Last week, Derek O’Neill was honored with being named International Celebrity Ambassador for Variety International the Children’s Charity. This honor has been bestowed on very few individuals since 1928, including Princess Diana, Meryl Streep, Jim Carrey, Clint Eastwood, to name a few.
This honor signifies the value and impact of Derek’s workshops, and the difference that they are making throughout the world on all levels.
Having the title of Celebrity Ambassador makes Derek a spokesperson for children with special needs. After having been presented with the honor from Variety President Peter Drummond, Derek stated, “I fully intend to use this voice to explain to people that children with special needs are whole, not part children, and are not to be pitied.” Also in attendance at the event was Variety Chairman Monty Hall and his wife, Marilyn.
Derek originally set out last week to travel to Haiti but was unable to get into the country due to extreme conditions , hence he traveled to L.A. to present an unexpected donation of $100,000.00 to pay for a clean water project in Haiti. It was totally unexpected that Variety had already chosen him as an Ambassador. There was grace all around.
“I feel once again that the work we are doing is being recognized in the highest chambers around the world whilst not losing its grassroots energy, which is you. As each of you know, I have always said that this is a team effort and I am just your spokesperson, sharing your love and compassion” said Derek after receiving the Ambassadorship.
Other Celebrity Ambassadors for Variety pictured below.