Fox Television Group chairmen and CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman were presented the National Champion for Children Award at the Alliance for Children’s Rights’ 24th Annual Dinner on Thursday, March 10. Dana and Gary were honored for their efforts to advance the lives of at-risk children, fight poverty and improve access to healthcare. These are key goals for the Alliance, which provides free legal services and advocacy to protect the rights of impoverished, abused and neglected children and youth.
In his remarks at the dinner, Gary reflected about his upbringing by parents who made sure their children were provided the education, health and opportunities they needed. “The way that kind of upbringing sets you up for success in life is something many of us take for granted,” he said. “And that’s put into sharp relief when you hear the stories of the thousands of children supported by the Alliance – kids who are so vulnerable, who have virtually no support system, who haven’t been placed on that same path to success, which is why it’s so important that we support the mission of the Alliance to take kids in the most at-risk environments and offer support, guidance and opportunity to find homes, educational assistance, healthcare and mentoring. The Alliance fulfills the role of a loving parent and it is inspiring and humbling to witness it.”
“Getting to know more about the work of this organization has given me the opportunity to appreciate how lucky I am to have such a loving and supportive family,” said Dana in her remarks. “My parents, Sheril and Bob Freedman, are here tonight. My dad told me since I was a very young executive to take risks and believe in myself – never worry about failure because I have a safety net. I remember him saying many times, ‘Your mom and I will always be here for you. You have a net.’ Those words resonate very strongly with me now that I’m a parent.”
Dana acknowledged Janis Spire, the Alliance’s president and CEO; and Nora Gilbert-Hamerling, special events manager for the Alliance’s Development Department, for their work providing a safety net for thousands of children in the Los Angeles community. “The Alliance is a blessing for so many, and I am honored to support your mission.”
The Annual Dinner unites prominent people in the entertainment industry for the Alliance’s largest fundraiser of the year. At this year’s dinner, Richard Martinez, superintendent of the Pomona Unified School District, was also honored with the Francis M. Wheat Community Service Award.
Seth MacFarlane, a 2016 sponsor and member of the Alliance’s honorary committee, presented Dana and Gary with their award; John Stamos, star of the FOX show “Grandfathered,” was the master of ceremonies for the evening; and singer-songwriter and “Empire” guest star Ne-Yo performed at the event, which raised a record $1.56 million for the Alliance.
Fox Networks Group Chairman and CEO Peter Rice and 21st Century Fox Executive Vice Chairman Chase Carey are honorary co-chairs of the Alliance.
The Alliance for Children’s Rights has served 125,000 children since 1992, providing them with permanency through adoption and legal guardianship, access to healthcare and an equitable education. To learn more about the organization and see how you can support their mission, go to its website.