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Planned Parenthood Annual Gala Honors Champions of Women’s Health Dr. Ruth, Lena Dunham, Antonio Villaraigosa
Estelle Performs at Event Hosted by Rocsi Diaz of Entertainment Tonight
To see photos from the event’s VIP reception, visit Getty Images.
WASHINGTON, DC — Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s annual gala dinner was held on Thursday, April 25, in Washington DC. The “Time for Care” dinner, attended by Planned Parenthood supporters and leaders from across the country, celebrated champions of women’s health.
“It is an honor to salute these award winners for their unwavering support of reproductive health and rights,” said PPFA president Cecile Richards. “We’re delighted to honor leaders who have dedicated their lives and careers to women’s health, and we’re proud to partner with so many trailblazers and innovators who are helping us reach the next generation.”
At the event, hosted by new Planned Parenthood Youth Ambassador Rocsi Diaz of Entertainment Tonight, Planned Parenthood presented the legendary Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer with PPFA’s highest honor, the Margaret Sanger Award, for her lifelong commitment to empowering women and men to talk openly and honestly about sex and sexual health.
“I am delighted to be receiving this prestigious honor,” said Dr. Ruth. “I am well aware of the impact of those who've received it before me. My wish is for this extraordinary organization to continue to fight for its beliefs. I am personally grateful as well, because it is my work at Planned Parenthood of New York City from 1967 to 1970 that resulted in my doctoral dissertation at Columbia University's Teachers College — and look what has happened to me since!”
“Dr. Ruth has opened the door for generations of Americans to ask questions and speak openly about topics that were once — and too often still are — considered off limits,” said Richards. “She is an inspiring pioneer who understands that there’s no such thing as too much information when it comes to sexuality.”
“I am proud to be hosting tonight’s event — I have been standing with Planned Parenthood for a long time,” said Rocsi Diaz, correspondent with Entertainment Tonight and new Planned Parenthood Youth Ambassador. “For the young women I grew up with, Planned Parenthood was there when nobody else was. And the organization is there today — providing the very best health care for millions of people in every part of this country.”
The evening also featured Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, presented with the “Care. No Matter What.” Award for his dedication to protecting women’s health care in the City of Los Angeles, and a special Maggie Award for Media Excellence, accepted via video, honoring Lena Dunham of the HBO program Girls for her realistic and honest portrayal of the complex issues facing young women today. A special Partner of the Year Award was presented to social media site Tumblr.
“We here at Girls are so touched and honored by this award and so grateful to Planned Parenthood for everything they do for women and young people in this country,” said Dunham. “I truly believe they are doing the most vital and important work happening in our country right now.”
The evening closed with a performance from Atlantic Records recording artist Estelle, whose Grammy Award-winning hit single “American Boy,” and latest album All of Me have received international acclaim. A dedicated philanthropist, Estelle works to support women and disadvantaged youth worldwide, working through her foundation, All of Me.
President Barack Obama will address Planned Parenthood’s national conference on Friday morning.