The annual WhyHunger Chapin Awards took place at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York City, honoring GRAMMY Award winning musician Jason Mraz with the ASCAP Harry Chapin Humanitarian Award and Collection 18 CEO and philanthropist Drew Pizzo with the WhyHunger Chapin Award.
Emceed by Pete Dominick, comedian and host of SiriusXM’s Stand Up with Pete Dominick, the gala event gathered over 250 guests to celebrate musicians and individuals who are making a difference in the fight against hunger and poverty, while raising critical funds to support WhyHunger’s work to end hunger and advance the human right to nutritious food in the U.S. and around the world.
“Jason and Drew embody the passion and persistence it takes to create meaningful change. They are hands on activists who don’t just talk the talk, but walk the walk,” said Noreen Springstead, executive director, WhyHunger. “We thank them for their incredible contributions and are thrilled to recognize them for their achievements in the fight to end hunger and build social justice.”
A “songwriter in service,” Mraz has long used his music to draw attention to the things he cares about. For years, he has managed Mraz Family Farms, an organic fruit farm in San Diego, CA, and in 2011, he founded the Jason Mraz Foundation aimed to uplift humanity through arts education and the advancement of equality. Legendary singer songwriter and president of the ASCAP Board Paul Williams presented Mraz with the award.
“The way WhyHunger uses music to educate, inspire and affect change, aligns with the values I live by,” said Mraz. “It’s humbling to be honored by such a venerable group dedicated to working on this important issue.”
Pizzo has championed WhyHunger’s cause for years through the C18GIVESBACK program, via events, merchandise, volunteer work, sample sales, donations, fundraisers, and much more.
Following the awards presentation, Mraz performed a medley of his greatest hits, and sang Harry Chapin’s song “Circle” with Tom Chapin, Jen Chapin, Jon Cobert, and Michael Mark honoring the late WhyHunger co-founder.
This year marked the 19th WhyHunger Chapin Awards, celebrating the continued work in supporting innovative grassroots solutions to hunger and the collective movement for social justice. Special thanks to event sponsors ASCAP, Hard Rock International, Collection 18, and Wells Fargo.