Project Angel Food is finalizing its Angel Awards lineup, securing a program that will feature Emmy Award winner Sheryl Lee Ralph, singer, songwriter and activist Jewel and activist, artist and author Mary Fisher.
Ralph will receive an inaugural prize named after her — the Sheryl Lee Ralph Legacy Award — designed to honor her longtime support of Project Angel Food and decades of leadership and activism in the fight against HIV and AIDS. Ralph got involved with Project Angel Food more than three decades ago after having just moved to Los Angeles following the success of Broadway’s Dreamgirls. As the story goes, she saw volunteers circulating around a church kitchen that served as the headquarters for Project Angel Food at the time when the organization was serving hundreds. She decided to get involved as she knew so many people impacted by the disease. She also co-founded the Diva Foundation which raised funds and awareness in the fight. (The foundation just recently announced a rebrand and expansion.)
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“When no one, and I mean no one, would stand up for people living with AIDS, Sheryl Lee Ralph risked her career and her livelihood to do what was right. She had seen too much suffering and wanted to help. That commitment to those in need has not wavered in 34 years! This new Sheryl Lee Ralph Legacy Award is long overdue,” explained Project Angel Food CEO Richard Ayoub of Ralph and the honor that will bear her name “in perpetuity.”
Fisher has been tapped to receive the Angel Award, a honor previously doled out to Judith Light, Elizabeth Taylor, George Michael, Sharon Stone and Whoopi Goldberg, among others. Fisher, who currently serves on the nonprofit’s board of directors, has received five honorary doctorate degrees, authored six books and is credited with being an outspoken HIV/AIDS activist for the prevention, education and compassionate treatment of people with the disease.
Jewel, a passionate advocate of mental health and supportive programs, will perform in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of her second studio album Spirit. The Angel Awards are presented by naming sponsor Wells Fargo with Glamazon L.A., Amazon’s LGBTQ+ Affinity Group, joining as a principal sponsor.
The gala is set to take place in Hollywood on Sept. 23, live from the parking lot of Project Angel Food’s Hollywood kitchen that will be transformed into a “ballroom under the stars” with a menu by Angelini Osteria. John Goodman, Tara Reid, Megan Hilty, Charo, Steven Weber, Loni Love, Tyler Henry, Rachel Lindsay, Jai Rodriguez, Michael Corbett, celebrity chef Ronnie Woo and others are confirmed to attend.
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