Sidney Sheldon received the 2002 Will Rogers Memorial Award given by the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commcerce. This is his acceptance speech, given at the March 18th 2002 Ceremony.
I'm very appreciative of this tribute. But this evening is not just about the three of us up here, being honored. It's about every one of us.
The United States Census of 1920 counted a total of 674 people living in Beverly Hills. Incidentally, those people are now living in a retirement home in Palm Springs.
If you have a car, you don't have to be reminded that Beverly Hills has grown a bit since 1920.
One of the most important parts of that growth has been attending to the welfare of our children. That's what this evening is all about.
The Beverly Hills Chamber, and its civic association, have created a mentoring program in partnership with the Beverly Hills Unified School District, a program that's helping to change children's lives. It matches successful business professionals as mentors to local school children. These men and women are role models to children in the 6th, 7th and 8th grades, to guide them, give them a realistic picture of what lies ahead for them, and to help them fulfill their dreams.
The pilot program was so successful that the concept is being expanded, which, of course, requires money. Thanks to all of you here tonight, the program can continue.
In a little while, we'll head for our homes, thinking that this evening is over. But the wonderful thing is that the benefits of this evening are not over. It is just the beginning, because tomorrow morning the money that we raised — that you raised — will go to work and will continue to work, to improve the lives of our children.
So, thank you all for being here. God bless.
Academy Award(s)® is the registered trademark of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.