David Beckham’s humanitarian efforts honored by UNICEF

Joined by an “A-list’ crowd, David Beckham worked the red carpet on Tuesday night (January 12) at an elegant Beverly Hills gala, where he was honored by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for his strong humanitarian efforts.

The former soccer great, who looked in mid-season form, was presented with the Danny Kaye Humanitarian Leadership Award for his extraordinary support of UNICEF’s work to put children first program.

“My job was important to me but this is the most important thing to me,” said Beckham, a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. “It has been for a number of years. It is something that I’m passionate about and it is something that I love doing. I love being with an organization that does so much for so many children around the world. It is my passion.”

Actresses Selena Gomez, Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Connelly and television personality Heidi Klum were among those joining Beckham at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel for the sixth biennial UNICEF Ball, an event that celebrates the organization’s lifesaving work for children and paying tribute to those dedicated to those efforts.

“You know they really help so much,” said Klum. “I don’t know how these children or families would do without UNICEF. They help with vaccination, immunization, in the schools with teachers and books and things that they need with clothes.”

The evening featured a performance by multi-Grammy Award winner Mariah Carey and a live auction held to benefit the David Beckham UNICEF Fund, an initiative to help save and protect the world’s most vulnerable children.

Beckham and several of the stars also took time to remember iconic pop star David Bowie, who passed away on Sunday (January 10).

“David was such a great man and such a good person,” said Beckham. “He was so influential in the music world and he was a creative genius and that is what I said. He will be sorely missed but people are celebrating his music and celebrating his life and that is nice to see.”

Since its debut in 2005, the UNICEF Ball in Los Angeles has raised over seven million dollars for UNICEF’s lifesaving programs for children around the world. (Reuters)