Phoenix House celebrated the successes of its teens at a wonderful event on April 11th, 2011 – the 8th Annual Triumph for Teens Awards Gala at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. The event raised funds to support Phoenix House’s teen residential treatment centers, family therapy, and prevention programs, and featured special tributes to this year’s honorees: the cast and producers of ABC’s comedy television series The Middle, motion picture producer, director and writer Chris Weitz, and Phoenix House Founder Mitchell S. Rosenthal, M.D.
Father Gregory Boyle, Founder of Homeboy Industries, presented the 2011 Achievement Award to Chris Weitz for his creative accomplishments and long-time support of Phoenix House. Boyle, whose organization assists at-risk, formerly gang-involved youth, became friends with Weitz while shooting his latest production A Better Life in South Central.
The cast and executive producers of The Middle were honored with the 2011 Phoenix Rising Award for bringing to audiences a program of power and poignancy that captures real life struggles faced by the teens in treatment at Phoenix House. Peter Roth, president of Warner Bros. Television, presented the award to executive producers Eileen Heisler and DeAnn Heline, as well as cast members Neil Flynn and Chris Kattan who attended the event.
Phoenix Houses of California board members Timothy Noonan and Geoffrey Nathanson presented the 2011 Public Service Award to Mitchell S. Rosenthal, M.D., founder of Phoenix House, for his vision, advocacy, and exemplary leadership in the field of substance abuse treatment as well as life-long commitment to bringing change to at-risk and disadvantaged youth and families nationwide.
Actor and writer Andy Richter hosted the evening’s program, which featured red carpet arrivals, a cocktail reception, silent auction, dinner, and special performances by Grammy-nominated, 2007 BMI pop songwriter of the year, Kara DioGuardi, and SATELLITE.
Over 200 people attended, and the event raised $375,000 to support our adolescent treatment programs. For anyone who was there, the value of the evening far exceeded the funds raised. It brought home to all of us why Phoenix House matters, the basic humanity of our work, and how Mitch’s legacy here in California extends far beyond any of us as individuals. Truly a great night for Phoenix House, those we treat, and for all of us who have made Phoenix House such a central part of our lives.
Click here to see interviews with some of the stars who were there, including Andy Richter, Neil Flynn, and Chris Weitz.