Stephen Amell and Yael Cohen Braun honored at the first annual Barbara Berlanti Heroes Gala benefitting F Cancer
Some of Hollywood’s best came out in support of F Cancer and spoke on how to use their platform for good.
‘Arrow’ star Stephen Amell and F Cancer co-founder Yael Cohen Braun were both honored at the first annual Barbara Berlanti Heroes Gala benefitting F Cancer. As a board member of the organization, Amell was honored with the Hero Award and Yael was honored with the Barbara Berlanti Vanguard Award for her groundbreaking work educating young adults on the importance of early detection.
The name Berlanti might ring a bell to some, as this gala is in honor of the mother of legendary TV and movie writer and producer Greg Berlanti. The man responsible for some of your favorite shows (‘Legends of Tomorrow’, ‘Black Lightning’, ‘Arrow’, ‘The Flash’, ‘Supergirl’ and ‘Riverdale’, to name a few) is the chairman of F Cancer. After the passing of his mother Barbara, he decided to throw this gala in her honor.
Through Berlanti’s television series and films, he does all that he can to spread awareness, so as to set a good example for the young generation that loves his work. Especially after losing his mother to Lung Cancer, Berlanti doesn’t want to involve smoking of an kind in any of his projects.
“Don’t smoke! I think with young people it’s really an issue. Why get started? You are just going to have to get unhooked one day. We are really cognizant of smoking on our shows or movies and try not to glamorize it in any way because it’s not a glamorous thing. Unfortunately, I now have even more personal reasons to say it. That is one thing I would say to young individuals. People think when they are that age, that they are going to live forever and smoking would be a very quick and easy way to make their life more complicated," Berlanti said.
On a similar note, honoree Yael Cohen Braun also spoke on what an integral part social media is for F Cancer and the importance of Hollywood using their platform for good. Both she and her husband Scooter Braun (manager to Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande) are passionate about using their large audience to raise awareness and promote the cause.
“Social media gives us a large platform for good or for bad. I think when it comes to something like Cancer it gives people a community and a sense of belonging, where sometimes it might be hard to find in the real world or you might not know where to look. So we have built a large component of F Cancer from social media and an online and digital community,” Yael offered.
The cause is also close to home to ‘Arrow’ star and honoree Stephen Amell, whose mother is a two-time survivor of Cancer. Being the lead of such a big television show makes Amell want to spread this important message to his fans and tries to do this even through his character.
“The message I would give is even making a little bit of a difference counts, you know? I did a Youtube deep dive last night on Beto O’rourke, the Texas center that has raised 38 million dollars over 800,000 donations. Getting a little bit at a time and moving the needle really makes a difference,” the actor said.
We also spoke to actress and comedian Aisha Tyler, who was there in support of her good friend, Amell. Tyler is the kind of Hollywood star the masses should be looking up to, as she believes one of the most important parts of her career is having the opportunity to make a difference through her charity work.
“The best door that opens when you are in the public eye is the opportunity to help other people. We live this rarefied life, and for me anyway, I grew up with nothing and everything I have feels like a gift and I want to be able to create that opportunity for other people. We have an incredible amount of power and not in a controlling way, but just the opportunity by showing up or lending our name to something to draw attention to it and to draw energy and money and volunteers to it. It’s a privilege and honor to be of service to other people.”
F Cancer raised thousands and thousands of dollars this weekend at just this event alone, with donations from some of Hollywood’s elite, including its two honorees of the evening. For more information visit LetsFCancer.com!