Rachel Zoe and Irena Medavoy Honored at Children Mending Hearts ‘Empathy Rocks’ Fundraiser

Rachel Zoe Getty H 2016
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“We’re so fortunate that we have access to a lot of things, but there are a lot of children who don’t. I really want [my kids] to know that and by coming to places like this, they get it,” Garcelle Beauvais told THR.

Children Mending Hearts 8th Annual "Empathy Rocks" charity event kicked off Sunday afternoon at a private home in Beverly Hills. The sold-out fundraiser celebrated Rachel Zoe and Irena Medavoy’s contributions and ongoing efforts with the organization.

Lysa Heslov, CEO of Children Mending Hearts had one goal in mind in 2008. She wanted to give disadvantaged children a voice and creative expression through educational and arts programs. In doing so, she founded Children Mending Hearts - an organization that focuses on empathy, global citizenry and growth of a child.

When asked about her inspiration, Heslov told The Hollywood Reporter, “I sort of stole [this concept] from my grandmother. She just really taught me about empathy and how to be compassionate.”

She added: “It’s nature versus nurture. If you can teach empathy in a way where it’s instilled in young kids at a very early age, we really have a chance to make a lot of changes in the world. If you had that compassion for others, no matter what race, religion and wherever you come from, you know that we’re all one and you would be much less likely to do something so horrible.”

The family-friendly event included music, food and interactive games. There were stations for kids to paint, as well as a shopping bazaar for parents where 100% of the proceeds go straight toward school programs for the LA youth.

Actress Garcelle Beauvais, accompanied by her two sons, told THR on the orange carpet, “It’s Sunday and obviously it’s a family day, but this is such a great cause that I wouldn’t think of being anywhere else.” She said. “I want to teach my kids that it’s important to give back. We’re so fortunate that we have access to a lot of things, but there are a lot of children who don’t. I really want [my kids] to know that and by coming to places like this, they get it.”  

Prior to accepting her Ambassador of Peace Award, philanthropist Irena Medavoy had a chance to speak to THR. She discussed her ongoing commitment as a child activist. Being a mother, Medavoy’s effort toward change is on a more personal level.

“Once I became a mother to my son, I see every child as my son or my daughter and I think they deserve the exact same amount of love and care and opportunity as he gets and I think that every child really deserves it.”  

She continued. “I’m so proud because I love this organization. Nothing means more when your work is recognized, but in actuality if you can bring some kind of awareness [like] Lysa Heslov and Children Mending Hearts, that’s always the best.”

Zoe who accepted the Humanitarian Award shared her gratitude for efforts toward the organization.

“To even be honored today is amazing. What Lysa has done is unreal and heroic in my eyes. [...] We do it to actually help as humanly possible.”

Jessica Alba presented the Humanitarian Award to Zoe; and last year’s honoree Nicole Avant presented the Ambassador of Peace Award to Medavoy.

Other notable guests included Kat Graham, Rowan Blanchard, Ali Fedotowsky and fiancé Ryan Morrow, Jennette McCurdy, Lydia Hearst, Tammin Sursok and husband Sean McEwen, Torrance Coombs and Ted Sarandos.