Face Forward to Hold 6th Annual Gala Benefitting and Celebrating Survivors of Domestic Violence with a Moulin Rouge Inspired Night

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The 6th Annual Face Forward Gala Returns to Millennium Biltmore Hotel September 19th

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Deborah and I are humbled by the continuous and growing support for our annual philanthropic event. Our wish is to draw attention to the atrocity of the worldwide problem of domestic violence and abuse.

The true stars of this spectacular fundraising night will be the survivors of domestic abuse and the supporters that make it all possible to obtain the reconstructive surgery which helps them to leave behind the scars that remain from their abuse and to Face Forward to a brighter future. September 19th, Face Forward will hold its 6th annual gala at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, where celebrities from stage and screen will gather for a night to celebrate the bravery of survivors who have overcome adversity and have reclaimed their lives with help from Face Forward founders, Dr. David Alessi and Deborah Alessi. The night is about the survivors and the community of supporters that it takes to end the cycle of abuse. Last year the event heralded an intimate performance from Grammy winning artist, Brian McNight with celebrity attendees such as Lana Parrilla, Missi Pyle, Chris McKenna, Bonnie Somerville, Jeff Probst, Erik Valdez and award honorees including “Sugar” Shane Mosely and esteemed women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred. This year has an all-star line-up which is sure to garner increased awareness to the organization and will be announced soon.

Founder and CEO of Face Forward, Mrs. Deborah Alessi is a survivor of domestic abuse and a true advocate of this worthy cause. To assist other survivors to get a second chance at life, Mrs. Alessi recruited her husband and renowned facial reconstructive surgeon Dr. David Alessi M.D., who said, “Deborah and I are humbled by the continuous and growing support for our annual philanthropic event. Our wish is to draw attention to the atrocity of the worldwide problem of domestic violence and abuse. Face Forward’s annual fundraising efforts enable us to help more and more victims in their journey to achieve both physical and emotional healing and recovery. This year has been exceptional for us with amazing patients and exciting new partnerships which will help us raise awareness and funds to help more survivors.”

In addition to celebrating its survivors, Face Forward will celebrate new partnerships and initiatives formed this year such as launching an Entertainment Industry Board which will be helmed by music mogul and entrepreneur, Manny Halley, CEO of Imani Entertainment Group. This board, under his direction, will help guide Face Forward to recruit high profile individuals to participate in various activities throughout the year on behalf of Face Forward patients as well as to advocate for change while raising awareness. Halley made his mark in the industry by navigating the careers of artists such as Keyshia Cole and Nicki Minaj. His relationships run deep in entertainment and as an entrepreneur he runs multiple companies including his latest acquisition, the House of Macau restaurant, in the W Hotel Hollywood. Manny was moved by the work of Face Forward and the statistics of domestic violence and immediately signed on to utilize his connections to make a difference.

2015-2016 also brings new partnerships with organizations that deal in Human Sex Trafficking and Face Forward has partnered with The Mary Magdalene Project to help victims that have suffered from trafficking and abuse and require surgery. The organization and the gala shine light on a very dark subject and refocus everyone’s attention to hope for what lies ahead for survivors while reminding us that such atrocities exist and require all of our participation in order to make it end.

Another partnership to be celebrated is that between Face Forward and MobileCause; as together they have brought Face Forward to Mobile! Either through text to donate, direct texts to your donors or real time event fundraising, Face Forward is connecting to its supporters with state of the art mobile technology to make donating easier.

Domestic violence is a serious issue affecting 1 in 4 women and more than 4 million women in the US alone. The night will focus on survivors and raising money via donations, live & silent auctions. The powerhouse-packed event will feature a stunning cocktail reception at the Millennium Biltmore Los Angeles and a seated dinner in the Crystal Ballroom, silent & live auctions, live musical performances, and Moulin Rouge-inspired ambiance. Following the dinner will be the awards ceremony honoring individuals that have made a significant difference in this arena whom will be announced shortly. The event will also have music and dancing, with sound provided by Systems Integration Engineering, creating a celebration of life for the survivors and supporters. Honorary Committee members for the 2015 gala include, Bonnie Somerville, Tom Arnold (the two co-hosted in 2012), Missi Pyle, Sharon Stone, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Shaun Toub, Lana Parrilla, Jennifer Coolidge, James Tupper, Anne Heche, Raza Jaffrey, and Luis Guzman. Confirmed to appear are Luis Guzman, Raza Jaffrey, and Ben Hollingsworth. Performers and additional celebrity guests to be announced. The live auctions will feature fantastic items including a round-trip business class accommodations to any one of the destination stops on Etihad Airways and Turkish Airlines routes, lunch with Tom Arnold and Bonnie Somerville at the Soho House, and dinner cooked by Luis Guzman at the winner's home. Other fabulous auction giveaways include Deluxe Resort stays at: Jumeirah in Abu Dhabi, The One and Only in Australia, and Kurtz-Ahlers & Associates with a 4 night stay at the Five Star Mukul Beach, Golf and Spa in beautiful Nicaragua. Official sponsors for the gala include Turkish Airlines, Etihad Airways, Versace, Alessi Institute, and more continuing to align with the cause.

About Face Forward:
Face Forward founder and CEO Mrs. Deborah Alessi founded Face Forward in 2007. Mrs. Alessi is a survivor of domestic violence and a true advocate of this worthy cause. To help other survivors get a second chance at life, Mrs. Alessi recruited her husband and renowned facial reconstructive surgeon Dr. David Alessi M.D. The couple work constantly to help victim 'face forward' to the rest of their lives. Face Forward is a 501© non-profit organization. Since its creation Face Forward has worked with other advocates around the nation to identify victims of domestic violence who are working towards recovery, yet carry the physical evidence of past abuse. Face Forward does more than just provide pro bono reconstructive surgery to adults and children who have suffered from traumatic and physical abuse; they also create a welcoming and safe environment for the victims to start a new life and reclaim their confidence. With domestic violence occurring every 15 seconds in the United States, Face Forward strives to alleviate the internal and external scars of victims and those affected. Ninety percent of all rape and abuse cases lead to physical disfigurement and Face Forward provides treatment to victims who are not able to afford medical assistance.

About Etihad Airways:
Etihad Airways began operations in 2003, and in 2013 carried 11.5 million passengers. From its Abu Dhabi base Etihad Airways flies to 108 existing or announced passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas. The airline has a fleet of 102 Airbus and Boeing aircraft, and more than 210 aircraft on firm order, including 71 Boeing 787s, 25 Boeing 777-X, 62 Airbus A350s and 10 Airbus A380s. Etihad Airways holds equity investments in airberlin, Air Seychelles, Virgin Australia, Aer Lingus, Air Serbia and Jet Airways, and is in the process of formalising its equity investment in Swiss-based Etihad Regional*. For more information, please visit: http://www.etihad.com

About Turkish Airlines:
Established in 1933 with a fleet of five aircraft, Star Alliance member Turkish Airlines is a 4-star airline today with a fleet of 256 (passenger and cargo) aircraft flying to 260 destinations worldwide with 217 international and 43 domestic. According to Skytrax survey of 2014, Turkish Airlines was chosen "Europe's Best Airline" for the fourth and "Best Airline in Southern Europe" for the sixth consecutive time. Having won in 2010 the world's "Best Economy Catering Service" and in 2013 the world's "Best Business Catering Service" awards, Turkish Airlines was this year awarded the world's "Best Business Catering Service" and "Best Business Class Lounge Dining" prizes in the Skytrax survey. More information about Turkish Airlines can be found on the following website: http://www.turkishairlines.com

For press inquiries, please contact:
It Girl Public Relations | 818-825-5798
Juliette Harris | Julietteharris(at)itgirlpublicrelations.com
Samantha Cohen | Sam(at)itgirlpublicrelations.com

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