June 30th, 2010
04:26 PM ET

'Glee's' thirst for doing good

It wasn’t hunger but rather thirst that turned young Hollywood out Tuesday night in Santa Monica, California.

Hosted by “90210” star AnnaLynne McCord, the Inaugural Thirst Project Gala, held at the beachside hotel Casa del Mar, recognized those who are shining a light on the world’s clean water crisis, including actor & singer Drake Bell. He was honored with the Pioneering Spirit Award for raising the profile of the group and directly contributing to providing clean water for five communities.

The Thirst Project was founded by Seth Maxwell, now the President and CEO of the non-profit. His enthusiasm and youth are engaging and inspirational. He looks like a boy, talks like a preacher and stirs those around him to care about one of the most fundamental needs on the planet: clean water.

Dotting the audience were “Glee” cast members Harry Shum Jr., Heather Morris and Naya Rivera. Host McCord had some additional support from "90210" castmate Ryan Eggold. Other star supporters of the Thirst Project included Samm Levine from “Inglourious Basterds” as well as Sarah Hudson and Rachel G. Fox from “Desperate Housewives.” “The Secret Life of the American Teenager"’s Ken Baumann, Mitchel Musso from “Hannah Montana” and Anna Kendrick from the film “Up in the Air” also made appearances.

The Thirst Project, which got its start on World Water Day in 2008, has provided clean drinking water to 34,000 people in six countries in the two short years of its existence, a point punctuated at Tuesday night’s gala and fundraiser. According to The Thirst Project, the deaths of 4500 children a day from diseases born of contaminated drinking water is a statistic that needs to be reversed, immediately.

"All it takes is $5000 to drill a well that can provide clean drinking water to 400 people for life," encouraged McCord as she stirred the audience to open their wallets and their hearts.  For more information on the group of young impressive do-gooders, check out  www.thirstproject.org .

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