Idina Menzel, Others Honored for Charitable Work

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Idina Menzel, Iman, Claire Danes and others were honored Friday by Variety Magazine for charitable work in its "Power of Women: New York" issue.

Other honorees Sarah Jessica Parker, Susan Sarandon and A&E President and CEO Nancy Dubac, were honored at a luncheon hosted by designer Zac Posen at Cipriani in Manhattan.

Katie Couric, Gayle King, Josh Groban and others paid tribute at the ceremony sponsored by HTC One and FYIslo, A&E's new television network.

Menzel was honored for her own foundation, A BroaderWay, which assists underprivileged young girls from urban communities. She read a heart-wrenching essay by one of her students, but also made the audience laugh after her introduction by long-time friend Groban.

"He got my name right!" she joked, referring to John Travolta's mispronunciation of her name at the Academy Awards this year.

Iman shared her experiences with the Dr. Hawa Abdi Foundation which helps provide medical attention, clean water and other basic necessities for people in need in her native Somalia, from which she fled decades ago.

"It's amazing to me what has happened to my country. ... It was once peaceful, progressive, an admirable country," said the supermodel. "There was nothing that women could not do. Today, they are not even allowed to drive a car."

Sarandon was presented an award for her support of the group Hope North, which provides educational opportunities for Ugandan children of war.

"The fact that we're here means we are really lucky ... so why do this?" said Sarandon. "It feels really good to know you have done something."

Danes was cited for her work with Afghan Hands, a literacy program for Afghani women, and Dubac was honored for her work with Project Rubicon/The Mission Continues, which aids military veterans.

Finally, Sarah Jessica Parker was noted for her advocacy for the New York City Ballet.

Image via YouTube

Pam Wright

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