The inaugural Gala also honored music icon Quincy Jones, sports legend Evander Holyfield, and NFL veteran Devon Still.
In a masterful presentation at the opulent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles, guests were invited to the first gala celebrating the American Icon Awards- the philanthropic organization which honors excellence and leadership in business, entertainment, sports, and education. Although the organization was established in 2014, perfecting the event took several years. It was well worth the wait, as A-List guest streamed in to take part in the festivities.
Indeed, even we didn’t expect the stunning turnout for the event as guests included legendary Sylvester Stallone, supermodel Naomi Campbell (who revealed her close friendship with honoree Quincy Jones during her thoughtful speech), Joe Mantegna (presenter), Kat McPhee, Sugar Ray Leonard, Devon Still (NFL notable and honoree), and many more. Nearly every chair was filled as honorary chairmen Martin Scorsese opened the event as honorary chairman and honorees were presented awards as interludes were offered by Jackie Cruz of Orange Is The New Black, who just released her album, David Foster, who curated a live set where he played piano alongside singers Shelea, Pia Toscano and Matteo Bocelli. Sebastien Maniscalco also performed a live comedy set for the room.
Marlo Thomas of St. Jude’s Hospital offered a warm, Italian-tinged speech which touched on the essence of St. Jude’s work and the meaning of being an American today. Organizations such as tech job recruiter Ignited and energy drink manufacture UNIQUE received recognition for they philanthropic and business prowess.
As we were introduced to the honorees, the excitement grew as Robin Thicke offered a show stopping performance on the stage. By this time, people were on their feet dancing. Finally Robert DeNiro (lifelong friend of Al Pacino) gave the award to the rightful owner, Mr. Pacino.
After seeing a heartfelt montage of Al Pacino’s stunning career, Mr. Pacino reveled in the stage by offering his thanks, then exploring one of his favorite acting pastimes: Shakespeare and poetry. Al Pacino silenced the room with his tender yet humorous interpretation of Shakespeare. He brought a moment of privilege and charm to the whole evening, serving as a wonderful conclusion to a thrilling night.
During the cocktail hour and the first part of the evening, guests could enter a silent auction which included sports and film memorabilia, as well as a holiday travel to luxurious destinations and fashion accessories from Ferragamo and more. A live auction took place during the dinner as well. All honorees were honored and presented with the distinguished American Icon Award as well as a signature watch courtesy of Rado Watches, who also will donate the same watch bestowed to Al Pacino to auction of live for charity at the event.
Al Pacino received the “American ICON Award” honor, Quincy Jones received the “Lifetime Achievement Award” honor, Evander Holyfield received the “American Sports Legend Award” honor and Devon Still the “Sports Philanthropy Award” honor.
Other recipients included theAutism Movement Therapy/Autism Works Now non-profit and Jonathan D. Fischer and Christine Avanti-Fischer received the Innovative Philanthropy Award to for their incredible charitable work.
The event was accompanied by a luncheon in which honoree Al Pacino shared stories and answered questions about his iconic career.
Post event gift bags were provided and included items from skin care phenom
JILLUXE, Unique Life Boost health-conscious beverage, haircare experts Eclipse Folliceuticals, MD, samples from the Jonathan D. Fischer Foundation, Clearly Canadian sparking waters, BEAUTIFY Skincare, and more.