So last night was the big Kickoff Event! It was an incredible success and we all had a blast. The show was at B.B. King Theater in Times Square and was hosted by Kevin Jonas with special appearances by Jojo, Aimee Teegarden, Corbin Bleu, The Plain White T's, Jared Eng from Justjared.com, Jason Ritter and more. The Plain White T's gave a rockin' performance and the Battle for the Bands grand prize winner, Allen Mask, put on an AMAZING show!
All of these people were here to celebrate and honor the 13 incredible semi-finalists. Each of the finalists have done amazing and impressive things ranging from cheerleading squads for disabled children to "edutainment" videos to free dance programs for underprivileged kids. Their stories were inspirational and moving and made it impossible to pick five favorites. However at the end of the night, the five finalists were announced: Adam Lowy, Mark Kabban, Sarah Cronk, David Schwartz, and Taryn Guerrero Davis. Adam noticed how much food is thrown away when people move, so he founded Move for Hunger, which works with moving companies to strengthen our nation’s food banks. Mark founded YALLA to empower immigrant families and their children in San Diego, CA, using soccer and art to help them develop the knowledge and confidence to pursue their goals. Sarah Cronk founded The Sparkle Effect, which creates all inclusive high school-based cheerleading squads across the country and South Africa to help kids with disabilities feel included. David Schwartz created the Real Food Challenge to shift $1 billion of college food purchases toward local, sustainable, humane and fair trade sources by 2020. Last but certainly not least, Taryn created The American Widow Project to provide resources to the 3,000+ other women around the country whose husbands, like her own, died in Iraq and Afghanistan. These finalists are incredible and we can not wait to see who will be the $100,000 grand prize winner in August.
While all of these wonderful things were going on downstairs, Lauren was selling tons and tons of merchandise upstairs! There were t-shirts, water bottles, stickers, tote bags and more, all of which you can buy online.
Here's a picture of (left to right) our COO Aria, the 2008 Do Something Award Winner and philanthropic superhero, Maggie Doyne, and our Director of Business Development Melanie!