SOURCE: The Heart Touch Project

April 28, 2008 16:07 ET

The Heart Touch™ Project to Honor Founding Board Members at May 13 "One Night, One Heart" Tribute Dinner

SANTA MONICA, CA--(Marketwire - April 28, 2008) - The Heart Touch™ Project extends its warm gratitude by honoring three founding Board members at the "One Night, One Heart" charity tribute dinner to be held on May 13 at the Sofitel Hotel Los Angeles. Friends, family and colleagues will celebrate the contributions made by Actress René Russo, Producer Zev Braun, and Eric S. Daar, M.D., with an intimate wine pairing dinner at SIMON LA.

In addition to being a successful model and actress, Heart Touch™ Spokesperson René Russo is well known for her philanthropic endeavors and is an advocate for many children's causes. Says Ms. Russo, "The volunteers of the Heart Touch Project are some of the most amazing people I have ever met. My role is small compared to the love and compassion they give to our clients."

When Ms. Russo heard Founder Shawnee Isaac Smith's story 14 years ago about her work with AIDS patients and her desire to start a non-profit to provide compassionate touch to adults and children who at that time were being treated like lepers, René was 100% on board. René has served as Spokesperson on the Board since its inception in 1995 and singlehandedly paid for the volunteer trainings for the first 3 years of operation. René continues to drop in on the volunteer trainings to show support for the volunteers.

A filmmaker for more than 30 years, Zev Braun's work has won the Golden Globe and New York Film Critics awards and has been nominated twice for an Academy Award. Mr. Braun is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, as well as the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. His volunteer activities include serving on the Board of Directors for The American Foundation for AIDS Research and the Albert B. Sabin Vaccine Institute at Georgetown University. Mr. Braun has devoted his fundraising and organizational abilities along with his passion about AIDS-related issues to helping expand the work of Heart Touch™. Mr. Braun "[sees] the Heart Touch™ volunteers as angels. The Torah speaks of caring for the sick as being one of the highest acts. Well there are hundreds of angels out there everyday doing what most of us could never do."

Zev Braun asked to serve on the Heart Touch™ Board of Directors because he felt he could help. Zev is the leader in fundraising efforts for the Heart Touch™ Project and has helped Heart Touch™ collaborate with AMFAR where he also holds a Board position.

Dr. Eric Daar is director of the AIDS Program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center as well as being an Associate Professor at U.C.L.A. He brings to his advisory and educational role with Heart Touch™ an ongoing engagement in research for new AIDS treatments, wide experience in lecturing before a variety of community groups, and multiple honors for his teaching and warm bedside manner with patients. Dr. Daar notes that "the Heart Touch™ Project adds a dimension to the health care system that is so needed. Not only does The Heart Touch™ Method help to relieve depression and many physical symptoms, but it lets our patients know that they matter." Dr. Daar further adds that many of his patients find massage therapy has helped relieve the discomfort of AIDS symptoms.

World-renowned in his field, Dr. Daar has worked with the AIDS population since the first case was discovered. Dr. Daar came on the Board of Heart Touch™ at its inception and still finds time to come to the volunteer trainings to teach about the most recent AIDS treatments and procedures. Eric was instrumental in helping develop The Heart Touch™ Project's medical curriculum for its volunteer trainings.

To date, over 1,000 volunteers have been trained in administering compassionate healing touch to thousands of patients. Proceeds from the "One Night, One Heart" first annual event will benefit The Heart Touch™ Project's continued work with Children, Hospice and International Programs. For more details and to participate in this exclusive event, please contact Mica McMullen at 310-391-2558, extension 3 or mica@hearttouch.org.

The Heart Touch™ Project also wishes to thank its event sponsors including SIMON LA, Brianne Pergola of Eventful, The Midlife Crisis Winery, and R.S. Owens & Company.

About The Heart Touch™ Project

The Heart Touch™ Project is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to the training and delivery of compassionate and healing touch to homebound or hospitalized men, women and children.

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