Shane’s Inspiration, the global leader in creating inclusive playgrounds and educational programs for children with disabilities, hosted its 20th Anniversary gala at Vibiana in Downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, March 10, 2018.
Photography credit: Shane’s Inspiration “Boogie Wonderland” Gala | photographer: Araya Diaz
The disco chic 1970s inspired “Boogie Wonderland” theme celebrated the launch of the international nonprofit’s 70th inclusive playground worldwide. The star-studded evening included celebrity/VIP red carpet arrivals and cocktail reception, silent/live auctions, seated dinner, special guest performances by Emmy-nominated choreographer Dmitry Chaplin and his friends from “Dancing With The Stars” and “So You Think You Can Dance”, and an awards program that featured a special video greeting from former President Bill Clinton, and congratulatory shout outs from Ashton Kutcher, Hugh Jackman and Andy Garcia. The program concluded with dancing to live music by The Boogie Knights.
This year’s gala honorees included Shane’s Inspiration CEO/Co-Founder Tiffany Harris, who received the Visionary Leadership Award for inspiring hundreds of thousands of thoughtful citizens to break down the barriers of bias and exclusion for children with disabilities. X-Factor’s Emmanuel Kelly received the Trailblazer Award for overcoming severe obstacles to pursue his dream of becoming the world’s first differently-abled pop star. The Community Leadership Award was presented to The Bill and Dinah Ruch Family Foundation in memory of Rocket Williams for inspiring the creation of “Rocket’s Universe,” Shane’s 66th inclusive playground which opened in North Hollywood (in 2017) as a tribute to John “Rocket” Williams, a child who passed away due to a rare childhood disorder.
WHO: Celebrity and VIP guest included JK Simmons (“Father Figures”, “Whiplash”), Dmitry Chaplin and friends from “Dancing With The Stars” and “So You Think You Can Dance”, Jon Huertas (“This Is Us”), Laura SanGiacomo (“NCIS”), Emmanuel Kelly (“X Factor”), David Koechner (“Superior Donuts”), Micah Fowler and Mason Cook (“Speechless”), Sean Murray (“NCIS”), Pooch Hall (“Ray Donovan”), Sam Daly (“Madam Secretary”), Brian Dietzen (“NCIS”), Dexter Darden (“Maze Runner”), Alyson Stoner (“Step Up”, “Sweet Life of Zack & Cody”), Elisabeth Rohm (“The Oath”), Ernie Hudson (“Grace & Frankie”), YouTube Stars Alexis G. Zall and Andrew Lowe, and Annalise Basso (“Oculus”), among many others.
ABOUT: Shane’s Inspiration came to life in 1998 when television screenwriter Scott Williams, (“NCIS”, “Castle”, “Bones”), his wife Catherine Curry-Williams, and their close friend CEO Tiffany Harris, wanted to memorialize the tragic loss of the Williams’ infant son. Realizing that Shane’s disability would have prevented him from playing on a typical playground with other children, the trio decided to create the first fully inclusive playground in the western United States as a tribute to Shane. Since opening their first universally accessible playground in Griffith Park 20 years ago, the Los Angeles based international nonprofit has grown into a global movement with 70 inclusive playgrounds worldwide, and over 50 additional projects currently in development. With playgrounds on virtually every continent, Shane’s Inspiration is recognized as a world’s leader in creating inclusive playgrounds and educational programs that unite children of all abilities.