Sunday, June 12, 2016

EmpowHer Institute honored Community Champions with CHANGE MAKER AWARDS Fundraiser

The EmpowHer Institute's CHANGE MAKER AWARDSsaluted exemplary men and women in the community who have supported their programs and unwavering efforts for at-risk Los Angeles middle and high school girls at their annual event held recently at Mount Saint Mary's University - Doheny Mansion, Los Angeles, CA. Hosted by vivacious and hilarious emcees, Actress Wendy Raquel Robinson and Hip-Hop Icon Yolanda "YoYo" Whitaker, the invite-only fundraiser recognized exceptional supporters who have helped to sustain Empowher Institute over an extended period of time.

The phenomenal night began with an inviting Red Carpet and plethora of appetizing experiences, while students of the program engaged one-on-one with honorees, VIPs and sponsors Inside the Scholars' Studio. Upon entering the historic doors of the Doheny Mansion, guests were able to engage with student teams discussing social issues ranging from Girls' Image in the Media, Transgender Bullying to Women's Rights.

Keeping with the theme "Ignite the Power Within", our empowerment speaker Surina Khan from the Women's Foundation of California, moved the audience with opening quotes from prominent women and stressed the importance of education, self-care and beloved communities to help elevate young girls to their greatness. Our profound inspirational speaker, Dr. Tererai Trent, roused the guests with her profound story as a young, uneducated bride and emphasized "Change can only be possible through education."

The evening was full of memorable moments and a stellar musical performance by Flutist Dr. Dawn Norfleet. Other event highlights encompassed gracious speeches from our honorees Denise Clements, CEO Community Recruiting, Martha Daniel, CEO Information Management Resources, Inc and Hany Haddad who accepted on behalf of honoree Darrell Brown, SVP Consumer Banking, U.S. Bank.

EmpowHer Institute Founder/CEO Betty LaMarr states, "With so many incredible role models, the evening was a reminder of how far we have come but also how far we still have to go for our marginalized girls to break the cycle of low wage jobs due to lack of education."

Our generous sponsors consist of Edison International, U.S. Bank, Quest Diagnostics, Southern California Gas, IMRI, California Senator Holly Mitchell, Capital Bank, JP Morgan Chase, UPS, Community Recruiting, and Lawrence Livermore National Labs.

With the success of the fundraiser, EmpowHer Institute can continue to give more teen girls from low income communities the tools to succeed through practical life skills, leadership, financial literacy and mentors with opportunities to design a future that prepares them for tomorrow's careers.

For more information on how you can support the EmpowHer Institute or to make a donation, visit

About EmpowHer Institute

EmpowHer Institute is a non-profit 501(c) (3) organization that works with an average of 300 underprivileged girls ages 11-14 annually to create opportunities that can improve their socio-economic status and living conditions. We offer paths to success by building character, confidence and careers through mentoring, education and exposure to venues outside the girls' everyday lives. To learn about future events and opportunities to volunteer or donate, please call 310.574.9181 or visit

Friday, June 10, 2016

HWA Announces Finalists in Short Film Competition

The Horror Writers Association (HWA), the premier organization of writers and publishers of horror and dark fantasy, today announced the thirteen finalists in its inaugural Lucky Thr1t3en Horror Short Film Competition.

The film competition--part of the HWA's StokerCon 2016--received entries from nearly twenty countries during its six-month submission window. The thirteen finalists hail from Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

"We received a staggering number of quality submissions," said Brad Hodson, chair of the film festival. "But, the work of these finalists is truly remarkable."

The Finalists

* The Barber's Cut - Mark Brocking (UK)

* Boogey-Woogie - Enrico Conte (Italy)

* Chance - Ryan Wick (US)

* Chateau Sauvignon: Terroir - David Maire (US)

* Drawn to Fear - Daniel Robinette (US)

* In The Ruins - Florian Frerichs (Germany)

* Ma Petite Sophie - RuebĂ©n Bautista (Spain)

* The Package - Eric Morgret (US)

* Quenottes (Pearlies) - Pascal Thiebaux (US)

* Scheherazade- Mehrnoush Aliaghaei (US)

* They Will All Die in Space - Javier Chillon (Spain)

* Three Wise Monkeys - Miguel Angel Font Bisier (Spain)

* Wolves - Alvaro Rodriguez (Spain)

The thirteen selected films will be screened at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas on May 13 and judged by an elite panel of celebrity judges comprised of:

* Daniel Knauf, producer, The BlacklistCarnivale, and Dracula

* Monica S. Kuebler, managing editor, Rue Morgue magazine

* Mike McCarty, special effects show supervisor at KNB EFX Group

* Mark Miller, vice president, Seraphim Films

* Lisa Morton, president, Horror Writers Association

* John Skipp, screenwriter, A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child

* Aaron Sterns, writer, Wolf Creek: 2

* Ryan Turek, head of development, Blumhouse Productions

Upon conclusion of the screenings--hosted by Tony Timpone, editor of Fangoria Magazine--the judges will award one film/filmmaker the Tredecim Award. The award includes a $1,000 cash prize and an exclusive one-year "first look" deal with Co-Conspiracy Entertainment.

About the Horror Writers Association

The Horror Writers Association is a nonprofit organization of writers and publishing professionals around the world, dedicated to promoting dark literature and the interests of those who write it. The HWA formed in 1985 with the help of many of the field's greats, including Dean Koontz, Robert McCammon, and Joe Lansdale. The HWA is home to the prestigious Bram Stoker Award® and the annual StokerCon horror convention.

For more on the Horror Writers Associations, please visit

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Cincy Chic Hosts 7th Annual Red, Pink & Blue June 24

 Cincy Chic, Cincinnati's only online women's publication, will once again help bridge the gap between local women and the health causes that serve them with their annual Red, Pink & Blue event. The fundraiser will benefit the American Heart Association, Pink Ribbon Girls, and the American Diabetes Association.

The event, being held for the seventh year in a row, will take place Friday, June 24 on the Purple People Bridge (KY Landing) from 7-10 p.m. Red, Pink & Blue will feature a festive fashion show sponsored by Mercury Wilde, shopping, raffles, a cash bar, DJ, and not to mention unforgettable views of the city. Tickets to the philanthropic party are $10 and include access to the event, a seat along the runway, and a swag bag.

Red, Pink & Blue symbolizes and benefits three causes that affect women throughout Cincinnati; heart disease, breast cancer, and diabetes. Lori Fovel, Communications Director at the American Heart Association Cincinnati explains the importance of raising awareness in the community. "Events like Red, Pink & Blue are really important to raising awareness because they reach people where they are in fun and different ways.  At the American Heart Association, we see the value in grassroots efforts to help spread the message about heart disease and what women can do to prevent it and reduce their risks.  If we reach just one new person with our message, we are one step closer to eliminating heart disease in our community."

For more information on Red, Pink & Blue or to purchase tickets, visit

Sponsors Include: St. Elizabeth Healthcare, Mercury Wilde, Date Night Cincinnati, Ideal Image Laser Hair Removal, Chart House Restaurant, Sweets & Meats BBQ, HYPE, Studio One Photography, Owl Be Sweatin', Mary Kay with Emily Stalf, Tobey 1 Originals with Tami Seurkamp, California Closets, Bitters 'n Sweet Bartending, Loft Talent, Glossy Pixels, and Wimberg Landscaping.

Cincy Chic is the only online lifestyle publication for women in the Greater Cincinnati area. Each week, this dynamic e-zine publishes a feature story, columns, and five editorial departments in the following topics: health, beauty, fashion, social and career. Events include fashion shows, lunch 'n' learns and philanthropic fundraisers.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Actor Keith Collins To Join NYC Icon The Naked Cowboy For Tourette Syndrome Awareness

Seeing Double??!! 

NYC's The Naked Cowboy to be Joined by Actor and Friend Keith Collins June 7th 2016 in Times Square for a Good Cause
National Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month (May 15th -June 15th) is coming to an end. With its close, to help support and raise awareness for the cause, Actor & Advocate Keith Collins ("The Jersey Devil", "The Meat Puppet") will be taking to heart of New York City in Times Square this Tuesday, June 7th along side famed NYC icon the "Naked Cowboy" (Robert Burck).
Collins will be bearing it all, donning just cowboy boots, hat, guitar and the signature Naked Cowboy underwear briefs, belting out songs, posing for pictures all in support of Tourette awareness and all who live with this misunderstood neurological disorder. Proceeds collected from the day will be donated to the NYC Chapter of the Tourette Association.

A slew of celebrity guests are expected to drop by and get their pictures snapped with Collins and Burck to show their support for the cause. Following the Times Square event, an after party celebration will be held at the famed Westside Tavern serving specialty cocktails such as the "Twist & Shout" and the "Triple Shake."

This event is to benefit and raise awareness for Tourette Syndrome.
For more information visit or

Sunday, June 5, 2016

New York Council of Nonprofits and United Way to Launch First-Ever Day of Giving, New York Gives Day

The New York Council of Nonprofits (NYCON) and the United Way of New York State are proud to announce a partnership to launch New York's first-ever statewide day of giving, New York Gives Day.

New York Gives Day will be held on #GivingTuesday (November 29th, 2016) and will involve thousands of nonprofits across the state working together to raise awareness, collect donations, and build a stronger sense of philanthropy and community. #GivingTuesday is a movement to add a national day of giving on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. November 29th, 2016 marks the 5th Anniversary of #GivingTuesday. This year, nonprofits throughout New York state will come together to create a movement for their local communities, raising awareness and funds for the much-needed services right here in our state.

"We know the spirit of generosity of the people of New York, and we know that we take care of each other," said Valerie Venezia, VP of Membership and Marketing at NYCON. "We are so excited about this project because it's going to put a spotlight on - and generate resources for - the amazing services nonprofit organizations provide in every community across the state… and it's going to showcase that giving spirit of New Yorkers."

"Nonprofits provide critical services in every community in New York. United Way helps to connect donors and nonprofits year-round. A dedicated day of giving brings focus on how communities help themselves and neighbors help neighbors," said Reg Foster, President and CEO of United Way of New York State.

New York Gives Day will be joining forces with the #GivingTuesday movement to help bring a sense of camaraderie and heightened participation amongst our nonprofit community. Nonprofits who wish to participate will be able to do so at no cost. GiveGab, the platform provider for New York Gives Day, will be waiving their 5% platform fee for all nonprofit participants on November 29, 2016.

In preparation for the day, GiveGab will provide nonprofits with free resources, webinars, tutorials, and complete access to GiveGab's suite of fundraising and volunteer management tools.

"As a company that is based in New York state, we are especially proud to be part of this giving day.  We're pleased to be working with our friends at NYCON, the United Way, and our Advisory Committee members to provide this fantastic opportunity for nonprofits to fundraise and promote all the great work they do," said Charlie Mulligan, GiveGab's CEO & Co-Founder. "We are proud of our company's commitment to help nonprofits do great work. We know that New York Gives Day has the potential to have a real, lasting impact on communities all across our state."

Beyond New York Gives Day, participating nonprofits have the benefit of utilizing GiveGab's fundraising and supporter engagement tools year-round. Free resources and webinars will be announced soon on the NYCON and UWNYS websites.

Press Contacts:

Valerie Venezia, VP of Membership & Marketing, NYCON; 1 (800) 515-5012 ext. 121;

Reg Foster, President & CEO, United Way of New York State; (518) 608-6456;

Charlie Mulligan, CEO & Co-Founder, GiveGab; (570) 313-6724;

About the New York Council of Nonprofits:  NYCON, the Soapbox and Toolbox for New York's nonprofits, works to develop and promote an effective, vibrant charitable community in New York State. With close to 3,000 nonprofit members, NYCON strengthens the business and organizational capacity of nonprofits, acts as an advocate and unifying voice, helps to inform philanthropic giving,  and conducts research to demonstrate the relevance and impact of nonprofits.  Visit to learn more.

About The United Way of New York State:  The United Way of New York State's mission is to strengthen the capacity of United Ways to be leaders in achieving results that improve the lives of all New Yorkers. United Way brings donors, organizations and experts together to advance initiatives that tackle problems at their root. Visit to learn more.

About GiveGab:  GiveGab's mission is to help nonprofit leaders feel like the champions they are. GiveGab is an online fundraising and supporter engagement tool designed exclusively for nonprofit leaders. GiveGab aims to help nonprofit administrators, feel successful on the job by providing a simple, easy-to-use platform for nonprofit leaders to better engage their supporters and raise funds online. Visit to learn more.

Friday, June 3, 2016

2016 Hoboken International Film Festival Begins June 3rd - June 9th

Hoboken International Film Festival (“HIFF”) is dedicated to showcasing and promoting fine non-studio films, TV pilots, and screenplays from filmmakers throughout the United States and internationally. The best submissions will be rewarded with cash prizes in nearly ten categories. As will be discussed in the next section, HIFF has quickly become one of the top ten best film festivals in the world.
Now in its 11th year, Hoboken International Film Festival (“HIFF”) – called by FOX, MY and other major media “One of the 10 Biggest Film Festivals in the World – is being held June 3 to June 9, 2016 at the breathtaking Paramount Theater in Middletown, New York. With the Gala Awards Ceremony hosted by Gilbert Gottfried, HIFF will showcase numerous film and TV stars, and the world’s most cutting edge films. HIFF continues to grow – in 2015 HIFF had over 1,500 film submissions from all over the world, and only approximately 10% were accepted (the competition is fierce). Festival attendance has eclipsed 15,000 people in each of the past few years. A star-filled event, HIFF has had several Academy Award and Emmy winners and nominees, and numerous other fan-favorite celebrities at screenings, award ceremonies and special events.
With a celebrity jury comprised of several elite actors, filmmakers and industry leaders, and powerhouse partners that include WCBS FM, ShopRite, Anheuser-Busch, News 12, WRWD FM, Orange County BMW, The Galleria Mall, The Comfort Inn, Mid-Hudson News, Orange County, WTBQ FM, O’Connor Davies, BullChicks, Ferreira-Carpenter Wine Club, Beattie & Krahulik, Prestige Graphics, the Paramount Theater, and many more, HIFF, hosted by Middletown, NY, is a worldwide renowned film festival.
The 2016 HIFF Award for Excellence in Film & the Arts will be personally accepted by DANNY AIELLO (Academy Award nominee; Do The Right Thing; Moonstruck; The Professional; 29th Street) at HIFF’s 2016 Opening Night Ceremony on June 3, 2016…Past winners of the HIFF Lifetime Achievement award include Burt Young (Academy Award nominee; Rocky; Back to School; Rocky sequels); Eric Roberts(Academy Award nominee; The Pope of Greenwich Village; The Expendables; The Specialist;) Robert Loggia (Academy Award & Emmy Nominee; Independence Day; Scarface; Jagged Edge; Big); Paul Sorvino (Goodfellas; The Firm; Romeo + Juliet; Nixon); Cloris Leachman (Academy Award, 4-Time Golden Globe,19-Time Emmy Winner & Nominee); Michael Biehn (Terminator; Tombstone; The Seventh Sign); Billy Dee Williams (Empire Strikes Back; Return of the Jedi; Batman; Lady Sings the Blues)Carroll Baker (Academy Award Nominee & Golden Globe Winner; How the West Was Won; Baby Doll, Kindergarten Cop); Mike Starr (Dumb & Dumber; The Black Dhalia; Summer of Sam; Ed Wood); and Charles Durning (2-Time Academy Award, 4-Time Golden Globe, 8-Time Emmy winner & nominee; Tootsie; The Sting; O’ Brother Where Art Thou).
HIFF awards the winning filmmakers with cash prizes in several categories. There are also awards given in several other categories, and there are numerous top distribution companies in attendance of the festival and monitoring the Official Selections.
For more information please log onto

Thursday, June 2, 2016

'Union Bound' Wins Awards at US and Global Film Festivals

Union Bound is officially launched now as a 2016 film release and is currently creating buzz in prominent film festivals throughout the motion picture circuit. The film is directed by Harvey Lowry.

The film is receiving top honors and celebrated acknowledgements in its initial release: Currently, the film has won the following honors:

·         Best Picture - Peak City International Film Festival

·         Best Director (nominated) - International Christian Film Festival

·         Award of Merit - Indie Fest Film Awards

·         Official Selection - Marina Del Rey Film Festival

·         Official Selection - Longleaf 2016 North Carolina Museum of History

Union Bound is an original film based upon the true story of Officer Joseph Hoover and his gripping story of survival in the Civil War. The film tells the dramatic story of Hoover's courage and perseverance as a Union Soldier who witnessed many incredible moments during the terrible carnage of the Civil War. The film is inspired by the stories preserved in Hoover's personal diaries which survive even today.

The film depicts Hoover's main character as a soldier being captured at the Battle of the Wilderness and being taken to a notorious camp "Andersonville" in North Carolina. After four months, he was transferred to Florence, South Carolina to a new camp. Together with Thomas Ryan, they escaped and began their dangerous and challenging journey north to rejoin their troops. They were aided by slaves and what is now known as the "underground railroad" to get to freedom.

"Union bound shows the devastation when two Union soldiers get caught behind the lines during the Civil War. It shows how they were assisted by freed slaves through the underground railroad to return home.

In regards to our nation's history, the Civil War was one of the most intense conflicts in America. Union vs. Confederate. When the North won, the Confederates became part of the new USA. The course of it shaped the fabric of the making of America today.

Harvey Lowry directed this film showing the contributions of a slave who risked it all to assist soldiers of the North. A lot of young people don't know their history. People from all age groups need to see this magnificent film. They will be enlightened and moved." ---Kris Lamans, CEO, KLEC.

Motion Picture Director, Harvey Lowry says,"The making of this film was a journey in itself. We had a relatively tight budget, and really had to deal with some tough elements in shooting this entirely on location in North Carolina, but we wouldn't have had it any other way. The story is based entirely on the diaries that Joseph Hoover kept documenting all of his travels and journeys. What he went through is simply incredible, so we all knew we were making an important movie.

The performances from the actors feels so real because they were so devoted to the film. Several thousand Civil War re-enactors came together to reenact a battle for us, and a couple dozen stayed and acted in the movie as soldiers, guards and civilians. The lead actors were all hand picked by myself and the producer, Michael Davis. I had worked with Tank Jones, who played Jim Young, and Randy Wayne, who played Thomas Ryan, so I was very familiar with their abilities and styles. I has also worked with Isaac Singelton on Pirates of the Caribbean. After initially reading the script, I couldn't think of a better person to play Simon. Sean Stone was a standout to play Joseph Hoover. His experience and skills as an actor made him an easy choice.

I truly hope the film performs well and is received well by the audiences. It's messages about unity, perseverance, racism and equality. "---Harvey Lowry, Director

Union Bound is produced by Uptone Pictures in association with Red Thread Pictures and Weathervane Productions. The film stars Randy Wayne, Drew Seely, Sean Stone, Isaac Singleton, Jr., Matthew Ziff,Trish Cook, and Tank Jones. The film is directed by Harvey Lowry with the screenplay written by John Errington.

For more information, please visit the official website: