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Friends of the Earth, an environmental organization and network of grassroots groups in 77 countries dedicated to championing a more healthy and just world, held its signature event, the Green Ball at Fort Mason in San Francisco. Friends of the Earth and our network of grassroots groups in 77 countries defend the environment and champion a more healthy and just world. We’re progressive environmental advocates who pull no punches and speak sometimes uncomfortable truths to power. It’s an approach that for four decades has yielded victories protecting our planet and its people. Our current campaigns focus on clean energy and solutions to global warming, protecting people from toxic and new, potentially harmful technologies, and promoting smarter, low-pollution transportation alternatives.

Notable Bay Area television journalist Doug McConnell hosted the event, joining Honorary Chairs Jayni & Chevy Chase and Co-Chairs Linda S Gordon and Russell Long to honor several outstanding individuals who have demonstrated a profound commitment to environmental and humanitarian efforts. Surprise guest Robin Williams joined Chevy Chase on stage for an impromptu stand-up to the delight of guests. Friends of the Earth President, Erich Pica, who recently appeared on notable news programs such as NBC Nightly News, PBS NewsHour, and MSNBC’s The Dylan Ratigan Show and Countdown with Keith Olbermann, was also in attendance.

Awards were presented to Tom Hormel who received the Green Philanthropy Award for his longstanding commitment to environmental and humanitarian efforts, Zem Joaquin was honored with the Green Lifestyle Award for her commitment to green living and sustainable design, and 13 year old youth activist Aitan Grossman, received the Green Initiative Youth Award for writing the song “100 Generations” and starting the kidEarth project, which has become an international movement creating a united youth voice in the climate battle.