English musician Sting and wife Trudie Styler were the guests of honor at The We Are Family Foundation (WAFF) gala at Manhattan Center’s Grand Ballroom in New York City. Sting performed along with Nile Rodgers & CHIC, Sam Moore and Russell Peters.
Sting, real name Gordon Sumner, and Styler received the organization’s Humanitarian Award for their efforts to “improve the human condition throughout the world.”
Attending We Are Family
Sting – Honoree; Singer, Songwriter
Trudie Styler – Honoree; Artist
Nile Rodgers – Founder & Chairman, WAFF; Producer, Musician and Songwriter
Russell Peters – Comedian & DJ
Sam Moore – R&B/Soul Singer
Nancy Hunt – President, WAFF
Ndaba Mandela – Co-Founder & Co-Chairman, Africa Rising Foundation
Kweku Mandela – Co-Founder & Co-Chairman, Africa Rising Foundation
Slater Jewell-Kemker – Filmmaker
Caryl Stern – President & CEO, U.S. Fund for UNICEF
Devyn Abdullah – Winner, The Face
Grant Aleksander – Actor, “Guiding Light”
Ann Dexter-Jones – Jewelry Designer
Jean Doumanian – Producer
Aviva Drescher – Real Housewives NYC
Judy Goss – Founder & CEO, Over 40 Females
Nick Graham – Founder, Joe Boxer
Timothy Greenfield-Sanders – Filmmaker & Photographer
Jen Groover – Entrepreneur & Author
Eva Haller – Philanthropist
Olivia Harrison – Author & Producer
Iain Keith – Sr Global Campaigner, AVAAZ.org
Beth Mercante – COO, Over 40 Females
Keb’ Mo’ – Blues Musician
Tom Murro – Television Personality
Jeremy Osborn – Co-Founder, 350.org
Rosie Perez – Actress, Choreographer, Producer & Director
Seth Persons – Composer, An Inconvenient Youth
Q-Tip – Hip Hop Artist
Jennifer Redfearn – Director/Producer, Sun Come Up
Denise Rich – Philanthropist
David Rockefeller, Jr. – Philanthropist
Susan Rockefeller – Philanthropist & Jewelry Designer
Jean Shafiroff – Philanthropist
Valerie Simpson – Singer & Songwriter
Mario Singer – Real Housewives NYC
Ramona Singer – Real Housewives NYC
Daniel Stern – Founder, Reservoir Capital Group
Gina Legnani – Director Emeritus, WAFF; Producer
Jeffrey Hayzlett – Author
Laurie Meadoff – CEO, Cancer Schmancer
Susan Mufson – Activist & Philanthropist
Michael Ostin – Entertainment Industry Executive
Danny Schechter – Producer, Filmmaker
Check out Photos from the Event; click to enlarge
“We’re all born into this world. Some are placed gently, others thrust into it, and still others abandoned,” Styler said upon receiving the award.
“But whatever the unequal circumstances of our birth, we share the same basic human needs of survival: water, food, shelter and warmth.
“There is another equally essential basic human need if we are to survive, and that is love. Mahatma Gandhi said, ‘Where there is love, there is life.’ Well perhaps tonight we can change that to say ‘Where there is love, there is family.’”
Previous recipients include musical legends Jackson Browne, Peter Gabriel, Sir Elton John and television and radio host Larry King.
Rogers founded the the not-for-profit organization, which is headed by President Nancy Hunt, Africa Rising Foundation Co-Founder & Co-Chairman Ndaba Mandela, filmmaker Slater Jewell-Kemker and U.S. Fund for UNICEF President & CEO Caryl Stern.
Spotted on the red carpet were “The Face” winner Devyn Abdullah, “Guiding Light” actor Grant Aleksander, Producer Jean Doumanian, Real New York Housewife Aviva Drescher, philanthropist Eva Haller and blues musician Keb’ Mo.
They were joined by hip-hop artist Q-Tip, Director and Producer Jennifer Redfearn, philanthropists Denise Rich, David Rockefeller, Jr., Susan Rockefeller and Jean Shafiroff and singer/songwriter Valerie Simpson.
Round out the attendees were Real Housewives of New York City’s Mario Singer and Ramona Singer, Reservoir Capital Group Founder Daniel Stern, Producer Gina Legnani, activist and philanthropist Susan Mufson.
Rodgers welcomed the guest and explaind WAFF’s mission to help youths through such programs as Three Dot Dash. The group’s signature program identifies, supports and mentors Global Teen Leaders. He also introduced Slater Jewell-Kemker was the group’s 2012 Global Teen Leader .
Slater Jewell-Kemker is a young filmmaker with a passion for the environment. Her forthcoming film, “An Inconvenient Youth,” is a documentary featuring kids living on the front lines of climate change who are creating a green and sustainable future. After sharing the trailer for her documentary with the audience, Jewell-Kemker spoke about how activists like Sting and Trudie are involved.
Mandela spoke about Sting’s and Trudie’s Rainforest Fund, an organization devoted to protecting rain forests and their indigenous peoples. To date they have raised more than $30 million for the cause and have expanded to a network of interconnected organizations in more than 20 countries.
Mandela also recounted an exciting moment from his youth, when Sting made a personal stop on his tour to hold a concert in honor of his grandfather, Nelson Mandela. Sting’s support for human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Live Aid mirrors his art in its universal outreach.
“We each have the capacity to work together, and in doing so, to make a more connected world,” Mandela said.
Stern spoke about Styler’s accomplishments in the fight for human rights. She has raised funds and awareness for the UNICEF End Child Exploitation and United Against AIDS campaigns and visited tsunami-devastated Sri Lanka. Stern was then joined on stage by Rodgers, Hunt, Jewell-Kemker and Mandela, who together presented Sting and Trudie with the Humanitarian Award.
Legendary Soul Man™ Sam Moore kicked off the concert portion of the evening with his timeless hits, “Soul Man” and “Something is Wrong with My Baby.” Sting sang “Englishman in New York,” “Brand New Day” and an acoustic version of “Fields of Gold,” before inviting Moore back on stage for “Every Breath You Take.”
Sting and Moore closed their performance with their own rendition of Bill Withers’ classic, “Just the Two of Us,” and were joined on stage by their wives, Trudie Styler and Joyce Moore.
Nile Rodgers & CHIC brought the crowd once again to their feet, with hit songs “Le Freak” and “Good Times,” before inviting all of the evening’s performers and speakers to the stage to close the evening with a show-stopping performance of “We Are Family.”
The evening’s sponsors included Gibson Foundation and We-Care.com. Ramona Pinot Grigio provided the wine.