Pioneer of the Year

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2014 Pioneer of the Year
Tom Sherak
Humanitarian Leader and Industry Icon

March 26, 2014
Cinemacon, Caesars Palace
Las Vegas, Nevada

The Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation announced humanitarian leader and industry icon, Tom Sherak, as the 2014 Pioneer of the Year honoree. The award dinner will take place in March at CinemaCon, Las Vegas, Nevada.

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What is the Pioneer of the Year Dinner?

Since 1947, the Foundation of Motion Picture Pioneers has staged an annual fund-raising gala, at which a worthy recipient is honored as an industry pioneer. This year the Pioneer of the Year Award Dinner will be a held at CinemaCon in Las Vegas. The event has become a mainstay in the motion picture industry and attracts members from all aspects of the entertainment community. Past honorees have included industry leaders such as Cecil B. DeMille, Jack Warner, Darryl F. Zanuck, Dr. Jules Stein, Frank G. Mancuso, Jack Valenti, Terry Semel, Sumner Redstone, Robert Shaye, Michael Eisner, Alan Horn, Jeff Blake, Rob Moore and the 2011 honoree, Dick Cook.

Who are the Motion Picture Pioneers?

In 1939, a group of industry personalities gathered for an annual social and contributed money to "establish a self-perpetuating fund to assist Pioneers of the motion picture industry who find themselves in need." Since that time, the Foundation membership has been comprised of individuals who work in theatrical production, distribution or trade services. The officers and directors of the Foundation are the leaders of major studios and entertainment companies.

What is the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation?

In 1936, the Will Rogers Memorial Hospital was established in honor of the great humanitarian and entertainer Will Rogers. Since then, the Will Rogers organization has provided financial assistance for healthcare needs to industry members. In 2002, the Will Rogers Institute and Memorial Fund merged with the Foundation of Motion Picture Pioneers to create the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation. The merger of the Pioneers and Will Rogers is a perfect match, allowing the new organization to provide assistance to more people than ever under the Motion Picture Pioneers Assistance Fund (MPPAF).

How does the Motion Picture Pioneers Assistance Fund Help Industry Veterans?

The MPPAF is a program with five levels of assistance offered to industry veterans in need. Assistance can range from a monthly stipend to medical rehabilitation, equipment aid, emergency grants or vocational retraining. The funds raised from this journal are restricted to the MPPAF.