Tag Archives: Larry King

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

22 Sep

Watch Larry King Live tonight!

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, one of the world’s most controversial leaders on the fate of the Americans jailed in Iran, and his nation’s nuclear program.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad interviewed by Larry King in New York City, New York

Staying the Course : Philanthropy, A Way of Life — The Beginning

7 Oct
The Lazerson Family in Mallorca

The Lazerson Family in Mallorca

I am overcome with emotion as my Rwandian guide leads me to the grave sight of some 42,000 people, slaughtered only years before.  Every where I look, death abounds–and there doesn’t seem to be much hope for those still clinging to life in the villages around this desolate place.  I visit a so-called hospital, more of a makeshift dog kennel, where the conditions are only the best that can be, and yet so inhumane.  I feel myself about to lose it, lose all hope, when suddenly my eyes come to rest on a mother, in a bed with three children, and two of the children are dying.  Her eyes flicker to life and she makes contact with me.  I stand there in a pool of hopelessness as we connect, but then I almost involuntarily allow myself to smile.  The smile grows across my face and becomes real and genuine, and she breaks into a grin, and I see the whiteness of her teeth against the background of her beautiful dark skin.  It seems like that smile lasts an eternity and knows no boundaries–no boundaries of language, of skin color, of economic standing–just a simple smile, and yet, we both felt it radiate warmth into our souls.  And there was that hope, returned to me anew!  This is why I came to Rwanda, to connect to their humanity, to find the hope in all of this destruction.  That smile filled my soul and I carry it with me to this day, and it fuels me on to serve humanity in whatever way that I can.

I became awakened to the idea of serving humanity as a young boy of twelve, who was admonished by his father to follow him to Martha’s Table, a homeless shelter in Washington, D.C.  At first I may have only gone there to please my father, but the act of service I was rendering made an imprint on my mind and I knew that someday I would make a difference to the less fortunate.  I came to realize that this was my calling in life.

After spending several years as a young entrepreneur, I felt my heart strings tugging at me to go in another direction.  The philanthropic spirit was newly awakened in me when I was asked by a friend to join the Board of Directors of the American Indian Services, where I worked to assist Native Americans in their education endeavors.  As my career was in a state of flux, I was then able to take on a position with the Larry King Cardiac Foundation as Executive Director.  This enabled me to make use of the celebrity contacts that I had, and also gave me experience in organizing inspiring charity events and celebrity galas.

Following my service with that organization, I joined forces with the Rose Foundation, which builds schools in developing countries for disadvantaged children.  I have never forgotten the day I visited the Guatemala City Dump.  Piles and miles of trash had been carved out into homes, and children and adults alike were rifling through the stinking waste, searching for survival.  I saw a young girl, the same age as my little girl, sitting in an old tire.  I was horrified as she lifted a bottle of completely curdled milk to her lips and gulped it as vultures circled overhead!  This is where my vow to make a difference was set in stone.  Through my years of service in Central America, I came to love the people and to love philanthropy.

James M. Barrie has said, “Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others, cannot keep it from themselves.”  I can attest to the truthfulness of this statement.  As I spent a year battling cancer, my family and I were served and loved by so many charitable souls, and we felt the sunshine of their love.  I have also felt the sun on my face as I watched the ecstatic children of Guatemala emerge from their life circumstances, and put on clean uniforms and come to school–they will change the world they come from and make their world a sunnier place, a safer place, a more productive place.

Today my platform is the Interface Foundation.  Our mission is to leverage the power of business and celebrity for the benefit of high impact charities trying to achieve one of the Millennium Development Goals established by the United Nations in 2000. My admonition to the world is:  Let’s spread our heart’s desire to do some good in this world.  Humanity can serve humanity.  Our voices can lend life to the voices that go unheard!  We are that voice, we are the heart, we are the hands, and we can change this world through generating awareness, through love, and through service.

Feel the Smile of Rwanda.  It is there to teach us how to love.  It starts simple and then it grows, and it will expand if we all come together.