CNN Hero Susan Burton’s Charity Gala Draws Star Power for “A New Way of Life” Catching Falling Stars 2011 Fundraising Gala - November 17th

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Sharon Osborne, Jason Isaacs and Charlotte Ross, Reelz Channel and more are joining together for the 2011 fundraising gala for CNN Top Ten Hero Susan Burton’s charity, A New Way of Life Reentry Project (ANWOL) at the Universal Sheraton, Universal City, CA, November 17, 2011.

At the end of the day, I am here, standing strong, pushing forward, to provide the services, advocacy and opportunities that formerly incarcerated women and men need to become contributing members of society.” -Susan Burton

In support of second chances, stars Sharon Osborne, Jason Isaacs and Charlotte Ross, Reelz Channel and more are joining together for the 2011 fundraising gala for CNN Top Ten Hero Susan Burton’s charity, A New Way of Life Reentry Project (ANWOL). The charity’s important mission will be celebrated, and special awards presented to four honorees at the star-studded fundraising gala, “Catching Falling Stars,” held at the Universal Sheraton, Universal City, CA, November 17, 2011. A red carpet VIP reception will kick off the night at 6:30pm followed by silent auction and general reception at 7:30pm. Hosted by KPFK’s Margaret Prescod. Dinner, awards presentations, and a special performance by Chuck Negron, formerly of Three Dog Night are from 8:15-10:30pm.

Founded by Burton after she spent two decades entrapped in the criminal justice system before finding freedom and sobriety in 1997, the non-profit organization to date has helped transform the lives of over 600 formerly incarcerated women and their children. For these efforts, Burton received the coveted CNN Top Ten Hero award in 2010. Watch video of Marisa Tomei present her award: http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/living/2011/02/01/cnnheroes.tribute.burton.cnn?iref=videosearch

The evening of love, strength and hope will feature Sharon Osborne (America’s Got Talent) via a special video presentation of the SYNERGY TEAMWORK AWARD to Vinny Green and the children of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple School. The children, inspired by Ms. Green’s encouragement to serve through the Jewish tradition of “Tzedakah,” meaning “Charity” or “Righteousness,” collect their nickels and dimes throughout the year and donate them to a woman resident of A New Way of Life as an educational scholarship.

Also in support of championing the cause, Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter), Charlotte Ross (Glee), (and more to be announced) are confirmed to present special awards to the evening’s honorees:

COMMUNITY PARTNER AWARD: Nina Gray, President & CEO of Dental Plus, California: Dr. Gray has provided free dental services to ANWOL’s women residents - women whose minds, bodies and spirits were once ravaged by the disease of addiction, but who now have so many reasons to smile.

LIFETIME COMMITMENT AWARD: Mark Ridley Thomas, Los Angeles County, Second District Supervisor: The Honorable Mark Ridley-Thomas has been a life-long champion for the South Los Angeles community, and a fearless advocate for the Second District’s nearly 2.3 million residents.

COMMUNITY CHAMPION AWARD: Kimberle Crenshaw. UCLA Law School Professor: Professor Crenshaw’s groundbreaking scholarship integrates theory and practice to address issues facing women of color. Her "learning circles" on race, gender, and reentry demonstrate the critical need for gender-responsive reentry policies, and she actively supports community advocates committed to ending discrimination against people with criminal records.

Burton, who was awarded the prestigious Citizen Activist Award by the Harvard Kennedy School of Government for her work says, "It is such an honor for the work of A New Way of Life Reentry Project to be supported by so many. I'm excited for the opportunity to recognize this year's honorees, who have championed our cause in countless ways. I am especially humbled by the gifts from the children who attend the Wilshire Boulevard Temple School. At the end of the day, I am here, standing strong, pushing forward, to provide the services, advocacy and opportunities that formerly incarcerated women and men need to become contributing members of society.”

The ANWOL fundraiser has received strong community, corporate and media support through the generous contributions of: The Presenting Sponsor - Harvard Kennedy School, Center for Public Leadership; Media Sponsor - Reelz Channel; Corporate Sponsors include DUB Publishing, V-Day, and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors: Second District; Table sponsors include Affordable Housing Community Development Corporation, Kinecta Federal Credit Union, Xerox Corporation, Farrise Law Firm , and The California Endowment.

The Honorary Committee include: Tim Daly (Private Practice), Kathryn Joosten (Desperate Housewives), Cheech Marin (Grindhouse), Robert Morse (Mad Men), Mke O’Malley, Terrell Owens (The T.O. Show), Raven-Symoné (State of Georgia) Constantine Marioulis (Rock of Ages), and Sheryl Lee Ralph (Moesha). Additional invited celebrity guests are Janina Gavankar (True Blood), Estella Warren (Planet of the Apes), Marisol Nichols (24), Randee Heller (Mad Men), Cedric Sanders (All Things Fall Apart), Tony Denison (The Closer), and more to be announced.

Event produced by Carla Domen of GBK Productions and Jolson Creative Image PR is handling the celebrity outreach and media relations.

WHAT: Catching Falling Stars Fundraising Gala
WHEN: November 17, 2011 - Red Carpet begins at 6:30pm
WHERE: Sheraton Universal Hotel – Universal City, CA
WHY: To support the important work of A New Way of Life Reentry Project
TICKETS: http://www.anewwayoflife.org/2011-fundraising-gala-catching-falling-stars/

About A New Way of Life Reentry Project:
A New Way of Life Reentry Project provides housing and support services to formerly incarcerated women in South Central Los Angeles, facilitating a successful transition back to community life. The mission of ANWOL is to help women and girls break the cycle of entrapment in the criminal justice system and lead healthy and satisfying lives. Since its founding in 1998, AWNOL has helped transform the lives of more than 600 women and their children. As a community advocate, A New Way Of Life works to restore the civil rights of people with criminal records to housing, employment, public benefits, and the right to vote. For more information: http://www.anewwayoflife.org/

About Harvard Kennedy School, Center for Public Leadership:
The ultimate Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School is devoted to creating an ever-growing and vibrant community of new leaders, social entrepreneurs, faculty, and researchers. The Center for Public Leadership awarded Susan Burton, Founder and Executive Director of A New Way of Life Reentry Project with the Gleitsman Citizen Activist Award in 2010 for her work empowering formerly incarcerated women to reenter society, maintain their sobriety, and reunite with their children.

About Reelz Channel:
Reelz.com, the ultimate online destination for true movie fans, is designed to enable them to find all the latest movie news and information in a fun, entertaining and video-centric format. Reelz.com also enhances the viewers’ overall experience with ReelzChannel® TV and the ReelzChannel brand, while providing a valuable and distinctive platform for cross-promotion with studios and other promotional partners.

About DUB Publishing:
DUB, founded in January 2000, is a North American magazine covering urban custom car culture and also features celebrities and their vehicles. The magazine launched the DUB Magazine Custom Auto Show & Concert, a nationwide car show and concert tour that spans 16 U.S. cities."

About V-DAY:
V-Day is a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls. V-Day is a catalyst that promotes creative events to increase awareness, raise money, and revitalize the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations. V-Day generates broader attention for the fight to stop violence against women and girls, including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation (FGM), and sex slavery.

About Los Angeles County, Second District Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas:
As founder of the Empowerment Congress, arguably the region’s most successful twenty year experiment in neighborhood-based civic engagement , Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas is widely regarded as the foremost advocate of neighborhood participation in government and leader of the Neighborhood Council movement. He has advanced the interests of county residents on a variety of fronts, including transportation, job creation, local hiring, economic, work force development and health care; he has worked tirelessly to jump start the opening of the new Martin Luther King, Jr. hospital.

About GBK:
GBK Productions is a Fundraising & Special Events company that is dedicated to giving high quality, tailor-made service to its individual clients. GBK Productions is well known for integrating the Entertainment & Non-Profit industries to create unique and memorable high-profile National & International Events that maximize its clients fundraising efforts. For more information visit http://www.gbkproductions.com/

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Nadine Jolson
JOLSON CREATIVE PR
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