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Fri, 19 Jul 2024 03:29:56 -0500
2018-09-18 Print

Caitlyn Jenner to Receive Face Forward’s “Beacon of Hope Award” at Star Studded September 22nd Gala

Face Forward is thrilled to announce the expansion of their mission of providing reconstructive surgery and counseling services to include Veterans of War in addition to their annual fundraising gala September 22nd at the Beverly Wilshire.


(Beverly Hills, CA) –Face Forward is thrilled to announce the expansion of their mission of providing reconstructive surgery and counseling services to include Veterans of War in addition to their annual fundraising gala September 22nd at the Beverly Wilshire. A local Beverly Hills doctor has agreed to partner with Face Forward and donated a large number of hours in specialized treatments to take care of burns and other injuries requiring reconstructive surgery to Veterans in need of their services. The charity has been growing with its service offerings by recently treating the charity’s first transgender survivor of human trafficking, multiple international patients and growing partnerships for educational and counseling services.

“Veterans of war are a population that we have been wanting to assist and we are pleased to announce that we have the resources and partnerships in place to make this happen. We are so thankful to the doctors and partners that donate their time to make all of this possible, and to help war veterans get the care they need. This year’s goal is to raise one million dollars to be able to serve even more patients, and what a terrific forum to make this announcement and explain the additions to our programs than at our annual Gala. We are excited for the performance, for celebrity guests such as Sara Gilbert, Lana Parrilla, Jeremy Piven and all that come out to support us,” said founder Deborah Alessi.

It has been previously announced that there will be a performance by a Grammy winning artist, attendance by celebrities such as International Ambassador Lana Parrilla, Sara Gilbert, honorees Jay McGraw and Christopher Bollenbach, Jeremy Piven, Terrell Owens, new performer Willa Amai signed to the amazing Linda Perry, and the newest announcement of special guest speaker and honoree Caitlyn Jenner, who will be presented with the Beacon of Hope Award. More celebrities to be announced.

The “La Dolce Vita” themed Gala will be held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, in celebration of the organizations’ 10-year anniversary and will host one of the most amazing live and silent auctions.
The Beverly Hills based non-profit organization celebrates 10 years of providing reconstructive surgery and emotional support for women, children and men who have been victims of domestic violence, human trafficking, or any cruel acts of crime. The Face Forward Annual Gala will raise funds that directly support patient treatment and recoveries, airfare, accommodations, and all necessary medical expenses for survivors. Founder of Face Forward and domestic violence survivor, Deborah Alessi, along with her Co-founder and husband, Dr. David Alessi, Beverly Hills renowned facial reconstructive surgeon, have provided millions of dollars in donated surgical and counseling services to nearly 80 patients from 10 different countries around the globe over multiple years of treatment, some requiring up to ten or more surgeries each. In addition to the hundreds of surgeries that have been provided in direct services, through strategic partnerships with other nonprofit organizations and their own Patient Advocacy Board, Face Forward has also connected thousands more survivors with educational and counseling services, legal and employment referrals as well as educational scholarship opportunities. In recognition of their work, Face Forward was recently recognized by The Mary Byron Project with the “Celebrating Solutions Award” for fostering innovations and strategies to help end domestic violence.

Additionally, in 2018, Face Forward treated their first transgender survivor who was a victim of sex trafficking, and also assisted with Syrian refugee children traveling to the U.S. for treatment.

The Gala will bring a taste of Rome’s “sweet life” to Beverly Hills. Guests will enjoy surprises, exciting performances, world class food, and a live and silent auction with priceless packages. Returning sponsors include: Etihad Airways, Niyama Private Islands Maldives, Alessi Institute, Crystal Cruises, Micato Safaris, Roberto Cavalli, Mont Blac Executive Car Service, Alyse Parfume,Square Root Designs, Curve Vodka, Beverly Hills Rolls Royce, Viking Cruises and Kandima Maldives. Face Forward is also excited to announce new sponsors Ardor Designs, Adva-Net, Bottega Louie and Beverly Hills IV Therapy.

The live auction this year is spectacular. It includes ultra-luxurious vacation packages from:
Niyama Private Islands Maldives one or two-bedroom villa in the premier 5-star resort in the Indian Ocean. 6 nights are available in nature’s playground. This place is so special and so much fun! With the twin islands of Play and Chill, you have a daily choice of paradise. Conde Naste rated top 4 resorts in the…...WORLD!

Kandima Maldives is more than just a holiday- it is a life-changing experience. Seriously stylish, there is a plethora of food, bars and activities to choose from. Enjoy 6 nights in a newly constructed ocean-pool villa with all the amenities. You will never say goodbye to the Maldives.
Crystal Cruises- Travel the Mediterranean in the most exclusive and luxurious cruise ship in the world. The food is above gourmet and the service beyond compare.

Micato Safaris and Etihad Airways. Fly business class in high-end business class luxury to your once-in-a-lifetime African Safari in a 5-star lodge.

Milan Fashion Week. Start with a photoshoot by the amazing celebrity photographer, Tony Duran. Then travel like royalty to a 5-star hotel in Italy and hob nob with celebrities and fashion’s elite. This is a very selective invitation only event and is the hottest ticket in fashion. No one gets in except YOU!
Mikimoto diamonds and pearls earrings and necklace set. Mikimoto is the the absolute best in pearl jewelry. No one even comes close. You deserve perfection!

Extravagant gourmet dinner in your home with the famous exclusive celebrity Chef Conny Anderson. Eight of your friends will enjoy a caviar dinner (mmm- sounds expensive) and open up your bottle of the 2007 Napa Valley Reserve #1002 to indulge!
Founders Penthouse Extravaganza. Live like a billionaire for 3 nights at the top of the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas. Enjoy premium alcohol, a famous chef, and a semi-private jet. The party is now on!
The Private Suite at LAX. This is an absolute MUST for anyone who travels overseas. Be escorted directly to and from your LAX flight like a head-of-state on a tarmac limo. Any wait will be in a private better-than-first-class lounge. Do all your customs and immigrations with a private officer in the lounge area. Total steps car to plane is 70 and not the usual 2200 and no lines. Absolutely Private!!

Jumeirah Al Naseem Presidential Suite. You haven’t seen luxury or service until you’ve stayed 3 nights at the Al Naseem. Located on the gulf in Dubai, this is the newest and most spectacular yet, ultra 5-star hotel in this stunning and glamorous city. Did we say fun?
Watch our video from past years:
Purchase tickets from
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About Face Forward 
Since Face Forward’s inception in 2007, the organization has worked with community leaders around the world to identify victims of violence who are working toward recover, yet carry the burdening physical evidence of past abuse. Face Forward does more than just provide pro bono reconstructive surgery to adults and children who have suffered traumatic and severe physical abuse; they also create a welcoming and safe environment for these survivors to start a fresh new life, and reclaim their confidence. The organization co-founders Mrs. Deborah and Dr. David Alessi both donate their time and skills 100% to the organization to provide Face Forward patients with the necessary surgeries and counseling services. Face Forward is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and funds raised by the organization help with ancillary costs, travel expenses for patients including airfare, accommodations, transportation, nursing aftercare and more. For more information go to

Sara Gilbert: Sara Gilbert endeared herself to millions of television viewers with her portrayal of the sarcastic yet loveable Darlene Conner on the long-running, hit series “Roseanne,” a role which garnered her two Emmy nominations among numerous other accolades. Sara recently reprised her role as Darlene in the series revival, which premiered to record breaking numbers. Sara was praised for her work in the series with critics calling her “the heart” of the show. In addition to staring in, she also served as an executive producer and was instrumental in bringing the project to fruition.  Sara will continue in her role as both Darlene and executive producer in the series spin-off “The Conners,” which will premiere this fall on ABC. Additionally, Gilbert is the creator, executive producer and co-host of CBS’s award-winning talk show, “The Talk.” The show has won Daytime Emmy Awards for “Outstanding Talk Show / Entertainment” and “Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show Hosts.” Sara is also set to make a guest star appearance on the YouTube Premium series, “Weird City.” The series, co-created by Academy and Emmy Award winning writer Jordan Peele and Emmy Award winning writer Charlie Sanders, centers around life in the not-too-distant future city of Weird.  A Magna Cum Laude graduate of Yale University with a degree in Art, Gilbert made her directorial debut with the critically-acclaimed short film, Persona Non Grata. The film was executive produced by The Shooting Gallery and selected for the 1998 Sundance Film Festival. 

Jay McGraw is a writer, producer, TV executive producer and son of TV doctor Phil McGraw. McGraw produces the hit tv show The Doctors and has written several books assisting young people. He has appeared on his father's TV show Dr Phil and served as executive producer on several episodes. McGraw is president and CEO of Stage 29 Productions in Los Angeles, a company he co-founded with his father. He appeared as the host of Renovate My Family, which aired on Fox.

Christopher Bollenbach is the CEO of Bottega Louie Restaurant, Gourmet Market and Patisserie in Downtown Los Angeles. He has been a member of the board and an investor in the celebrated restaurant since its founding by his brother, Keat, in 2007. In addition to his work at Face Forward, Bollenbach has worked with a variety philanthropic endeavors including Children's Hospital of Los Angeles and Autism Speaks. Bollenbach dedicates his time to developing the next generation of leaders by working with at-risk high school students at the Academy of Business Leadership. He also served as a chairman for the Bollenbach Family Scholarship Fund - founded by his parents- which, during his tenure, sent over 60 students to college who otherwise could not afford it. Bollenbach currently serves as a trustee for Georgetown Preparatory School, his prep school Alma mater in Washington DC. He resides in Westwood, California with his wife Kendra, a Face Forward board member, and his daughter Anastasia. 
About Jeremy Piven: Jeremy Piven was most recently seen as a series regular in the CBS television series WISDOM OF THE CROWD. He was also recently seen as Harry Gordon Selfridge in the popular PBS series MR. SELFRIDGE. Among his many notable roles, Piven is best known as movie agent “Ari Gold” in the hit HBO series ENTOURAGE, which aired for eight seasons and won Piven three Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe. In 2015, Piven reprised the fan-favorite role in the ENTOURAGE feature film released by Warner Bros. He was also seen in SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR from directors Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez. Jeremy’s extensive career in television also includes the satirical THE LARRY SANDERS SHOW. In film, he starred in Mark Pellington’s drama I MELT WITH YOU, Gaby Dellal’s heart-wrenching ANGELS CREST, Gary Fleder’s RUNAWAY JURY, Todd Phillips’ hit comedy OLD SCHOOL, Ridley Scott’s BLACK HAWK DOWN, Peter Chelsom’s SERENDIPITY, Brett Ratner’s THE FAMILY MAN, Peter Berg’s VERY BAD THINGS and THE KINGDOM, Cameron Crowe’s SINGLES, Joe Carnahan’s SMOKIN ACES, Guy Ritchie’s ROCKNROLLA, and THE PLAYER for director Robert Altman. In 2005, Piven returned to his theater roots starring in the off-Broadway hit FAT PIG by Neil LaBute, for which he received a Distinguished Performance Honor from the Drama League. He also appeared as Bobby Gould on Broadway in SPEED THE PLOW.

In 1976, Caitlyn Jenner broke the world decathlon record by scoring 8,634 points at the Olympic Games in Montreal, and earned the title of "World’s Greatest Athlete." Forty years later, she captured the world’s attention again when she revealed that she is a transgender woman during an ABC News special with Diane Sawyer. Two months after this groundbreaking interview, Jenner debuted her new name and look on the July cover of Vanity Fair – a cover which has become one of the most iconic of the last 50 years. Since revealing her true self, Cait executive produced “I Am Cait,” the landmark series on E! documenting her post-transition life, partnered with M·A·C Cosmetics to donate over $1.3 million to transgender Initiatives and became the face of the H&M “For Every Victory” sportswear campaign. Caitlyn was named Barbara Walters’ Most Fascinating Person of the Year in 2015, runner up for the 2015 Person of the Year, Out Magazine’s 2015 Newsmaker of the Year and one of Glamour Magazine’s Women of the Year. She was honored with the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage at the 2015 ESPY Awards for her transition from Olympic athlete to transgender activist. In April of 2017, Caitlyn shared her story in her New York Times bestselling memoir, The Secrets of My Life, co-authored by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Buzz Bissinger and published by Grand Central Publishing. Also in 2017, Caitlyn started the Caitlyn Jenner Foundation to support organizations doing on-the-ground and impactful work to empower the trans community and further trans rights.

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