Musicians against malaria John Legend and Melinda Doolittle. CGG
The vibrant American Idol veteran Melinda Doolittle sang a gorgeous rendition of Amazing Grace last night to a room full of benefactors at the Millennium Promise & Malaria No More annual benefit to raise money and awareness to end global poverty and malaria. The young singer has traveled with Malaria No More to Zambia to distribute life-saving bed nets and to raise awareness about the disease.
The crowd dined under what looked like the world’s largest bed net, where giant swaths of blue gauze decorated the ceiling of the Tent at Lincoln Center, Damrosch Park. The dinner honored four men who have been tireless in their work for these organizations: Raymond Chambers (Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Malaria), Peter Chernin (President and COO, News Corporation), Professor Jeffrey Sachs (Director, the Earth Institute at Columbia and Special Advisor to the Secretary-General of the UN) and George Soros (Chair, Soros Fund Management and Open Society).
Millennium Promise believes that for the first time in history, we can cut global poverty in half by working with impoverished communities, partner organizations, and local governments to address the major causes of global poverty in their millennium villages: from inadequate education and disease to lack of safe drinking water. And what separates them from other organizations is a deadline they have placed on this powerful goal: 2015, bringing what was once unforeseeable into a very tangible project.
Malaria No More has one mission: to end deaths from malaria. While we’ve known for a century how to beat this disease, it still takes over a million lives per year. Yet the solution is simple: cost-effective prevention tools and treatments.
Music icon John Legend presented the award to Professor Sachs. The musician is the founder of the Show Me Campaign , which raises awareness and money for Millennium Promise goals. He said that he first discovered Sachs’ work after watching him on the Comedy Central’s Colbert Report, where he was promoting his book, The End of Poverty . John was compelled by his words and by his energy.
“I read End of Poverty and I was so inspired by the vision that was laid out in the book, the fact that if we decide that we want to do it, then we can really do it.”