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Some of Hollywood's biggest names came out to the 18th Annual Los Angeles Beat the Odds Awards held at the Beverly Hills Hotel in December 2008. Actress and comedian Jane Kaczmarek emceed the event and speakers included actress and CDF board member Reese Witherspoon, Great Debaters star Jurnee Smollet, actor Greg Grunberg, actress Zoe Saldana, and urban music legend Jimmy Jam. More than 400 guests honored the scholarship award recipients and true stars of the evening—Ayotunde, Sara, Janet, Randolph and Cristal--for their academic and leadership achievements in the face of tremendous adversity.