On Nov. 9, the Women’s Guild Cedars-Sinai held its annual Crystal Ball gala at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, which honored Samuel L. Jackson and LaTanya Richardson Jackson with the Hollywood Icon Award and the Litvack family with the Humanitarian Award. Hundreds of people attended the event to support the honorees, and the programs funded by the Women’s Guild that drive research and innovation at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
The event was hosted by actress Kate Flannery, known for her role as Meredith Palmer on the television series “The Office,” and featured a performance by Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter, Lisa Loeb.
The Hollywood Icon award has historically honored those whose philanthropic endeavors have gone above and beyond, and this year is no exception.
In 1999, the duo established the Samuel L. and LaTanya R. Jackson Foundation, which is dedicated to supporting philanthropic arts, educational, and health organizations in the United States and Africa. In 2016, the Jacksons were honored by the Children’s Defense Fund for their contributions to the national child advocacy organization, and their commitment to the “Leave No Child Behind” mission, which hopes to ensure every child a “Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start, and a Moral Start in life.” Previous recipients of the Hollywood Icon Award include Jamie Lee Curtis, Danny DeVito, and Lyn and Norman Lear.
An effort to provide the community with a superior level of care “has prompted them to continually raise funds to curate and establish programs, which have successfully placed the Cedars-Sinai hospital in the enviable position as one of the finest hospitals in the world,” LaTanya Jackson said in her speech. “Their latest project, the Guerin Children’s project, will focus on the needs and care of our cherished generation of children. They care. In a world which daily seems to have lost its moral compass, the Women’s Guild Cedars-Sinai stands up to the peril and toxic disregard, to remind us all to care.”
“Thank you from my whole heart for recognizing Sam and me, and for doing what we consider is our reasonable portion of service,” she added.
“Acting is my passion,” Samuel L. Jackson said following his wife. “And as the adage goes, I pretty much act for nothing and get paid for waiting around to do it. Along the way, my fellow honoree has kept me grounded and confident and aware, as citizens of the world, we have a responsibility to do the best we can to be part of the solution.”
The Litvack family, which includes Dr. Frank Litvack, co-director of the Cardiovascular Intervention Center and Professor of Medicine at UCLA, Shelley Litvack, Emmy Award-winning director and producer, their children Willie, Harry, Erika, and daughter-in-law, Madeline, received the Humanitarian Award.
The gala was chaired by Lorette Gross, Deborah Klein, and Daniele Worth Ochoa. Wendy Goldberg and Barbara Herman served as gala advisory chairs.