Special Guests & Honorees

Each year at the Captain Planet Foundation Benefit Gala, we give a series of awards that highlight outstanding, real-life environmental superheroes. These awards honor those who have demonstrated extraordinary environmental stewardship, have helped to protect and preserve the natural balance and beauty of our land, and those who have offered significant contributions to making the world a better place. Below are this year’s honorees.

Ta'Kaiya Blaney

Young Superhero for Earth

Ta’Kaiya Blaney is an actor, singer-songwriter and Native Children’s Survival (NCS) Youth Ambassador from Tla A’min Nation, Turtle Island.

At the young age of 6, Ta’Kaiya starred in several award-winning short films depicting the role of a First Nations child taken from her traditional home and put into governmental residential schools run by the church.  For her work in these films, Ta’Kaiya received two Leo Award nominations for “Best Performance by a Female in a Short Drama” by the British Columbia film and television industry.  By the age of 10, Ta’Kaiya’s first music release and music video SHALLOW WATERS brought her national acclaim and earned her multiple awards and cultural honors.

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Mark Ruffalo

Superhero for Earth

Ruffalo advocates for addressing climate change and increasing renewable energy. In March 2011, he co-founded Water Defense to raise awareness about energy extraction impact on water and the public health. A regular contributor to the Guardian and Huffington Post, Ruffalo has received the Global Green Millennium Award for Environmental Leadership and the Meera Gandhi Giving Back Foundation Award. He was named one of Time Magazine’s People Who Mattered in 2011 and received The Big Fish Award from Riverkeeper in 2013. Ruffalo helped launch The Solutions Project in 2012 as part of his mission to share science, business and culture that demonstrates the feasibility of renewable energy.

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Joel Sartore


Joel Sartore is a photographer, speaker, author, teacher, conservationist, National Geographic fellow and regular contributor to National Geographic magazine. His hallmarks are a sense of humor and a Midwestern work ethic.

Sartore started the Photo Ark in his hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska. Since then, Sartore, a world-renowned photographer, has visited 40 countries in his quest to create this photo archive of global biodiversity.

To date, Sartore has completed portraits of more than 6,000 species, photographed on either a plain black or white background. No matter its size, each animal is treated with the same amount of affection and respect. The results are portraits that are not just stunningly beautiful, but also intimate and moving. “It’s the eye contact that moves people,” Sartore says of the animals’ expressions. “It engages … feelings of compassion and a desire to help.” Learn more about the National Geographic Photo Ark.

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Christi Paul

Gala Co-Emcee

You will find Christi Paul every weekend morning anchoring CNN New Day as well as anchoring and reporting for HLN during the week. Christi has covered President Obama’s 2nd Inauguration in Washington, DC, was on the news desk walking viewers through the first 5 hours of the Newtown, CT, school shooting and the Virginia Tech shooting. She has also extensively reported on Hurricane Sandy, several presidential elections, and secured an exclusive interview with Vice-President Joe Biden, talking about his motivation to combat domestic violence as well as addressing the issues with Obamacare.

Christi is a wife and mother of 3 daughters and as such, has a passion for helping children and teens. She serves on the National Advisory Council for the One Love Foundation in honor of Yeardley Love, the University of VA Lacrosse player beaten to death by her boyfriend, and is also involved with Girl Talk Inc., an organization where high school girls mentor middle school girls to help build self-esteem and combat bullying.

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Dolvett Quince

Gala Co-Emcee

Known for six seasons on the hit NBC show “The Biggest Loser,” Dolvett’s passion, regimen and dramatic transformational results have made him one of the most in-demand fitness specialists in the country. Born in Stamford, Connecticut, Dolvett and his three siblings were adopted by a Jamaican couple and later moved to Florida, where he finished high school. Dolvett then moved to Atlanta to pursue his passion for fitness and established himself as a leader in his field of health and fitness. In 2004, Dolvett opened Body Sculptor, a private personal training studio in Atlanta with a commitment to “changing lives one rep at a time.” His business had a solid following, but it wasn’t until a local radio personality started talking about it on his show that Dolvett and his business really took off. He then widened his business to training other trainers, which then led to him training celebrities and notables such as Angela Bassett, Boris Kodjoe, Nicole Ari Parker, Baltimore Ravens tight-end Daniel Wilcox and singer-songwriter Jojo, among others.

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