Wendy Williams is turning her own experiences with drug addiction into an opportunity to give back with the launch of her inaugural gala aimed at raising funds to benefit victims of drug addiction and substance abuse.
The Wendy Williams Show host is partnering her family’s charity, The Hunter Foundation, with Facing Addiction with NCADD (National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence) to present the “Wendy Williams Hunter Birthday Give Back Gala” at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City on her upcoming birthday on July 18, 2018.
“I wanted to use the biggest day of the year (my birthday) to encourage family and friends to give to this cause which will, in turn, help those in need. Instead of giving me gifts, I am encouraging everyone to donate,” said Williams in a statement.
The benefit will honor R&B legend Chaka Khan with “The Survivor Award” for her resilience in overcoming drug addiction and alcoholism as well as her charity work with The Chaka Khan Foundation.
Williams also said that this event is about giving back: “I have seen addiction up-close. As a mother, wife, daughter, and friend, I cannot stand by and do nothing while there are people struggling to overcome substance abuse. Life is too short and we need to come together to help others.”
According to TIME, the talk show maven battled with cocaine addiction for a decade and started the Hunter Foundation with her family in 2014 to help those affected by drug abuse and poverty.
The inaugural fundraiser will be hosted by actress Torrei Hart and will feature performances by Johnny Gill, Keri Hilson, and PM.