Wallis Annenberg Honored by the Women’s Guild Cedars-Sinai

Annenberg Foundation Chairman, President and CEO Wallis Annenberg was honored with the Humanitarian Award from the Women’s Guild Cedars-Sinai at their annual Spring Luncheon at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. 

More than 500 attendees turned out to recognize Wallis’ contributions to philanthropy in Los Angeles and beyond, including Women’s Guild President, Gina Furth, actress Kristen Bell, and many others. 

Vanity Fair chronicled the event and spoke with Wallis beforehand about the focus of her philanthropy. 

“I try to give from my heart, first and foremost. I try very hard to not simply throw money at problems, no matter how worthy they are. At Annenberg, we try to do something different. We invest in innovators, rule-breakers, people who are creating brand new models for change. That way, their example can be copied, and leveraged, creating change on a scale that no philanthropist could ever afford.” 
Wallis Annenberg
Chairman, President, and CEO, Annenberg Foundation

The event featured a video portrait of Wallis’ work – narrated by Kristen Bell – with interviews from longtime friends, colleagues, and grantees highlighting some of her most impactful projects.

Hammer Museum Director Ann Philbin introduced Wallis and spoke about their 24-year friendship. 

"She has a wicked sense of humor, a mischievous spirit and she loves more than anything to create moments of joy for her friends and for the people that she loves. There's a constant feeling around her that she is celebrating life, and what a thrill it is to be alive."
Ann Philbin
Director, Hammer Museum

Wallis addressed the crowd and spoke about her philanthropic priorities, with a particular focus on supporting older adults. She then surprised the crowd by announcing a $1 million gift to the Women’s Guild Neurology Project to help advance understanding of complex neurological disorders.

“I’ve been a patient at Cedars myself, the vast majority of my friends and family have passed through its doors. I’ve always tried to support the most innovative local institutions, the things that make L.A. the very best it can be, as well as national and global ones. Cedars is at the very top of that list,” Wallis said.

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