Rosie Perez and Ramon Rodriguez
kickstarted project to rebuild
roofs for Puerto Ricans whose
homes were destroyed by
Hurricanes Irma and Maria
Los Angeles-based nonprofit Today I’m Brave held its 100Roofs Fundraising Gala on Thursday, September 20, 2018 at the Conga Room at LA Live. The Gala, hosted by actors/activists Ramon Rodriguez and Rosie Perez, was a wholehearted success and raised more than $500,000 for the nonprofit’s key initiative for 2018, the 100Roofs Project to rebuild 100 roofs in Puerto Rico by the end of the year.
Founded in 2016, each year Today, I’m Brave creates an initiative to support a “Brave cause.” Last year, the nonprofit hosted three Brave Speaker Events raising funds and awareness for veterans, LA’s homeless youth and 62 orphans in Sierra Leone.
The organization created the 100Roofs Project as a joint humanitarian partnership with Rodriguez, Perez and disaster relief organization Heart 9/11. 100Roofs has plans to send volunteer carpenters to Puerto Rico to rebuild roofs and teach local men and women carpentry skills through an apprenticeship program so they have the tangible and empowering skills to rebuild their respective communities.
With more than 350 attendees, the gala was an inspiring and elegant evening full of hope and celebration that thrilled guests with a live auction, salsa dancing, cigar rolling, rum tasting and a special guest performance by Grammy award-winning band Ozomatli.
Celebrities who came out to support included Guillermo Diaz (Scandal), John Huertas (This is Us), Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), Crazy Legs (B-Boy), Draco Rosa (Menudo), Jimmy Smits (LA Law) and Lisa Vidal (Being Mary Jane).
Sponsors for the evening included Innocean Worldwide, iHeart Radio, Red Bull, Wells Fargo, Merrill Lynch, Ameriprise Financial, thelab, Silver Lining Entertainment, United Talent Agency, Golden Boy Boxing, Boxer Gennady Golovkin, NBC Universal, Disney, Showtime and many of LA’s top production companies.
In addition to monetary support, there were several in-kind donations, including donated ad placements from Twitter and a billboard that went up in the heart of Hollywood on the one year anniversary of Hurricanes Maria and Irma generously donated by OUTFRONT Media to commemorate and raise funds for the hurricane victims.
The billboard was supported by donated digital billboards throughout Los Angeles. David&Goliath client Chicken of the Sea International announced today it is donating more than 10,000 cans of shelf stable seafood, including tuna and sardines, to both support and sustain the 100Roofs Project volunteers on the ground and the Puerto Rico community at large.
“Our goal is to redefine the model of philanthropic marketing,” said David Angelo, founder of Today, I’m Brave and founder/chairman of creative agency David&Goliath. “This is a new paradigm for brands, celebrity influencers, production companies and non-profits to come together for a unique kind of cause marketing that effects real change in communities that need it most, in this case Puerto Rico.”
During the Gala, Rodriguez played a teaser for his documentary Pa’Lante that was co-produced by Today, I’m Brave and Rodriguez. It chronicles the rebuilding of five roofs in Puerto Rico – the pilot program which was the precursor to the creation of the 100Roofs Project. The 28-minute documentary was featured at the Catalina Film Festival Wednesday, September 26, 2018 in its first LA screening where Rodriguez and Perez received a humanitarian award for the powerful film.
Angelo added, “With 60,000 families living under blue tarps instead of roofs a year after Hurricane Maria and Irma devastated Puerto Rico, we wanted to not only provide an immediate solution by rebuilding roofs, we wanted to provide a sustainable one by teaching Puerto Ricans the skills to rebuild roofs in their communities. Those are two tangible outcomes that people can rally around and support, and they did, by the hundreds.”
Moving forward, 100Roofs Project will track the progress of the roofs being rebuilt – with visual content being posted across 100Roofs’ social media channels and website – to give sponsors, donors and the world a chance to witness the ongoing change during the course of the project, and eventual completion of the 100 roofs. The goal is to continue to collaborate with other brands and organizations to help scale this program throughout the entire island so that finally every family has a roof over their heads.
The 100Roofs Gala marks one of the most successful fundraisers for Today, I’m Brave to date.