Star Turn: UNICEF Snowflake Ball
Celeb ambassadors praise work in their homelands and others at 8th annual gala
The UNICEF Snowflake Ball brought the stars out to New York's famed Cipriani restaurant to honor those who have contributed to the organization's mission of saving the lives of children and ending the 19,000 preventable deaths the world's youngest citizens suffer daily.
Ethiopia-born UNICEF ambassador (and famed chef) Marcus Samuelsson shared his thoughts on what the organization has done for his native country. "They are very involved with the children of Ethiopia," he said at Tuesday night's 8th annual gala. "It's something I'm extremely grateful [for], them continuing to do the work with water and education and providing medicine. Being down there every year and seeing the UNICEF vans is amazing."
Supermodel Selita Ebanks -- who shared on the red carpet that she tried out for the Victoria Secret Fashion Show this year but didn't make it -- was born on the Cayman Islands. She discussed what she hopes to see UNICEF do for her homeland.
"I work very closely with a lot of young people in the Caribbean," she said. "And for me, I would love to see a little bit more exposure for them. Unfortunately, a lot of young people there think that their horizon ends at the end of their island and they don't realize the world is so grand and large and their dreams can come true like anyone else. It's all about faith, experience and exposing them to different culture."
Also among the star-studded guest list at this year's event were Selena Gomez -- the youngest UNICEF ambassador ever -- Harry Belafonte, Bryant Gumble, Uma Thurman, Kelly Ripa and Matt Lauer. Legendary musicians Tony Bennett and the Wynton Marsalis Quintet performed.