An East-Coast answer to SAG awards parties was held in conjunction with The Actors Fund and volunteers expanding support for the New York volunteer community. Photo by Lavar Isaac

The Screen Actor’s Guild and The Actors Fund, both supporting the entire creative community, often have official celebrations dotting cities doubling as major creative hubs. Russ worked with a number of volunteers to provide the East-Coast equivalent for the SAG Awards in late January to create an event catering to the creative community most in need.

The Screen Actors Guild awards came with an entire suite of events leading up to an awards party on Jan. 29. Viewings of the competing films were shown twice-weekly at the Friedman’s community space, leading up to an event for 50 celebrating the films acknowledged by our own creative community.

The awards party was supported primarily through the volunteer efforts of residents under The Actors Fund’s supervision, from photography, a winner’s bracket contest, entertainment and red-carpet treatment for the guests. Jason Hunter, the event’s coordinator, drove the initiative to foster more support and momentum for both the organizations and the community with which he’s a part.

Jason Hunter

“As a community, we can accomplish miracles by pooling our talents and resources, especially working with The Actors Fund to make The Dorothy Ross Friedman community the envy of the entire creative community,” says Hunter. “The East Coast SAG Awards Viewing Party is one small example.”

It’s an initiative Hunter intends to continue expanding in tandem to provide an East Coast answer to the SAG awards parties common throughout the West Coast.

A frequent volunteer for The Actor’s Fund and desiring better support for our creative community in general, Russ created a menu included a full popcorn bar, Pineapple and Chipotle black bean dip, Apple and Mango White Bean Hummus, Blood Orange and Sundried Tomato cheese dip, Mango-Grape Marmalade and a Sour Cherry Mostarda, by Lane, along with Vanilla and Chocolate-Coffee cupcakes courtesy of fellow resident James Hubschmitt. Hubert’s Lemonade donated a variety of their lemonade flavors, which Lane included in all of his recipes.

Russ built a menu around crudites, dips and snacks, including a pop corn bar and dishes using Hubert’s Lemonade. Photo Courtesy of WKIO

“Using any liquid in place of water in my recipes is a common trick I employ and teach,” Lane says. “A few tablespoons of Hubert’s lemonade and liberal use of low-sodium chicken stock and reduced
balsamic vinegar provided both richness and sweetness to salt-free dishes, and relied only on a roasted fruit and lemonade to create new nuances of flavor. It’s a similar principle to a singer bending a note’s tone while singing.”

Using various stocks is a common technique that Russ pushes much further to include diet sodas, many varieties of tea, coffee, no-sugar-added fruit juices or simply carbonated water to boost flavor for minimal caloric intake.

“As we continue to expand what Friedman residents can do with both SAG and The Actor’s Fund, I could not have been more pleased to provide such a great experience for our guest and sponsors,” says Hunter. “This is one small example of what we can do.”

About The Actors Fund

The Actors Fund is a national human services organization that helps all professionals in performing arts and entertainment. We are a safety net, providing programs and services for those who are in need, crisis or transition.

Using space at The Dorothy Ross Friedman Residence, a building supported by The Actor’s Fund, volunteers created full slate of events for The Screen Actor’s Guild Awards on Jan. 29. Photo by Lavar Isaac.

About Screen Actor’s Guild Awards

Lauded by critics for its style, simplicity and genuine warmth, the Screen Actors Guild Awards® presented by SAG-AFTRA, which made its debut in 1995, has become one of the industry’s most prized honors. The only televised awards shows to exclusively honor performers, it presents thirteen awards for acting in film and television in a fast moving two hour show which airs live on TNT and TBS.

About WKIO

WKIO, short for “We Keep It Off,” stands for high-octane culinary creativity and comprehensive support for men and women after attaining their weight goals. In addition to cooking and speaking events, WKIO Found Russ Lane contributes to a number of worthy causes in the health, creative and athletic communities and combines them whenever possible. WKIO began after Lane lost 200 pounds while food writing only to find the real struggle lie in adjusting to life, post-weight.

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