Photo Flash: Jane Lynch, Giada De Laurentiis Honored at 2013 Angel Awards
On Saturday, August 10th, 2013 Project Angel Food hosted its annual Angel Awards where the non-profit recognized the philanthropic accomplishments of award-winning actress Jane Lynch, star of FOX's Glee and host of NBC's new hit "Hollywood Game Night," and Food Network staple, celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis. With nearly 400 guests in attendance, it was a night to celebrate and many of Hollywood's brightest turned out to show their support for the evening's honorees and the organization which prepares and delivers over 12,000 nutritious meals every week to those with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life threatening illnesses in Los Angeles County. Scroll down for photos from the festivities!Among the many celebrities lending their support were Bryce Dallas Howard ("The Help"), Seth Gabel ("Arrow," "Fringe"), MariAnne Williamson (Founder, Project Angel Food), Tricia Helfer (ABC's "Killer Women"), Nolan Funk (MTV's "Awkward," "The Canyons"), Sara Rue ("Popular," "Malibu Country"), Susan Blakely (Lifetime's "The Perfect Boyfriend"), Dan Bucatinsky (ABC's "Scandal"), Don Roos (Writer/Director, "Web Therapy"), Marguerite Moreau (Samsung's "D-TEC," "Stress Position"), Christopher Redman ("Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters," USA's "Graceland"), Rick FOX (VH1's "Hit the Floor"), Eliza Dushku ("The Scribbler"), Doug Spearman (Writer/Director, "Hot Guys with Guns"), Bridget McManus ("Cowgirl Up"), Lawrence Zarian (Style Expert for "Live w/ Kelly & Michael" and "StEve Harvey"), Tosh Yanez (international male model), Mila Hermanovski ("Project Runway All-Stars"), Sam Pancake (NBC's "Growing Up Fisher"), Ahna O'Reilly ("Jobs," "The Help"), Scott Krinsky ("Chuck"), Meredith Baxter ("Glee," "Family Ties"), Samuel Larsen ("Glee" & "The Glee Project"), Kat Kramer ("Kat Kramer's Films That Change The World"), Carrie Keagan (VH1's "Big Morning Buzz Live with Carrie Keagan"), Mark Cirillo ("The Last Straight Man"), Joan Dangerfield (Producer, "It's Not Easy Bein' Me"), Richard Simmons ("Project H.O.P.E."), Geri Jewell ("Deadwood") Mei Melançon ("X-Men: The Last Stand," "The L Word"), Fabienne Mauer ("C'est Magique"), Ashley Palmer ("A Strange Brand of Happy"), Lisa LoCicero ("General Hospital") and from "The Young and the Restless:" Jessica Collins and Christian LeBlanc. It is estimated that the evening raised enough to provide well over 40,000 meals that will be home-delivered to the organization's 2,100 clients. In honor of Italian-born De Laurentiis, Project Angel Food chose a Tuscan theme for the evening which began with a cocktail hour and silent auction featuring donated items such as Macy's gift cards, restaurant gift certificates, Kiehl's gift baskets, jewelry and several all-inclusive vacation trips. As has become tradition at all Project Angel events, guests were gifted, upon arrival, with hand-beaded bracelets to wear in place of the standard neon-colored security wristbands. Reflecting the Tuscan theme, the bracelets were golden in color and were all assembled by Project Angel Food volunteers. Dubbed "Feed Beads" because the purchase of one at $5 provides the funding for one client meal, the bracelets are a recent addition to Project Angel Food's fundraising endeavors and are available for purchase throughout the year at events such as the upcoming Delish and Divine Design.
With the sun setting, guests finalized their Silent Auction bids and began to file into the evening's elegantly transformed dinner space (by day a narrow parking lot) where they were treated to the musical stylings of the Harvard Yardbirds, the university's acclaimed alumni a cappella group. Guests were then welcomed by LA City Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell before being treated to a delicious meal featuring many Italian favorites such as caprese salad, lemon-herb roasted chicken. orecchiette with mascarpone and mixed wild mushrooms. The evening's meals were prepared in house by volunteers and the non-profit's chefs using produce grown in Project Angel Food's community gardens.
The evening's main program began with a delightful Bryce Dallas Howard presenting Giada De Laurentiis with Project Angel Food's inaugural Iconic Chef Award. Howard was an ideal choice for presenter as one of De Laurentiis' first jobs after cooking school was working as the Howard family's personal chef when Bryce was a teenager. Howard had everyone laughing with her antidotes of being a chubby teen idolizing the glamorous and seemingly perfect family chef.
To better explain what Project Angel Food does and the direct impact its services can have on individuals, newly installed CEO Laurie Lang introduced staff members who read comments sent in by the organization's many clients praising not only the delicious, life-saving meals they receive but also the emotional life-line the organization often provides them with as well. Current client Maria Valdez next took to the stage and movingly spoke of her battle with cancer and how she credits her ability to go on, in great part, to Project Angel Food and the nutritious meals she continues to receive weekly.
The evening's mood lightened considerably when Lang and recent Emmy-nominated actor, Dan Bucatinsky, began the always popular live auction where guests were urged to contribute by bidding on several holiday meal sponsorships as well as sponsorships of the organization's expanding community gardens and daily meals. Bidding grew so intense between honorees De Laurentiis and Lynch for the sponsorship of the upcoming Thanksgiving Day meals to all Project Angel Food clients that the two agreed to co-sponsor the day's meals each for her final bid amount in effect doubling the money raised by that particular auction item.
MariAnne Williamson, Project Angel Food's founder next took the podium, presenting Jane Lynch with the conveniently named MariAnne Williamson Founder Award for Lynch's philanthropic leadership. Williamson praised Lynch as a "wise woman, a role model and for "standing up in her truth." Lynch, in accepting her award, was visibly touched by the honor and "thrilled and inspired" to be receiving it from one of her own personal heroines. Lynch went on to extoll the benefits of Project Angel Food's meal service not only to the clients in need but also to those volunteering their service by noting that, "There is nothing more 'primally' loving as feeding a person that it shoots light and love into the cells of everyone involved from the one who prepares, to the one who delivers, to the one who consumes, to all of us here tonight celebrating Project Angel Food and the very basic yet exquisite service it provides: feeding those in need."
The evening concluded with LA City Councilmember Tom LaBonge presenting each honoree and Project Angel Food with proclamations from the Los Angeles City Council detailing the many accomplishments of each and saluting their service to the community.
Founded in 1989 by MariAnne Williamson, Project Angel Food will celebrate its 25th anniversary next year.
Photo Credit: Eric Charbonneau/Invision for Project Angel Food
Style Expert Lawrenece Zarian ('Live with Kelly & Michael' and 'StEve Harvey') and international male model Tosh Yanez
Project Angel Food CEO Laurie Lang and Fashion Designer Mila Hermanovski ('Project Runway All-Stars')
Marguerite Moreau (Samsung's upcoming 'D-TEC', 'Stress Position') and husband Christopher Redman ('Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters', USA's 'Graceland')
Tricia Helfer (ABC's upcoming 'Killer Women')
Golden Globe winner Susan Blakely
The Harvard Yardbirds, the universityÃs acclaimed alumni a cappella group, performing
Four time Emmy-nominee Karo Vartainian (Costume Supervisor, 'Desperate housewives'), Jacqui Farina, Project Angel Food's Director of Special Events, and Project Angel Food Board Member George Anderson.
Presenter MariAnne Williamson, Founder of Project Angel Food, with fitness guru Richard Simmons.
Sylvestre Huerta, Project Angel Food Board Member Peter Gurski and Mark Landres.
Laurie Lang, CEO, Project Angel Food, and Emmy-nominee, Dan Bucatinsky on stage conducting the live auction for Angel Awards 2013.
Honoree Giada De Laurentiis, recipent of the inaugural Iconic Chef Award with Robert Bauer, Chairman of Project Angel Food's Board of Directors.