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Daisy Fuentes, Kenny Ortega & Zoe Saldana Honored at The Inaugural 'Estrellas Por La Vida' Gala

Thursday, April 15, 2010 General News J E 4
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The gala raised awareness and funds for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

LOS ANGELES, April 13 /PRNewswire/ -- St. Jude Children's Research HospitalŪ celebrated its inaugural Estrellas por la Vida (Stars for Life) Gala on Tuesday, April 6 at Club Nokia in Los Angeles by honoring Hollywood stars Daisy Fuentes, Kenny Ortega and Zoe Saldana for their philanthropic endeavors.  Award presenters such as "High School Musical" stars Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens, actor Wilmer Valderrama, and actress Kellee Stewart from the show "My Boys" presented each honoree with an award for their continuing support and dedication to children's causes in local communities and around the world. The hosts for the event were Univision personality Carlos Alvarez and actress and former Miss Teen USA Susie Castillo.

To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click: http://multivu.prnewswire.com/mnr/stjude/43239/

(Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20100413/MM84950 )

More than 250 guests, including St. Jude patients and television and music industry celebrities, walked the red carpet, including Michael Bunin, Monique Coleman, Kate del Castillo, Aaron Diaz, Guy Ecker, Stefanie Himonidis, Jessica Maldonado, Kiki Melendez, Gloria Molina, Ana Maria Montero, Oscar Nunez, Anna Maria Perez de Tagle, Francia Raisa, Fernanda Romero and Nadine Velasquez among others.

"I was truly humbled to be a part of such a great event and honored to receive this wonderful recognition," said long-time St. Jude supporter and honoree Daisy Fuentes. "I recently had the opportunity to visit the hospital again and I was amazed to see how the families and patients are given hope and care regardless of where they come from or what language they speak," added Fuentes.    

Three-time Emmy award winning director and producer Kenny Ortega also was recognized for his commitment to the wellbeing of children around the world and his contributions to the music and entertainment industry.  "I am so thankful for receiving this recognition. It is wonderful to be part of a mission like that of St. Jude, helping to save children's lives," said Kenny Ortega. "I'm sure our dear Hollywood colleague and St. Jude founder Danny Thomas is smiling knowing that his vision carries on. I love how Danny's vision did not stop at just offering free treatment but that it was much larger. He wanted to find cures not just for cancer but for many catastrophic childhood diseases."

Actress Zoe Saldana was not able to attend the event but her sisters accepted the award in her honor. Guests enjoyed an elegant dinner and silent auction, and treated to a live performance by Latin superstar Beto Cuevas.  The live auction included exclusive items such as tickets for an upcoming Los Angeles Lakers game, a high-end sustainable furniture piece courtesy of Cisco Homes, a vacation package for two with hotel accommodations and airfare to Puerto Vallarta, a get-away for two to Beringer Vineyards in Napa with airfare, and a Colombian-inspired electric Fender guitar autographed by LATIN GRAMMY award winner Juanes.

Gala sponsors included AEG, Beringer Vineyards, Cisco Homes, Coca-Cola, Don Pedro's Meat, Entravision Communications Corporation, Iberoamericana Travel, Luna Gardens, Maker's Mark, Metro PCS, Michelle Hohman, Mexicana Airlines, Nederlander Concerts, Neutrogena, Univision Radio and Nochelatina.com.  For information on next year's gala please call (800) 227-6737, or email mariana.vargas@stjude.org.

About St. Jude

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering work in finding cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. St. Jude is the first and only pediatric cancer center to be designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute. Founded by late entertainer Danny Thomas and based in Memphis, Tenn., St. Jude freely shares its discoveries with scientific and medical communities around the world. St. Jude is the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance. No child is ever denied treatment because of the family's inability to pay. St. Jude is financially supported by ALSAC, its fundraising organization. In 2010, St. Jude was ranked the most trusted charity in the nation in a public survey conducted by Harris Interactive, a highly respected international polling and research firm. For more information, go to www.stjude.org.

SOURCE St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

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