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14th Annual Children Uniting Nations 2013 Viewing Dinner and After Party

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Article & comments written by Marva Jones/Photos: Kevin Jones


Children Uniting Nations 2013 Awards Celebration and Viewing Dinner was a night to remember, as stars and significant individuals packed the Harry Warner estate in Hollywood. Daphna Ziman, founder of Children Uniting Nations, opened the evening stating why she holds this event. She explained that she has worked closely with Hilary Clinton to help at risk children. 78.8% of children are from the welfare system. The Children Uniting Nations helps them to graduate from school and gain life skills.

The award recipients included NBA Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas for the Lifetime Humanitarian Award, Roderick Sherwood for the Corporate Excellence Award, and Marvin Markowitz for the Distinguished Service Award. President Bill Clinton via satellite spoke highly of the event and how deserving Isiah Thomas was of receiving this award (Awesome for him to take the time to speak on Isiah’s behalf). Larenz Tate presented Isiah with his award. The event was followed by performances such as Dennis Quaid & The Sharks, Miki Howard, Kenny Lattimore and Blush.

Daphna Ziman comments on the night of the Oscars as she says “Without dreams you cannot win an Oscar. You have to be able to read and write to win an Oscar.  And the press are the gatekeepers of our causes.”

Here are some of the comments from some of the attendees of the CUN Awards hosted on Sunday, February 23, 2013:

-April Sutton (First BET reporter, and currently the Goodwill Ambassador of Kenya) – “This is one of the more elaborate humanitarian events.” Anytime children who are in need she makes time to support.

-Ammaya Calhoun (Upcoming singer/actress) – “I lend support to events to help children.”  Ammay has worked with Michelle Obama in Atlanta in 2011 on the “Let’s Move” campaign.

-Finola Hughes (Soap opera star) – “I love to watch the Oscars and participate in charitable events, too.” Finola supports charities that benefit children, particularly adoption. She has two adopted children of her own and will be hosting an event in May to benefit abused children.

-Suelyn Mederios (Brazilian cover model) – “I participate in charities that benefit children.” Suelyn has a clothing line called Bomb. It is Brazilian inspired sexy grown lounge wear and evening gowns.

-Ariane Bellamar (Actress and Model) – “I love to support charity events that benefit children.” Ariane is involved in an organization, called Peace Over Violence that helps victims of domestic abuse.

-Isiah and Lynn Thomas – “I consider this one of the best awards of recognition.”  Isiah and his lovely wife became involved in organizations that support education and youth against violence. Currently, he is working with the city of Chicago’s Park District to construct basketball courts.  He credits his wife for being his backbone as he says, “I could not do any of this without her support.” Mrs. Lynn Thomas is a lovely woman. They were both very gracious. And our Mrs. Thomas exudes a strong and quiet confidence. It is displayed in her posture and eyes.

-Sandra Vidal (Actress) – “I support this great cause.” Sandra helps with “Best Buddies,” an organization that helps those with mental disabilities. They pursue bike rides to raise funds and awareness.

-Daphne Wayans (VH1, Hollywood Access) – “I’m good friends with founder Daphna Ziman and lends support whenever I’m asked to.” Daphne also supports Will & Jada Smith’s “Keep a Child Alive” and Alicia Keyes “New Village Learning Academy”.

-Rolanda Watts (Announcer of the Judge Joe Brown Show) – “I like to come out to support good causes, and this event is definitely one of the good ones.” Rolanda also host’s her own radio show on Sunday’s, www.rolanda.com.

-Abraham McDonald (Musician, Ambassador of Children Uniting Nations) – “I have been a part of CUN for 3 years, which is dear to my heart as it helps youths that would otherwise not be given an opportunity to reach their potential.” Abraham also supports The Dreamland Foundation for the unsung heroes.

-Matt Nolan (Actor) – “I love supporting charitable organizations that help young people.” Matt’s most recent role was in the Academy Award winning film Argo. He has been a part of World Vision for over 20 years. It is an organization that works to help solve world hunger and diseases, such as Malaria. He and his wife spent their honeymoon in Ethiopia.

-Wenwa Oranga (Ambassador of Kenya) – “I am very happy to support children organizations.”

-Beverly Todd (Actress) – “I am a dear friend of Dapna Zima and have been participating with CUN since its inception. It has helped hundreds and hundreds of children” Ms. Todd’s current project is an exciting documentary on the life of Mary Wilson of the Supremes.

Children Uniting Nations is a proactive Non-profit 501c(3) organization that focuses on advocacy/awareness and provides academic and community based programs for at-risk and foster youth. For more information visit http://www.childrenunitingnations.org/

Read more articles/interviews relating to the 2013 CUN celebration:
Daphna Ziman
Roderick Sherwood
Isiah Thomas

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Last modified: April 16, 2023