World of Children Award, an organization dedicated to setting the gold standard in child advocacy, hosted its inaugural 2015 Alumni Honors event emceed by Brooke Burke-Charvet at Il Cielo in Beverly Hills. Since 1998, the organization has recognized, funded and elevated over 100 child advocates in the world, and for the first time recognized three previous World of Children Award honorees Jessica Markowitz (2009 World of Children Youth Honoree), Triveni Acharya (2013 World of Children Humanitarian Honoree) and Dr. Ricardo Bennun (2007 Health Honoree) for the way they leveraged their award far beyond what was anticipated with an alumni honors event.
Attendees at the sold-out benefit included emcee Brooke Burke-Charvet in an Alice + Olivia top, Tamara Mellon skirt, Christian Louboutin heels (TV Personality, Actress, and CEO of ModernMom) along with husband David Charvet and their daughter Rain Charvet, son Shaya Charvet and Burke’s daughter Neriah Fisher, Stephanie March in a white Cushnie Et Ochs cutout-bodice halter dress (World of Children Award Celebrity Ambassador / Law & Order: Special Victims Unit), Brian Grazer (Honorary Chair / Executive Producer, Empire) along with fiancée Veronica Smiley (Honorary Chair), Michael York (Actor), Adam Shulman (Event Co-Chair, Co-Founder & Designer of James Banks Design), Heidi Nahser Fink (Co-founder & Designer, James Banks Design), Kay Isaacson-Leibowitz and Harry Leibowitz (Co-Founders & Co-Chairs, World of Children Award), and more.
- It was family night for host Brooke Burke-Charvet as she was joined by her husband actor David Charvet and children Neriah Fisher, Rain Charvet, and Shaya Charvet.
- Brooke’s daughter, Rain Charvet, helped her mom on-stage during the awards program and presented each of the honorees with an Alumni Honors medallion specially designed by Adam Shulman and Heidi Nahser-Fink of James Banks Design.
- World of Children Award Celebrity Ambassador Stephanie March glowed in her white Cushnie Et Ochs cutout-bodice halter dress and enjoyed the special night chatting and taking photos with each of the honorees.
- Anne Hathaway, who is currently in New York for her off-Broadway play Grounded, showed her support for World of Children’s #RealLifeHeroes and posted a throwback photo from her childhood and encouraging others to do the same. https://instagram.com/annehathaway
- This year’s World of Children 2015 Alumni Honorees and real life heroes included: Jessica Markowitz (2009 World of Children Youth Honoree) of Richard’s Rwanda IMPUHWE who educates girls in Rwanda; Triveni Acharya (2013 World of Children Humanitarian Honoree) of the Rescue Foundation who rescues trafficked girls from brothels in India; and Ricardo Bennun (2007 Health Honoree) of Asociación PIEL who provides surgery for children with facial deformities in Argentina.
- The 2015 Alumni Honors event raised more than $275,000 for vulnerable children, and due to generous support and success of the fundraising efforts, World of Children Award increased the Alumni Honor cash grants by 60% – from $25,000 to $40,000 for each of the three honorees.
- In light of the devastating earthquake in Nepal, the honorees voluntarily donated 10% of their cash grants to the Nepal Earthquake Relief, which would help two of their fellow World of Children Award Honorees – who are struggling to save children’s lives in the aftermath of the earthquake in Nepal.
- Special guest of the evening was Grace Umutesi from Rwanda, one of the original students supported by Jessica Markowitz’s Richard’s Rwanda-IMPUHWE. Grace shared her courageous story of surviving the Rwandan Genocide 20 years ago and now excelling in school, scoring at the top of her class, thanks to the program. During the event, Stephanie March surprised her with the World of Children Award grant of $5,000 towards her education.
About the 2015 World of Children Alumni Honorees
Jessica Markowitz, Founder, Richard’s Rwanda IMPUHWE, Rwanda (2009 WOC Youth Honoree)
In Kinyarwanda (the national language of Rwanda), impuhwe means compassion and is central to Jessica Markowitz’s work with young women in Rwanda. She is the founder of Richard’s Rwanda IMPUHWE, a program that she created at the age of 11 to ensure Rwandan girls can receive the education they deserve in a safe and nurturing environment. World of Children Award’s funding ensured that Rwandan girls (whose families were still reeling from the 1994 genocide) could complete their education with the knowledge they needed to change their communities, country and the world. Since receiving our Award in 2009, Jessica has made extraordinary strides to expand the impact of her work, including adding new girls to the program and leading service learning trips to Rwanda with U.S. students. http://www.worldofchildren.org/blog/2015-alumni-honors-jessica-markowitz-rwanda/
Triveni Acharya, President, Rescue Foundation, India (2013 World of Children Humanitarian Honoree)
Triveni Acharya was first inspired to take action after her work as a journalist led her to a brothel in India, where she met a 10-year-old girl who had been imprisoned, sexually assaulted and stripped of her rights. Since then, she has fearlessly led the way in rescuing over 4,000 victims of child trafficking through her organization, Rescue Foundation. Last year, Acharya used World of Children Award’s funding to rescue and rehabilitate 171 girls who were trapped in brothels in India. She plans to use the next two installments of our grant to rescue hundreds more. http://www.worldofchildren.org/blog/triveni-acharya-risks-her-life/
Dr. Ricardo Bennun, Founder, Asociación PIEL, Argentina (2007 Health Honoree)
Seeing the smile of a child is what Dr. Ricardo Bennun goes to work for every day. Since receiving the World of Children Health Award in 2007, Dr. Bennun has performed thousands of surgeries free of charge for children with cleft lip and other facial deformities in Argentina. He is the founder of Asociación PIEL, a healthcare facility for children in a poor district outside of Buenos Aires. There, Dr. Bennun and his team of doctors, dentists, psychologists and speech therapists provide free treatment and surgery for children with devastating birth defects, tumors, and other facial deformities. Recognition at the World of Children Awards Ceremony helped Dr. Bennun make the necessary connections to establish the first-ever maxillofacial surgery residency program at the medical school in Buenos Aires and has provided surgery and rehabilitation for more than 2,000 children in Argentina. http://www.worldofchildren.org/blog/2000-children-smile-the-first-time-argentina/
About World Of Children Award
For 18 years, World of Children Award has identified and vetted some of the world’s most promising heroes leading programs for children and granted funds to advance their efforts. The organization’s exhaustive research and vetting of individuals has been hailed by leading philanthropic organizations. Since its founding in 1998, World of Children Award has allocated millions of dollars in cash grants and program support to over 100 Honorees who are the driving force behind programs serving children worldwide. For more information, please visit www.worldofchildren.org.