Organization’s Annual Fundraiser Honors Ellen DeGeneres and Clear Channel Radio Los Angeles; Jodie Foster Presents The Trevor Founders Award
The Trevor Project Raises Record Amount at Cracked Xmas 10
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 10 /PRNewswire/ — The Trevor Project (Trevor), the non-profit organization that operates the nation’s only around-the-clock suicide prevention helpline for gay and questioning youth, today announced that it raised more than $463,000 at its tenth annual Cracked Xmas event. The amount raised is a record for the organization and came from corporate sponsorships, ticket sales and the sale of live and silent auction items. The fundraiser, sponsored in major part by presenting sponsor Washington Mutual and premier sponsors, Absolut Vodka, Blue Collar Productions, TNT and Wells Fargo, recognized the recipients of the organization’s annual honorary awards. Ellen DeGeneres, host of the The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which has won 21 Emmy Awards(R), received The Trevor Life Award; Clear Channel Radio Los Angeles, recently named as a best place to work for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees by the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index, received The Trevor Hope Award. The event was held on December 2, 2007 at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles.
“We are extremely encouraged by the funds raised at Cracked Xmas 10 to help the organization support desperate gay and questioning young people,” said Charles Robbins, executive director of The Trevor Project. “The Trevor Project urgently needs increased funding to meet the growing demand for our critical work. The record amount raised at this year’s event will enable us to expand our outreach, raise our visibility and continue to provide our confidential helpline, website and educational materials to our nation’s youth.”
In one of the evening’s most emotional moments, two-time Academy Award(R)-winning actress Jodie Foster presented The Trevor Founders Award to screenwriter James Lecesne and director Peggy Rajski. Ms. Foster accepted the award, posthumously, on behalf of her dear friend, producer Randy Stone. The award was given to the organization’s founders in recognition of the tenth anniversary of the first Cracked Xmas benefit and was presented in memory of Mr. Stone, who passed away unexpectedly in February of 2007.
Before the award presentation, Ms. Foster appeared in a moving filmed tribute to Mr. Stone with the founders and Jeffrey Stone, Mr. Stone’s brother. During the course of the poignant film, Ms. Foster observed, “I think Randy wishes that he had had a hotline that he could have called, that there was a hand for him that he could have held. And the Trevor mission really is an opportunity, I think, for all of us to look back at our lives and say ‘how can we give back to young people?’ How can we provide almost a face of family for young people who are questioning?”
In accepting The Trevor Life Award, Ms. DeGeneres movingly reflected on her own youth and how she has dealt with challenging periods in her life. “I had parents who loved me and I still felt different,” said Ms. DeGeneres. “I think that what I don’t understand — what I will never understand — is how different is bad or different is wrong. I don’t know why different is wrong… If there is a message that I can send to kids out there struggling, to anyone struggling, and it’s a weird one, but when you get through it, when you’re in that dark, dark place and when you’re devastated, when you get through it, those are some of the most beautiful, most important lessons you’ll ever learn in life.”
Among the celebrities who supported the organization through their presence were Grey’s Anatomy’s T. R. Knight, comedian Margaret Cho, Carmen Electra, Ricki Lake, Bruce Vilanch, Ugly Betty’s Alec Mapa, Entourage’s Rex Lee and vocalist Frenchie Davis. The live auction items included luxurious trips to the Hamptons and Hawaii and special VIP packages to attend tapings of The Ellen DeGeneres Show. The auctioneers were Andrea Fiuczynski, president of Christie’s Los Angeles, and Scott McPhail, Cracked Xmas event co-chair.
The Trevor Life Award honors an individual who through his or her example, support, volunteerism and/or occupation, is an inspiration to gay and questioning youth. The Trevor Hope Award honors a company or organization that, through its policies, initiatives and other efforts, demonstrates a commitment to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) causes and is a prominent, public example of corporate acceptance of individuals regardless of sexual orientation. Past recipients of The Trevor Life Award are Roseanne Barr (2006), Marc Cherry (2005), Debra Messing and Megan Mullally (2004), Rosie O’Donnell (2003) and Armistead Maupin (2002). Prior recipients of The Trevor Hope Award are HBO (2006), LPI Media Inc. (2005) and Wells Fargo (2004).
In 1998, The Trevor Project held its first annual Cracked Xmas fundraising gala in order to keep The Trevor Helpline open and available to gay and questioning youth. Now an annual event, Cracked Xmas brings together top entertainers to raise financial resources necessary to fund the organization’s services.
About The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project is a non-profit organization that operates the only nationwide, around-the-clock suicide prevention helpline for gay and questioning youth. The Trevor Helpline, 866-4-U-TREVOR, is a free and confidential service that offers hope through its trained counselors. In addition to the helpline, the organization’s website provides information on identifying and assisting potentially suicidal youth and “Dear Trevor,” a confidential resource where youth can ask questions about sexual orientation and identity issues. The Trevor Project also provides lifesaving guidance and vital resources to educators and parents. The organization was founded by three filmmakers whose film, Trevor, about a teenager who attempts suicide after realizing that he might be gay, received the 1994 Academy Award(R) for Best Short Film (Live Action).
For more information about The Trevor Project, visit http://www.TheTrevorProject.org. The Trevor Project is a 501(c)(3) organization.