Paul Allen Honored at UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability Gala

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Paul Allen at the sustainability gala event on March 13.

The red carpet turned green as environmentally conscious A-listers arrived at the Pritzker Mansion.

Christina Hendricks, Courteney Cox, Moby, James Marsden and Freida Pinto were just a few of the celebrities who came out to the honor those who have dedicated their lives to preserving, sustaining and improving the environment.

The exclusive event, held at the home of Jeanne and Tony Pritzker on Monday, was co-chaired by film producers Lawrence Bender and Alexandria Jackson.

“Environmental issues have always been an important part of my family,” Hendricks told The Hollywood Reporter. “My father worked for the National Forest Service so very, very early on we’ve been taught to recycle, save our water and learn how to share the planet rather than assume that we own it.”

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen was named the innovator of the year for his dedication to environmental causes, including an ambitious project to count every elephant in Africa, through his company Vulcan.

“Never before has the power to encourage action through engaging audiences been a more important component of what we do at Vulcan. This power of storytelling is the engine of the entertainment industry. It is a tool that can and must be used to encourage prompt action on the things that matter the most for our future,” Allen noted. 

The tony guests, who sat in a large tented space at the Pritzker's Beverly Hills home, were also treated to a musical performance by Jackson Browne and a live auction, where So You Think You Can Dance producer Nigel Lythgoe doubled up the highest bid and paid $10,000 for tickets to attend a taping of his own show.

“We need everyone to recognize global warming,” Lythgoe said. “I mean it is pretty obvious to the majority of us what is happening in the world and people are still dismissing it, which I am shocked by. I think our biggest danger is the fact that we are dismissing it.”

Toyota CEO Jim Lentz was honored for the innovations that his company had brought to the market, including the hybrid Prius and the new Toyota Mirai — the first mass produced car powered by a hydrogen fuel cell engine.

The proceeds from the event benefited the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, a program dedicated to training the next generation of scientists and researchers to create global solutions for Earth’s most pressing environmental challenges.