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Entertainment Community Unites in Support of the onePULSE Foundation to Support the Orlando Tragedy Victims

ryan-murphy-lgbt-video-62916Last night the onePULSE Foundation hosted a benefit at NeueHouse in Hollywood, CA to help those affected by the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history that took place at Pulse nightclub in Orlando on June 12, 2016. Celebrities, industry power houses and advocates came together in unity to honor those lives lost and families torn apart.

Place your donations by texting ‘PULSE’ to 91999.

Highlights from the onePULSE Foundation benefit include: 

  • Host Lance Bass started the evening with some heartfelt remarks and reminisced on the nights he used to dance the night away at Pulse. “I choose hope. Let us choose hope tonight and every night,” said Bass. “Pulse was a place where you could dance freely and safely without the fear of being judged.”
  • Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti emphasized the similarities between the two great cities of Orlando and Los Angeles. “In our cities, we don’t care where you come from, the color of your skin, who you worship, or who you love. We were all attacked because we all belong to this country where we are free to be who we are.”
  • A special video message from Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton played, expressing her strong stance for the LGBTQ community and against gun violence. “We can’t ever let hate and violence break our spirit … Together we will fight for the right of every American to live freely, openly, and without fear no matter what you look like, where you come from, or who you love. We will take commonsense steps to reduce gun violence and do everything we can to make sure what happened in Orlando doesn’t ever happen again. I’m proud to stand with the LGBTQ community.”
  • The room stood in complete silence as will.i.am went off script and spoke to guests from his heart to remind them how crucial it is that although painful, we must not forget. “It’s important for us who chose to be here to continue to not forget. We cannot forget because the families who lost loved ones, it happened just yesterday to them.”
  • Pulse nightclub owner Barbara Poma, joined by some of the survivors, remembered the night of the tragedy but stressed how overwhelmed she was with the outpour of support. “It wasn’t until the aftermath of the tragedy that I realized many of our goals had not only been reached, but also exceeded beyond my expectations. I was overwhelmed by the thousands of Pulse stories people around the world shared with me: the love stories, the funny stories, and the life-changing coming-out stories.”
  • 25-time Grammy® Award winner Stevie Wonder gave a surprise performance of More Than a Love Songfollowed by speaking on the power of both love and hate. “By remembering that every time we hate someone, we’re also hating God, Allah, or whatever your religion may be, because I believe that we all must come together to put an end to this. Hate means more hate, but love plus love is the key.”
  • Vocal powerhouse Jessie J brought the house down as she performed her song Who You Are followed an emotional slowed-down rendition of her hit single Domino, before beginning to ad lib to the rhythm of the tune. “Thank you for being so brave, thank you for not giving up … All we need is love and hope and freedom. I pray for hope. I pray for change.”

 HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (Aug. 20, 2016) – The onePULSE Foundation hosted a benefit for the Orlando tragedy victims at the NeueHouse in Hollywood. During the star-studded event, guests were treated to special performances by Stevie Wonder, Jessie J, and LP; special remarks by Pulse nightclub owner Barbara Poma, will.i.am, and L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti; and a special video message from presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton.

The evening was hosted by Lance Bass and attendees included Caitlyn Jenner, Matt Bomer, JC Chasez, Quinton Aaron, Torrey DeVitto, Arielle Kebbel, Sophie Watts, Natasha Rubin, Ashley Bell, Nicholas Littlemore, and Gigi Rose Gray.

The evening was supported by many leading names in the industry, and the onePULSE Foundation will raise additional funds through their generous donations. Via partners CharityBuzz, Prizeo, and Omaze, those who want to support the initiative beyond the text-to-donate campaign can bid on one-a-kind experiences donated by supporters who include Mark Cuban, Lady Gaga, Ellen DeGeneres, Cyndi Lauper, Sir Richard Branson, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Justin Mikita, Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas, LP, Sarah Paulson, Robbie Rogers and many others.

Entertainment industry leaders including Virgin Produced, iHeartMedia, Universal Studios Hollywood, private work collective for creative entrepreneurs NeueHouse Hollywood and the City of Los Angeles have also lent their support of the campaign. In support of the initiative, Virgin America guests will soon be able to donate inflight by going to the shop: make a difference section of the RED® in-flight entertainment system as well.

For more information on how to join or support the onePULSE coalition as an individual or business, please visit www.onePULSEFoundation.org.

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About Pulse Nightclub

For over twelve years, Pulse was a destination that welcomed everyone and embraced the LGBTQ community. It had been a place immersed in joy and music, and one that united Orlando’s diverse communities. Founded by Barbara Poma and Ron Legler in the memory of Barbara’s late brother, John, who passed away in 1991, the name Pulse was chosen to keep his pulse beating on. Pulse Nightclub in turn became the heartbeat of Orlando and the spiritual home of the LGBTQ community. On June 12th, 2016 Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, FL was the scene of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. The tragedy took 49 lives, and injured 53 others, and left a deep wound in both the Orlando community and around the world.

About onePULSE Foundation

The onePULSE Foundation is the official 501(c)(3) incorporated by the owners of Pulse Nightclub. Its mission is to provide financial assistance to the victims affected by the attack at Pulse Nightclub. Through the end of 2016, it will contribute 90% of funds raised to the National Compassion Fund, with the remainder contributing to the creation of a permanent memorial at the existing site of Pulse Nightclub, which will ultimately provide a sanctuary of hope dedicated to the lives affected and taken by the tragedy in Orlando, FL. on 06/12/2016.

About National Compassion Fund

The National Compassion Fund, a program of the National Center for Victims of Crime, provides a single, trusted way for the public to donate directly to victims of a mass crime, such as a shooting or terrorist attack. It has been developed in partnership with victims and family members from past mass casualty crimes, including those from Sandy Hook, Aurora, Virginia Tech, Oak Creek Temple, NIU, Columbine, and 9/11. The National Compassion Fund (The Fund) serves donors by honoring their intent and crime victims by distributing donations directly to them, in a fair and transparent way. The National Compassion Fund is a project of the National Center for Victims of Crime, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

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Valerie Milano is the well-connected Senior Editor and TV Critic at TheHollywoodTimes.Today, a showbiz/promotions aggregate mainly for insiders. She has written for Communications Daily, Hollywood Today, Television International, and Video Age International plus freelanced for others. Valerie donates and works closely with the Human Rights Campaign (Fed Club Council Member), GLSEN, Outfest, NCLR, LAMBDA Legal and the Desert Aids Project. She is a member of the Los Angeles Press Club. Milano loves meeting people and does so in her fave getaway Palm Springs as a member of the Palm Springs Museum of Art and the Old Las Palmas area community member. For years Valerie was a board member and one of the chief organizers for the Television Critics Association’s press tours. The tours take place twice a year in Beverly Hills/Pasadena.