Armie Hammer, Elizabeth Chambers Honored at Learning Lab Ventures Gala
The fundraiser raised $1.4 million for its after-school program that helps combat the generational cycle of poverty in Los Angeles.
The 2nd Annual Winter Gala for the nonprofit Learning Lab Ventures raised $1.4 million Thursday night for its after-school program that helps combat the generational cycle of poverty in Los Angeles.
Established by philanthropist Rochelle Gores Fredston, the event held at the Beverly Hills Hotel gathered some famous faces to raise funds and honor those who have supported the organization.
Actress Kate Bosworth presented chairman and CEO of Phoenix Pictures Mike Medavoy and his wife Irena with the Philanthropic Vision award for their work with COACH. for Kids, Team Safety and Learning Lab Ventures. While accepting the award, the couple singled out attending guests Mark Burnett and Roma Downey for their aid to the cause. “If we ever call them, they say, ‘What do you need, where do you need it and how fast?’” said Irena Medavoy.
Newlyweds Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas made a rare postnuptial appearance, sitting for dinner with the evening’s honorees Elizabeth Chambers and Armie Hammer, whom Chopra later presented with the NextGen Philanthropic Leaders award.
“It was surely destiny that one magical night at the Met Gala, at the same table where I met my husband Nick, that I also met these two warm, dynamic people I am lucky enough to call my friends,” said Chopra. “What connected us on a deeper level is that we understood we have a responsibility as individuals to leverage our position and our privilege to give back — because we can.”
Chambers and Hammer received their award together. “I feel like we haven’t given enough,” said Chambers. “We have to give more, and I feel like it’s easier now than it’s ever been. Whether it’s giving funds or showing up, there are no excuses. It is easy, it is accessible and it is our responsibility.”
Also in attendance were Rosanna Arquette, Rachel Zoe and husband Rodger Berman, chef Curtis Stone and wife, actress Lindsay Price, former boxer Sugar Ray Leonard and Insecure actor Jay Ellis. The event included a silent auction for items like a private dinner with Jamie Foxx and Leonardo DiCaprio, a guitar signed by the members of Muse and courtside Laker tickets, among others.
For $1,000 per child, per year, the organization maintains a 100 percent high school graduation rate for children in the program, and all graduates are attending college programs, some at schools like Harvard, Berkeley and MIT, often with the help of scholarships awarded to them. “At LLV we often get asked why our program works. The answer is simple: it’s the hours we invest in our students,” said Gores Fredston.
“Children who attend school in low-income areas are at a disadvantage because they receive less time and attention than children in well-funded public schools. What we do is level the playing field. Students attend LLV every day after school, which gives them the support they need to succeed. We produce first-generation college graduates. Rather than passing down poverty, LLV students are getting the opportunity to achieve the American dream.”