Charity Event

Phoenix House honors Matthew Perry & honorable Antonio Villaraigosa

Phoenix House honors Matthew Perry & honorable Antonio Villaraigosa

Phoenix House honors Matthew Perry & honorable Antonio Villaraigosa at 12th Annual Triumph for teens Awards Gala.

Friends for 10 seasons; friends for life!

Co-stars Lisa Kudrow and Matthew Perry reunited on Monday at the Montage Beverly Hills Phoenix House’s 2015 Triumph For Teens Awards Gala. Phoenix House is a drug addiction and alcohol abuse treatment center known for helping teenagers start the process of recovery.

On the red carpet, Former mayor Antonio Villaraigosa described Phoenix House to Watson Headquarters reporter, Jackie Watson, as an organization ‘that’s investing in people; that’s turning their lives around.’ He later spoke of his own painful addictions with alcohol and drugs; addictions which began on stage when he was just 10 years old.

In an effort to raise both awareness and money for Phoenix House, 45-year old Matthew Perry spoke about his drug addiction to Vicodin. Six weeks prior to the event, Perry visited Phoenix House. He expressed how impressed he was with the facility, staff and the young teenagers he met there. Perry himself entered rehab twice between 1997 and 2001 and eventually converted his own home into Perry House. Perry House serves as a facility which offers help to those who face similar battles with addiction and sobriety.

Kudrow awarded Perry with the 2015 Phoenix Rising Award. Upon accepting the award, Perry’s jesterous response, ‘Finally, an award-winning alcoholic,” resulted in laughs from the crowd. But putting humor aside and focusing on the seriousness of the event, the audience was all ears as Perry talked whole-heartedly about the triumphs of Phoenix House, its accomplishments and it’s future plans. Perry encouraged everyone to continue their monetary contributions in an effort to ensure the continued success of Phoenix House. 

Attendees included actresses Yvette Nicole Brown, Lindsay Sloane, and Lauren C. Mayhew, along with special guest Don Felder of The Eagles, who performed one of the bands most infamous songs, “Hotel California.”

—Written by Tansu Philip


Press release:

Actor and humanitarian Matthew Perry received the “2015 Phoenix Rising Award” and former Los Angeles Mayor and civic leader the Honorable Antonio Villaraigosa, the “2015 Public Service Award” at the 12th Annual Triumph for Teens Awards Gala, tonight, Monday, June 15th, 2015 at the Montage Beverly Hills. The sold out event celebrated the victories of young people in overcoming their addiction and related ailments and recognizes contributions and accomplishments which have positively influenced the health and welfare of our communities, especially our at riskyouth.

KCBS/KCAL weather anchor/reporter Kaj Goldberg hosted the dinner and award ceremony with Don Felder, former lead guitarist for The Eagles, performing. Michael Dwyer, DeeDee Gordon and Michael Kraus Co-Chaired.

Pouria Abbassi, President and Chief Executive Officer, Phoenix House, California enumerated the stellar success rate of Phoenix House in reintegrating teens, many of whom come from the juvenile justice system and foster homes back into the community in a way that improves both their prospects for success and society at large. He then introduced teens “Edgar” and “Tiffany” who spoke movingly of how their experiences at Phoenix House had changed their lives and set them each on a course for a bright future.

The Honorable Antonio Villaraigosa has been a respected voice in American politics, a prominent policymaker and savvy strategist for more than 20 years. As two-term Mayor of the City of Los Angeles, he is credited with making major strides in transportation, crime reduction, infrastructure, energy and resource sustainability, right-sizing government, business development and education reform. Prior to his election as Mayor, Villaraigosa served as a member of the Los Angeles City Council for two years. As a member of the California State Assembly from 1994 through 2000, he served as Democratic Whip, Majority Leader and Speaker of the Assembly, overseeing landmark state issues including an historic $9 billion school rebuilding bond, the toughest assault weapons ban in the country, the largest urban neighborhood parks initiative in U.S. history and creation of the “Healthy Families” program that provided healthcare for more than three quarters of a million children. Currently, Villaraigosa is a fellow at Harvard University and a professor in public policy at the University of Southern California. He is also a senior fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Institute in Washington, D.C.

Emmy-winning actress, writer and producer Lisa Kudrow presented the “2015 Phoenix Rising Award” to her former “Friends” cast mate, Matthew Perry. Lauding the actor for his “quick wit…sizzling instinct and intellect…creativity and humor,” she noted that working with Perry “was like shooting hoops with Shaq. It raises your game.” She went on to describe his personal and often public battle with addiction and sobriety, “facing the reality of his situation with characteristic resilience, stamina and grace. Not only did he handle it all,” she continued, “he showed outstanding generosity and compassion by turning his Malibu home into a post-treatment sober house for others in recovery.”

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