Captain Planet Foundation Celebrates 25 Years With Star-Studded Gala, New Initiatives

Actress Nikki Reed and her husband, actor Ian Somerhalder, at the 2016 Captain Planet Foundation Gala in Atlanta. . (Photo: Captain Planet Foundation)

This past weekend, in celebration of a quarter century of fostering global environmental stewardship, the Captain Planet Foundation hosted a massive gala and awards dinner in downtown Atlanta.

The event, the city's largest environmental fundraiser of the year, attracted a number of big names such as cofounder Ted Turner, Jane Fonda, Winona Ryder, CeeLo Green, Zac Brown, Nikki Reed, and neurosurgeon/CNN host Sanjay Gupta.

Honorees included author and famed biologist E.O. Wilson, environmentalist and conservationist Prince Charles, and actor and environmental activist Ian Somerhalder. The "Vampire Diaries" star, as shown in the Instagram post here, was clearly pumped up about the honor.

In addition to celebrating the foundation's 25th anniversary, inspired by the animated TV series “Captain Planet and the Planeteers,” the night was also an opportunity to showcase some initiatives the organization will be undertaking for 2017. The latest campaign, called "Project Hero," aims to engage students to act on behalf of threatened local species through conservation and habitat restoration.

Musician CeeLo Green raises a glass during the 2016 Captain Planet Foundation gala. (Photo: Captain Planet Foundation)

In a recent profile by the New York Times, Ain Chiké, operations manager at the Captain Planet Foundation, explained the overarching initiatives currently in motion at the Foundation.

"We help students learn about the world they live in," she said. "Our Project Hero program helps save endangered species and ecosystems. Project Learning Garden, my program, works with students to assemble gardens and grow fruits and vegetables at their schools. Besides that, we try to expand students’ palates so that they eat healthier food."

Thanks to generous support from a number of major sponsors, the Captain Planet Foundation has grown to fund projects in all 50 U.S. states and more than 20 developing countries around the globe.

You can learn more about the foundation's success and future plans in the video.