Hollywood partied for a great cause Monday at the 1st annual Road to Hope charity event. Hosted by actress Torrey DeVitto, and held at the trendy Bootsy Bellows nightclub in West Hollywood, the star-studded evening was held to raise funds and awareness to help improve the lives of children in Africa who are orphaned as a result of losing one or both parents to Cancer or HIV/AIDS.
Ian Harding, Brittany Snow, Lindsey McKeon, Daphne Zuniga, Bethany Joy Lenz, Brant Daugherty, Chris Masterson and Jessica Stroup were just some of the celebrities who came out to support Road to Hope’s work to rebuild the lives of the 53 million orphaned children.
DeVitto, who is the ambassador for The Hospice Foundation, said she was thrilled to see the event finally come together and so many of her friends gathering around for the cause. “This is amazing tonight. I never thought this would happen. It’s been a pipe-dream, but now it’s here! It’s so great!”
The “Pretty Little Liars” actress was part of the documentary film crew that went to Africa and explored the many challenges faced by orphaned children in poverty-stricken areas.
“I went to Uganda last August and helped narrate and do the interviews for a documentary about the Road to Hope foundation. We followed a bunch of the childcare givers, and we just got to meet these kids and talk to them. I wasn’t even really aware of childcare givers ; that there were these kids that were five years old that were taking care of their parents; being the hospice worker, being the nurses, and walking to get their parents’ medicine. And then when their parents’ die, it’s like that’s it. They’re left alone at 6-years-old. It was really eye-opening and it was an experience I’ll never forget,” said DeVitto. “It’s a beautiful program. I’m so happy to support it.”
Someone else who was happy to support Road to Hope’s mission Monday was DeVitto’s “Pretty Little Liars” co-star, Brant Daughtery . “I want to support the childcare givers in Uganda and support educating everyone anyway we can. I have seen how hard Torrey has worked on this. She’s been at it for a long time now. I’m honored to be a part of it,” said Daughtery.
“I remember when she was planning the trip. She got back and she was so happy she did it. I think Torrey is doing a fantastic job of it.”
The Road to Hope film shows the thousands of children in Uganda, Kenya and South Africa who are forced to leave school and find alternate ways to survive after their parents have passed.
Actress Bethany Joy Lenz (“One Tree Hill”), who also became aware of Road to Hope through DeVitto, said she was instantly inspired to come out to support the critical work the charity is doing.
“When Torrey asked me and sent this info to me, I looked it up and said, Yes, Yes, Yes! This is so important: Providing care for children that have no one to care for them and no one to protect them. Especially, in Africa; the situations that those kids are vulnerable to - it’s no joke. They really need some serious protection. And the fact that Road to Hope is coming in and they are educating them, protecting them, sending them to boarding schools, giving them opportunities, raising awareness about who they are, what their situation is; it’s huge,” said Lenz, who also emphasized on how crucial the empowerment of children is to the future.
“It’s the next generation. They have got to know, they have got to do better than what they have been left with. The only way to do any better is for the generation before them to start educating them, and communicating with them and giving them the tools to change things.”
Sponsored by the Hope So Bright Foundation, Akvinta Vodka and The Magic Brewing Company, the event featured a live auction and performances by Trevor Jackson, Pia Mia.
With all those who emerged to support the cause, these children have no doubt been put on their road to hope.
To learn more about Road to Hope’s work: visit www.roadtohopefilm.org