JGI Honors Betty White, Ed Begley, Mayor Villaraigosa

Check out our Betty White video tribute!


In a simple yet elegant event Oct. 30, the 3rd annual Jane Goodall Institute Global Leadership Awards Celebration honored Los Angeles mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa, actress Betty White, actor Ed Begley, Jr., and other leaders in business and the nonprofit sectors for their work and achievements on behalf of people, animals and the environment.

The 2009 Jane Goodall Global Leadership Award winners include:

  • The Honorable Antonio R. Villaraigosa, Mayor of Los Angeles, for Excellence in Public Policy;
  • Theo Chocolate for Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility;
  • Ed Begley, Jr. for Responsible Activism in Media and Entertainment;
  • John Zavalney for Excellence in Education;
  • Erica Fernandez of California and Shadrach Meshach of Tanzania for Roots & Shoots Youth Leadership;
  • Dr. Virginia Landau for Lifetime Dedication to the Conservation and Care of Chimpanzees; and
  • Betty White for Lifetime Achievement.
After a surprise introduction by television host Craig Ferguson, Betty White said, “I am deeply honored to accept this award from Dr. Goodall. The thoughtful work of the Jane Goodall Institute has made a tremendous difference in conserving habitat and improving the lives of people in Africa and around the world.” Ms. White is the first person to receive the Lifetime Achievement award, which pays tribute to an individual who has dedicated his or her life to the betterment of our world and who has made an enormous impact on all those who call this planet home.
Dr. Goodall, the evening’s keynote speaker, encouraged her audience to, “develop respect for all living things and try to replace impatience and intolerance with understanding, compassion—and above all—love.”
The evening’s mistress and master of ceremonies, Jill St. John and Robert Wagner, are longtime supporters of the Institute. Los Angeles resident Shelby Jean Sloan, a member of JGI’s board of directors, and her husband, Sheldon Sloan, co-chaired the festivities, and GRAMMY-winning artist Ben Harper provided an intimate musical performance. Other notable attendees included Jim Belushi, Jordana Brewster, Rachelle Carson and Frances Fisher.
Lead sponsors included: RagingWire Enterprise Solutions, Inc.; Beverly Wilshire-Beverly Hills; The Walt Disney Company; Toyota Motor Sales, USA; Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association; Hogan & Hartson, L.L.P.; Melissa Kravetz Memorial Foundation; Planet Green; The Turner Foundation; and the Winnick Family Foundation.  
In keeping with the Jane Goodall Institute’s philosophy of environmental responsibility, the evening incorporated eco-sensitive, sustainable d├ęcor and lighting, and a “Green Carpet” made of sustainable and fully recyclable modular carpet tiles by Flor. The dinner menu featured local, organic and vegetarian items including Theo Chocolate/Jane Goodall Institute bars, which carry Jane Goodall’s “Good for All” brand.


Our Betty White video tribute


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