PEOPLE and the Entertainment Industry Foundation Celebrate 20 Years Hosting the SAG Awards® Gala to Honor Actors' Charitable Endeavors

Dec 15, 2015

LOS ANGELES (Dec. 15, 2015) – PEOPLE and the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) will once again co-host the official SAG Awards® gala, held immediately following the 22nd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016 in Los Angeles. Tony Schubert of Event Eleven will design and produce the Gala for the eighth consecutive year.

PEOPLE and EIF have collaborated on a variety of causes for more than a decade. Together, they have reached hundreds of millions of people with messaging that helps facilitate change. This is the 20th year that PEOPLE, EIF and SAG-AFTRA have united on the SAG Awards gala, honoring the charitable efforts of actors in their communities and making an annual donation to the SAG-AFTRA Foundation.

“PEOPLE has celebrated the philanthropic efforts of Hollywood for over four decades. We are delighted that our readers enjoy our special “Why I Care” weekly section, which showcases personal stories from celebrities giving back, as much as we do,” says Jess Cagle, Editorial Director for PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly. “We are proud to partner once again with EIF to support the SAG-AFTRA Foundation and their important initiatives in the entertainment community.”

“We are thrilled to see the impact that the EIF and PEOPLE magazine grant has made on the work of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation, helping its programs grow and support even more aspiring entertainers,” says EIF President and CEO Lisa Paulsen. “Hundreds of actors have generously volunteered their time and talent in support of EIF’s work, and the visibility and magnetism they bring to our initiatives is integral to EIF’s ability to bring about positive change, in all of the areas the foundation addresses. We are so grateful for their generosity, and to PEOPLE and the SAG-AFTRA Foundation for partnering with us to make a difference in the lives of those who make EIF’s work possible.”

The $1 million gift from PEOPLE and EIF supports three SAG-AFTRA Foundation programs over the course of 2014-2019: Storyline Online a video-based children’s literacy website; the Catastrophic Health Fund; and the Scholarship Program.

Storyline Online is an internationally recognized literacy resource featuring beloved actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced and enhanced illustrations. Storyline Online currently receives nearly 6 million views a month in 228 countries and territories, having read to more than 100 million children worldwide.

The Catastrophic Health Fund provides financial grants to eligible SAG-AFTRA members who suffer from catastrophic illness or injury and, no longer able to work, need assistance with insurance premiums and significant medical costs.

The Foundation’s Scholarship Program awards $400,000 in scholarships annually to eligible SAG-AFTRA members and their dependents to pursue higher education.

In addition, during 2014-2015, part of the PEOPLE and EIF donation also helped to build and operate the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s state-of-the-art voiceover lab in the Actors Center in New York. The EIF Voiceover Lab opened in May 2014 and since then has offered an astounding 260 free voiceover workshops to nearly 6300 union voice actors.

Since the SAG-AFTRA Foundation never receives union dues or initiation fees from SAG-AFTRA, these programs and resources are only made possible by gifts and grants from generous supporters like PEOPLE and EIF.

“The significant impact of the PEOPLE and EIF donation has been felt throughout the Foundation’s programs, benefiting thousands of working artists as well as millions of children all over the world every month,” says Cyd Wilson. “We cannot do the work we do without benevolent supporters like PEOPLE and EIF and we are excited for the skyrocketing growth of Storyline Online that we’re looking to accomplish over the next couple of years thanks to the help of this generous grant.”

For more than 30 years, the Foundation has granted more than $17 million in financial and medical assistance through its Catastrophic Health Fund, Emergency Assistance, Scholarship Programs to SAG-AFTRA members and families. In addition, the nonprofit has offered 6200 free educational workshops, panels and screenings to union performers nationwide and its children’s literacy programs have brought the love of reading to more than 100 million children worldwide.