Oscars’ ‘Night Before’ fundraiser on 23 Feb


MUMBAI: Hollywood will be out in full-force the night before the Academy Awards for the sixth annual ‘Night Before’ fundraiser to benefit the Motion Picture and Television Fund (MPTF). The event will be held at the Beverly Hills Hotel the evening of 23 February.

The first Night Before event was held in 2003, and instantly became one of the most coveted invitations in town kicking off what is now a much-anticipated awards season tradition. Since its inception, the Night Before fundraiser has raised more than $30 million for MPTF.

Sponsors of this year’s event will include AOL, McDonald’s, HP, L’Oréal Paris, Target, Variety, Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg, and Panavision and Deluxe Entertainment Services Group.

“This event raises more money to help the entertainment industry than any other single event we do,” said Motion Picture and Television Fund Foundation CEO Ken Scherer. “The money raised here during the past six years has changed the lives of countless people in the entertainment industry, through the various services and programs offered by MPTF.”

MPTF chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg added, “This year, more than any other, we are asking the entertainment industry to come out and help those in the business who are facing some type of hardship, financial or otherwise. There are people who are losing their cars and homes; the need has never been greater. The money raised from this event will enable MPTF to keep up with the increasing requests for help and hopefully we won’t have to say ‘no’ to anyone.”

Celebrities on this year’s hosting committee include Jennifer Aniston, Tanya Haden Black and Jack Black, Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg, Don Cheadle, George Clooney, Luciana and Matt Damon, Cameron Diaz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx, Jake Gyllenhaal, Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, Jennifer and Tobey Maguire, Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith, Christine Taylor and Ben Stiller, Justin Timberlake, Rachel Weisz, Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks, Kate Winslet and Sam Mendes, Reese Witherspoon, Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas.

The non-profit Motion Picture and Television Fund, headquartered in Woodland Hills, Calif., was founded in 1921 to provide “relief” for those in the film industry who had fallen on hard times. Today, 85 years later, MPTF is a major service provider supporting the health and well being of the entertainment community. Healthcare, childcare, retirement living and social/charitable services are offered with compassion and respect for the dignity of the whole person. Care is offered through the MPTF 250-bed hospital, five outpatient health centers, charitable financial assistance and community outreach programs, a full-scale retirement community and a children’s day care center.