LOS ANGELES (April 12, 2016) – Liam Hemsworth has been named the 2016 Theatrical Fundraising Spokesperson for Brave Beginnings, an initiative of the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation (WRMPPF). The program works to improve the lives of premature babies by providing hospitals with grants for purchasing life-saving neonatal equipment and supporting critical care pulmonary services.
Premature birth accounts for 35% of all infant deaths in the US, more than any other single cause. Since 2006, Brave Beginnings (formerly the Will Rogers Neonatal Program) has provided essential ventilator equipment to neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) across the country. To date, the neonatal program has contributed $5 million in grants to 148 hospitals. Each year, the program issues 20 to 30 grants for a total of $1 million– and the demand increases every year. To date, 73,000 babies have been helped by the Brave Beginnings program.
Hemsworth stars in a thirty second public service announcement that will appear before movies on more than 4,000 theater screens nationwide. The spot may also be viewed on Brave Beginnings’ website, www.bravebeginnings.org. Surrounded by a diverse group of children born prematurely ranging from infancy to age 10, Hemsworth tells moviegoers, “These brave kids are my heroes. They all beat the odds.” He encourages audiences to support Brave Beginnings saying that, “It is our chance to be their hero.”
“Liam is a champion for children who inspires families everywhere. He is a dynamic advocate for us, and we are delighted to have him on board to further our mission so that every premature baby born in our country has the opportunity to thrive and live a long and healthy life,” said Jim Orr, President of Distribution at Focus Features and Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation President.
For nearly 80 years, movie theaters have honored Will Rogers’ legacy by raising money in movie theaters. Participating theater chains for the 2016 campaign benefiting Brave Beginnings include AMC Theatres, Carmike Cinemas, Cinemark USA and Regal Entertainment Group, with additional exhibitors expected to join in the coming weeks.
For more information about the program, or to find out how your theater can participate, call toll-free (888) 994-3863.
About Liam Hemsworth
Liam Hemsworth is universally loved and recognized for his leading role as ‘Gale Hawthorne’ in “The Hunger Games” blockbuster franchise. He also starred in “The Dressmaker” (2015) with Kate Winslet, thrillers “Cut Bank” (2014) and “Paranoia” (2013), and action-thriller “The Expendables 2” (2012) among others, showcasing his ability to transcend various film genres. Hemsworth’s upcoming films include “By Way of Helena” with Woody Harrelson and 20th Century Fox’s “Independence Day: Resurgence,” the sequel to the original blockbuster hit, which opens in theaters nationwide on June 24th, 2016. A champion and role model for children everywhere, Hemsworth has given his time and energy to many philanthropic endeavors for children and various organizations in the United States and to The Australian Childhood Foundation in his native country of Australia.
About Brave Beginnings
Brave Beginnings is a program of the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation, a charity named after one of the greatest humanitarians, philanthropists and entertainers that ever lived, Will Rogers. In the US, one in eight babies is born prematurely, often without access to the most up to date neonatal care. The correct medical equipment can literally mean the matter of life or death for these precious preemies. Brave Beginnings perpetuates the legacy of Will Rogers as a national charitable health program dedicated to helping premature infants not just survive, but thrive. For more information, visit www.bravebeginnings.org.