United Friends of the Children's Annual Dinner Raises $2 Million

Rob Friedman Wendy Smith Meyer - P 2013
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Rob Friedman Wendy Smith Meyer - P 2013

Co-honoree Wendy Meyer on the organization's program to support foster kids in college: "We have a special responsibility to them."

Somewhere there’s a kid in foster care who’s going to graduate from college because of the $2 million raised at the United Friends of the Children Brass Ring Awards Dinner on Wednesday, May 29. The L.A.-based non-profit’s mission is to give these children a support system that assists with education and finding housing when they leave government care.

“People ask why we should care about foster children, that they’re such a small percentage of our society,” said co-honoree Wendy Meyer, who’s an USC professor and the wife of outgoing Warner Bros. chairman Barry Meyer, at the Beverly Hilton reception. “It’s because the state has in effect been their parents. We have a special responsibility to them.”

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Rob Friedman, co-honoree and co-chairman of Lionsgate, said what strikes him about the children who’ve gone through the UFC program “is how much they want to give back to the same society they could have fallen through the cracks of. They want other kids to have that kind of opportunity.”

The dinner hosted by Allison Janney featured a gospel choir performance for the 675 guests, who included Sid Sheinberg, Gary Barber, Susanne Daniels, Baron Davis, Alan Levine, Fred Rosen, Bruce Berman, Toby Emmerich (whose wife, Julie Glucksman, helped chair the dinner) and P.J. Byrne. The connection with Warners gave the event a turnout that looked like a high level exec company picnic. Among them were incoming chairman Kevin Tsujihara, Peter Roth, Sue Kroll and Dan Fellman.