Phoenix Houses of California, the state’s leading non-profit substance abuse services organization, gathered Los Angeles community and business leaders at the Beverly Hills Hotel on June 6 for its tenth annual Triumph For Teens Awards Gala. The event celebrated the victories of young people over substance abuse and featured special tributes to this year’s honorees — Leigh Steinberg, sports agent and lawyer,Steinberg Sports & Entertainment, and David E.I. Pyott, chairman of the board, president and CEO of Allergan, Inc. The funds raised during the event will support Phoenix House’s teen residential treatment centers, family therapy, and prevention programs.
“We should remember that they are all our children; our future lies in the hands of all our youth,” said Pouria Abbassi, Senior Vice President and Regional Director of Phoenix Houses of California, when describing the teens who are under the organization’s care. “It is gratifying to see how these young people, many of whom were previously failing in school, are now seeking their academic credentials to apply for college. At Phoenix House, we not only help teens survive, we help them flourish and thrive by giving them the opportunity to make up the education they’ve missed and reclaim their lives.”
Kicking off the awards program was NFL Hall of Fame inductee and Heisman Trophy winner Earl Campbell who spoke of his own personal struggles with substance abuse, recovery, and the importance of remembering that “it’s not how you fall but how you rise from it.” He presented the 2013 Phoenix Rising Award to Leigh Steinberg, the prominent sports agent whose successful career inspired the film Jerry Maguire. Steinberg was honored for his contributions to humanitarian causes, which include setting the standard for hundreds of athletes to serve as positive role models who give back to their communities. His influence has resulted in more than $800 million donated to hundreds of charities and scholarships nationwide.
“Phoenix House offers hope and guidance to young people so that they can leave behind the ravages of addiction and live a fulfilling life without waiting until age 61 as I did. It is a shining beacon of hope and inspiration,” explained Steinberg upon receiving his award. “I believe it is God’s work to share our good fortune and make a positive difference in the world, helping those who can’t help themselves—and this is what the heroes at Phoenix house do.”
Allergan founder Gavin S. Herbert presented the 2013 Public Service Award to David E.I. Pyott for his accomplishments in transforming Allergan into a global specialty pharmaceutical and medical device company, and his contribution toward the betterment, health and welfare of the community, particularly our youth. Pyott’s philanthropic leadership through The Allergan Foundation has been responsible for granting more than $43 million to worthy causes in the communities where Allergan employees live and work.
Actor David Hasselhoff hosted the evening’s program, which featured a garden reception, dinner, a special musical performance by the Montebello High School Freshman Choir, and an inspiring video about the life-changing impact of Phoenix House programs on teens in treatment. Actress-singer Lauren Mayhew provided assistance during the Awards Ceremony.
The event’s Leadership Sponsor was the Allergan Foundation. Other major sponsors included Timothy J. Noonan of Lockton Insurance Brokers, LLC, Anthony and Jeanne Pritzker Family Foundation, John W. Carson Foundation, and Mary Hayley & Selim Zilkha as Benefactors.
Phoenix House’s annual Triumph for Teens Awards Gala celebrates the victories of young people over substance abuse. It is an evening of recognition for adolescents who have learned the lessons of honesty, responsibility, and concern for others on their road to recovery.
Previous honorees have included Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky; Los Angeles Police Department Chief William J. Bratton; Los Angeles Juvenile Court Judge Michael Nash; Dr. Charles Sophy, medical director of the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS); Sergeant Larry Martinez of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD); Phoenix House Founder Mitchell S. Rosenthal, M.D.; Timothy Noonan, president and CEO of Lockton Insurance Brokers, LLC; Lynn Pike, COO of CapitalOne; Grammy-nominated, 2007 BMI pop songwriter of the year, Kara DioGuardi; television anchor, legal analyst, trial attorney, and best-selling author Rikki Klieman; actress and advocate Lorna Luft; film directors Catherine Hardwicke (Thirteen) and Betty Thomas (28 Days); as well as Paramount Pictures’ Freedom Writers and seven outstanding television shows: Fox’s Bones, ABC’s Brothers and Sisters, The Middle, and George Lopez, Fox’s House, CBS’s Joan of Arcadia, the WB series 7th Heaven, and Lifetime Television’s The Division.