Hollywood Icon and Humanitarian Tippi Hedren to be presented the Service of Humanity Award at BPSOS Gala

Falls Church, Virginia | May 09, 2011 – BPSOS will present its “Service of Humanity” Award to the iconic star and humanitarian Tippi Hedren at its 30-year anniversary gala in Washington, DC on Saturday, July 2, 2011. The award is presented to individuals who make notable contributions to the betterment of humanity and compassion and diligence in their fight for human rights and dignity.

Discovered by Alfred Hitchcock, Tippi Hedren was cast in her two most notable films The Birds (1963) and Marnie (1964). Hedren’s contributions to world cinema have been honored with Life Achievement awards in France at The Beauvais Film Festival Cinemalia 1994; in Spain, by the Fundacion Municipal De Cine in 1995; and The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, 2011. In 1999, Hedren was honored as “Woman of Vision” by Women in Film and Video in Washington, D.C., and received the Presidential Medal for her work in film from Hofstra University. She received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2003 and a Genesis Lifetime Achievement Award from the United States Humane Society (HSUS) in 2009. She received a Golden Globe for her performance in The Birds and in June 2011 received the “Women Together Award” founded by the Queen of Spain and presented by the United Nations.

Hedren has devoted much time and effort to charitable causes; most notable among them was her volunteer work as International Relief Coordinator for “Food For The Hungry” Project for four years. Her efforts working with the Vietnamese American community stemmed from her providing career guidance to a nucleus of only 20 Vietnamese refugee women – fled from a war-torn country in the aftermath of April 30, 1975 – whom she arranged to receive training as manicurists in 1975. Hoping to rebuild their lives and providing a safer environment for their families in the “land of the free,” the women quickly learned the new job skills and sought after the nail industry with Hedren’s compassionate support. The pioneering work of that initial group of 20 set the foundation for a thriving beauty service industry. Currently, there are over 100,000 manicuring shops in the U.S. operated by Vietnamese Americans – a significant entrepreneurial success for the large population of Vietnamese newcomers to support their families and send their children to school.

How it began, in Hedren’s own words:

 

 

“As a volunteer at the “Hope Village” facility outside of Sacramento, established by Food For The Hungry in 1975 to aid the integration of Vietnamese refugees into the mainstream America, I became friends with these Vietnamese women.

One of the programs I introduced to them was a manicure class supervised by my own manicurist, Dusty Cootes. My mission was to help these wonderful women I grew to love so dearly. It was a major success; 20 women passed the cosmetician exam in Sacramento, in English, and went out into our communities to begin their careers. From that first group, the Vietnamese manicuring industry has expanded rapidly over the years and became one of the largest in the country.

I have always been impressed with these women -- so bright, so anxious to make a life in a country where they had arrived with nothing but the clothes on their back, and their life stories. They are good business women, and willing to work hard to build their new lives. More impressively, they did not want to be a burden on our country!

I am honored to take part in their success in the manicuring business. I am in awe of how successful they have become.”

Hedren has participated in rescue-at-sea missions during the height of the boat people exodus. She also dedicated her life to animal rescue efforts. In 1972, she founded The Roar Foundation and the Shambala Preserve, an exotic feline rescue outside of Los Angeles. She has traveled worldwide to set up relief programs following earthquakes, hurricanes, famine and war, and has received numerous awards for her efforts, including the “Humanitarian Award” presented to her by the Baha’i Faith.

The actress enjoys spending time with her daughter, Melanie Griffith, and grandchildren Alexander Bauer, Dakota Johnson, and Stella Banderas.

 

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