Celebrating its 24th year, the UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation’s signature event, Taste for a Cure, will be held on Friday, April 26 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. During this special evening, the 2019 Gil Nickel Humanitarian Award will be presented to Sandra Stern, President of Lionsgate’s Television Group.
This year’s theme is ‘A Culinary Journey through Asia’, curated by Helene An, of House of An and Crustacean Beverly Hills.
The evening will be hosted by Soledad O’Brien, award-winning journalist, speaker, author and philanthropist who anchors and produces the Hearst Television political magazine program “Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien.” Stern’s award will be presented by Brian Tannenbaum, who spearheads alternative programming for Jeffrey Katzenberg’s Quibi content team and is a former longtime Lionsgate executive. The evening will also feature a special acoustic performance set by Grammy winning singer, songwriter and producer Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic.
Sandra Stern has been a key member of Lionsgate’s senior management team for the past 16 years. She has helped guide the company’s business to record-breaking revenue growth during nearly every year of her tenure and has been instrumental in tripling the size of the television slate, which encompasses nearly 70 series on dozens of different U.S. networks and platforms. One of the industry’s consummate deal-makers, Ms. Stern has innovated ground-breaking linear and streaming platform deals for Lionsgate’s iconic series, including Mad Men (AMC), Orange is the New Black (Netflix) and The Rook (Starz). She also paved the way for Step Up: High Water to become the first original series for YouTube Premium and spearheaded a deal enabling the anthology series Manhunt to transition from Discovery to Charter.
A graduate of UCLA Law School, Ms. Stern is a founding member of their LEAD program and serves on the Board of the Law School’s Ziffren Center, where she also teaches. She is on the Board of the Saban Clinic and Center Theatre Group and is active in the Rape Treatment Center. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles honored her with its Excellence in Mentoring Award in 2015.
Stern was named “Multichannel News Wonder Woman of the Year” in 2017. She was also awarded the UCLA Law Alumnus of the Year in 2015. Among many accolades, she has been named one of the “Women in Entertainment Power 100” by The Hollywood Reporter for the last 12 years and received American Film Institute (AFI) awards in 2014 and 2015.
Taste for a Cure unites the entertainment and epicurean communities and consistently ranks among the top ten culinary events in Southern California. This year’s theme is "A Culinary Journey through Asia," and will feature tastings, wineries and distillers, as well as a sumptuous array of dishes from some of Los Angeles’ top Asian and Asian-influenced chefs and restaurants, all while raising valuable funds for leading-edge cancer research at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC). "A Culinary Journey through Asia" is curated by Helene An, Crustacean, Hinoki and the Bird, Blackship, Modern Chinese and more. This year’s event will also include delicious wine, sake, Japanese beer and whiskey; sensational Entertainment, and a Live Auction
Event co-chairs include Dana Walden, Chairman of Disney Television Studios and ABC Entertainment; Gary Newman, Chairman & CEO of 20th Century Fox Television; Joe Cohen, Co-Head of Television at Creative Artists Agency; Jon Holman, President of The Holman Group; Larry Maguire, Vice Chairman- President Emeritus and Founding Partner Far Niente Winery; and Paul Telegdy, Co-Chairman NBC Entertainment. Variety will serve as a media partner.
Sandra Stern will join previous honorees, including: Dana Walden, Eric Shanks, Gary Newman, Kevin Reilly, Jay Sures, Jennifer Salke, Joe Cohen, Paul Telegdy, Scooter Braun and Yael Braun. The Gil Nickel Humanitarian Award was created in memory of Gil Nickel, proprietor of Far Niente, Nickel & Nickel and Dolce wineries, who lost a courageous battle against melanoma in October 2003. The Award honors key individuals for their humanitarian efforts, community involvement and commitment to philanthropy.
Over the past 24 years, the event has raised funds over $13 million for highest priority cancer research at the UCLA JCCC. Please join the conversation via: Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. The official hashtag for the event is #tasteforacure.