Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to honor Panda Express and Kristin and Jeff Worthe at 2022 Gala 

Published on 
August 24, 2022

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Multi-talented actor and musician Justin Timberlake to perform at the event, which will be co-hosted by actors Chris Pine and Robert Pine.

LOS ANGELES (August 23, 2022) — On Saturday, October 8, 2022, philanthropists, business and entertainment community leaders, local dignitaries and hospital supporters will gather at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica for the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Gala. Funds raised for the hospital will provide expert critical care to their pediatric patients. 

Panda Express, a longtime Children’s Hospital Los Angeles corporate partner and the evening’s title sponsor, and philanthropists Kristin and Jeff Worthe, will each receive the Courage to Care award, which recognizes individuals and organizations that are champions of children and child-related causes, and whose humanitarian efforts are exemplary. Past honorees include Drew Barrymore, Jamie Lee Curtis, Pau Gasol, Jimmy Kimmel, Heidi Klum, Natalie Portman, Costco Wholesale, The Los Angeles Kings and The Walt Disney Company. 

“We are grateful for the opportunity to hold this meaningful event for the first time since 2018,” says Children’s Hospital Los Angeles President and CEO Paul S. Viviano. “We will honor these compassionate and generous champions of children for their philanthropy, volunteerism and advocacy. We will also pay tribute to our frontline clinical team members and philanthropists who help us fulfill our mission of creating hope and building healthier futures for children.” 

Founded by Co-CEOs Andrew and Peggy Cherng in 1983, Panda Express is the largest Asian dining concept in the U.S. and the largest American Chinese concept in the world, with more than 45,000 associates and over 2,300 locations in over 10 countries. On a mission to inspire better lives, Panda Express is more than a pioneer in American Chinese cuisine; it is a people-development company that embraces family values and focuses on professional and personal growth of its associates, as well as the well-being of its extended family in the larger community. 

The company’s philanthropic arm, Panda Cares, has contributed more than $282 million and countless volunteer hours to various charitable organizations since 1999. Panda Cares’ focus is on supporting the health and education of youth—touching the lives of more than 13 million to date. The company’s Los Angeles roots have made Panda an invaluable partner to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles for more than two decades. More than $21 million has been raised for the hospital through Panda Cares, and in 2020, the foundation pledged another $20 million to create the Panda Cares Center of Hope at CHLA to provide compassionate, healing support to patients and families. In addition, Panda Express is a top fundraiser for the hospital’s annual Make March Matter campaign. 

Kristin and Jeff Worthe are longstanding supporters of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. The Worthes were instrumental in the Living Proof campaign to support the hospital’s expansion and were founding members of the Children's Fund 100. Both also served on the hospital’s former Heart Institute campaign committee, which Jeff co-chaired. Most recently, Jeff served as Chair of the Board of Directors, a role he assumed at a pivotal time for the institution. Jeff’s dedication to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles spans nearly two decades as a Board leader and includes chairing the Construction Planning Committee for the Marion and John E. Anderson Pavilion, which opened in 2011; advocating for federal and state reimbursement strategies; chairing the Board’s Finance and Audit Committees; and playing an instrumental role in real estate planning and development for the hospital. He currently serves on the CHLA Foundation Board of Trustees.  

Multi-talented actor and musician Justin Timberlake will perform live at the event, which kicks off with red carpet arrivals at 5:30 pm, followed by a cocktail reception and dinner. Actor and longtime CHLA supporter Chris Pine and his father, actor Robert Pine, will be the evening’s co-hosts.

The evening’s Mission Ambassadors are Leo Mascarenhas, MD, MS, and James Stein, MD, MSc, FACS, FAAP.  Dr. Mascarenhas is the Deputy Director of the Cancer and Blood Disease Institute and the Section Head of Oncology within the Division of Hematology-Oncology at CHLA. He holds the Associate’s Sarcoma Program Endowed Chair and is the Director of the Sarcoma and Solid Tumor Program. Dr. Stein is CHLA’s Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer and holds the Ford Theodore Miller Murphy Chair in Surgical Oncology.

To support the event, please contact CHLA representative Michael Sandler at msandler@chla.usc.edu.

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About Children's Hospital Los Angeles 

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is at the forefront of pediatric medicine, offering acclaimed care to children from across the world, the country and the greater Southern California region. Founded in 1901, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is the largest provider of care for children in Los Angeles County, the No. 1 pediatric hospital in the Pacific region and California, and among the top 10 in the nation on U.S. News & World Report’s Honor Roll of Best Children’s Hospitals. Clinical expertise spans the pediatric care continuum for newborns to young adults, from everyday preventive medicine to the most advanced cases. Inclusive, kid- and family-friendly clinical care is led by physicians who are faculty members of the Keck School of Medicine of USC, and proven discoveries reach patients faster through The Saban Research Institute of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles—among the top 10 children’s hospitals for National Institutes of Health funding. The hospital also is home to the largest pediatric residency training program at a freestanding children’s hospital in the western United States. To learn more, follow us on FacebookInstagramLinkedInYouTube and Twitter, and visit our blog at CHLA.org/blog.

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