September 21, 2008

Television’s Hottest Stars Come Out the “Evening Before” 60th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards to Support Motion Picture &Amp; Television Fund

The stars of the small screen had big hearts tonight as hundreds of television's hottest celebrities joined with other industry bigwigs for the annual "Evening Before" pre-Emmy party that raised nearly $1.5 million for the non-profit Motion Picture & Television Fund.

Among the celebrities who attended were Christina Applegate, America Ferrera, Tina Fey, Sally Field, Mariska Hargitay, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Ellen Pompeo, Kyra Sedgwick & Kevin Bacon, Mark Wahlberg, Rita Wilson & Tom Hanks, William Shatner, Candice Bergen, Jaime Pressly, Neil Patrick Harris, David Spade, Christian Slater, Debra Messing, Brooke Shields, Mary Tyler Moore and Kristin Chenoweth.

"Our 'Night Before' events have become a highlight of both the Emmy and Oscar award seasons," said Ken Scherer, CEO of the Motion Picture & Television Fund. "Thanks to the generosity of the television industry, and the leadership of Jeffrey Katzenberg, we raised millions of dollars that will be spent providing much-needed assistance to those in the entertainment industry."

Presenting sponsors of the "Evening Before" were Target, PEOPLE and Sprint. In addition, event sponsor Variety provided Todd English, as the celebrity chef for the evening, who recently opened the restaurant Beso with Eva Longoria.

One of the most decorated, respected and charismatic chefs in the world, Todd English has enjoyed a staggering number of accolades during his remarkable career. He has been recognized by several of the food industry's most prestigious publications, established one of the best-known restaurant brands in the nation (Olives), published three critically acclaimed cookbooks and was named one of People Magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People."

"Once again we were able to have an evening where the focus was not just the Emmy nominations, but rather the whole idea of helping less fortunate members of the entertainment community" said Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation and Chairman of the MPTF Foundation Board. "The Fund serves as a safety net for people in the industry and their families, which is particularly important during uncertain times like this."

This was the second annual "Evening Before," which was designed after the highly successful "Night Before," held annually on the night before the Academy Awards(R), which has raised more than $31 million for the Motion Picture & Television Fund during the past six years.

Target showcased renowned home designer John Derian at its cabana, where guests were invited to select their favorite serving tray and coasters from one of three charming patterns in his handmade decoupage collection. Additionally, guests received a candle, stationery set and pen, and reusable bag from the John Derian(TM) for Target(R) collection. Target has partnered with Derian to highlight his nature-inspired, handmade decoupage wares in an exclusive collection of stationery and home decor at a great value. The assortment is available at Target stores, with select items also available on

"Target is delighted to continue our partnership with the Motion Picture & Television Fund by supporting the entertainment community as a sponsor of the 'Evening Before'," said Karen Gershman, senior vice president, marketing. "To celebrate this year's event, we've partnered with John Derian to offer guests charming and beautifully distinctive pieces from both his handmade collection and his amazing Target collection."

PEOPLE, the world's most popular magazine, invited guests to play a customized PEOPLE Celebrity Trivia game. correspondent Michelle Beadle hosted the digital game, which was played on a giant plasma screen. All guests who played received a subscription to PEOPLE StyleWatch magazine, and were entered to win a Flip video camera, Nintendo Wii or Wii Fit. This is the second consecutive year that PEOPLE took part in the "Evening Before."

"We're proud to once again support the Motion Picture & Television Fund at this important event," said Martha Nelson, editor, the PEOPLE Group. "At PEOPLE we shine a spotlight on the brightest names in Hollywood alongside the stories of real-life Heroes who are making a difference. At the 'Evening Before,' we'll celebrate the good works of all the MPTF members."

Sprint's booth showcased LG Lotus(TM), a new phone available this fall that introduces couture design to wireless technology. Exclusive to Sprint, this stylish device makes a fashion statement as a flip phone with a unique square shape, full QWERTY keyboard and two stand-out color options -- textured purple and satin black. LG Lotus is one of the first Sprint devices to offer One Click, a highly-customizable user interface that makes texting, Web access, email, Sprint Navigation, Sprint TV(SM), Sprint Music Store(SM) and other features easy to access. Sprint and LG partnered with "Project Runway" winner and "Ugly Betty" guest star Christian Siriano to design a custom scarf to hold this fall's must-have wireless phone in style.

"Sprint is delighted to be a sponsor of the 'Evening Before' event in partnership with the Motion Picture & Television Fund," said William Morgan, Sprint senior vice president of corporate marketing. "Our featured product, LG Lotus, offers the perfect combination of style and substance with a full QWERTY keyboard that is ideal for quick text messaging, email or instant messaging with the speeds of Sprint's 3G national mobile broadband network. We are honored to share LG Lotus at this important event celebrating the good work of MPTF."

Variety is the leading publication for entertainment news, recognized and respected throughout the world of show business. The Variety Group -- Daily Variety, Daily Variety Gotham, Weekly Variety and -- are all owned by Reed Business Information (RBI), the largest business publisher in the U.S.

"We at Variety are honored to participate in the second annual 'Evening Before' benefit," said Neil Stiles, president and publisher of Variety. "As the leader in entertainment media we take seriously the need to support our industry and cannot think of a better way to give back than by joining with our friends and colleagues to support the extraordinary work of the MPTF."

The non-profit Motion Picture & Television Fund, headquartered in Woodland Hills, Calif., was founded in 1921 to provide "relief" for those in the film industry who had fallen on hard times. Today, 87 years later, MPTF is a major service provider supporting the health and well being of the entertainment community. Healthcare, childcare, retirement living and social/charitable services are offered with compassion and respect for the dignity of the whole person. Care is offered through the MPTF 250-bed hospital, six outpatient health centers, charitable financial assistance and community outreach programs, a full-scale retirement community and a children's day care center. More information is available at

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SOURCE: Motion Picture & Television Fund