Michael Childers is considered one of the world’s foremost photographers.
Additionally, he is a producer and an author. One of his theater productions, “One Night Only”, in seven years has raised more than $1 million for Jewish Family Service of the Desert (JFS), a non sectarian non-profit organization that provides counseling and social services to those in need regardless of age, income, ethnicity, or lifestyle.
In tribute to Childers’ talent and generosity, he was honored with the Michael Childers Jewish Family Service of the Desert Humanitarian Award at a luncheon at the Hard Rock Hotel in Palm Springs attended by celebrities and community leaders.
Event chairs were Bernie Fromm, Barbara Keller, Ed Gubman (JFS Board of Directors president), and Terri Ketover. Presenting sponsors were Harold Matzner, and Elaine and Jerrry Morgan. Helene Galen was a Gold Sponsor.
Childers was acknowledged for raising $2.5 million for non profits in the Coachella Valley and over $12 million for causes such as HIV/AIDS, PAWS, and AIDS Research Alliance in other locales. He is an active board member of the Palm Springs International Film Festival and a large Palm Springs Art Museum contributor.
Despite the presence of notables at the luncheon, many paid tribute via video including Sen. Barbara Boxer, Bruce Vilanch, Doris Roberts, Stephanie Powers, Kaye Ballard, Peter Bart (former editor of Variety), designer Bob Mackie, Barbara Keller, and David Zippel.
The afternoon was filled with laughs as well as serious statistics from Maureen Forman, executive director of JFS who said Childers “has done more to benefit our community than almost any other individual.”
A song with special lyrics by award winning lyricist David Zippel and performed by Jason Graae kept the laughs rolling in reference to the honoree while multi talented and award winning performer Lily Tomlin amused with her jokes about Childers, but ended on a loving note about how there is much more to Childers with his famous friends “than your golden Rolodex. “
Childers will raise more funds for JFS on April 23 when the next edition of the star studded, talent driven “One Night Only” comes to the McCallum Theatre.