that they instill in their clients, who in many cases are at the end of their hope,” Gianopulos said.