While the Los Angeles Clippers were preparing to take on the New Orleans Pelicans on Dec. 18, team owner Donald T. Sterling was hosting an afternoon of innovation and inspiration at The Beverly Hills Hotel, as the Donald T. Sterling Charitable Foundation honored 54 charity and high school leaders at the annual charity awards luncheon.

The Donald T. Sterling Charitable Foundation generously pledged $20 million in grants and scholarships to 46 important and diverse organizations such as the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital, Special Olympics of Southern California, American Cancer Society, Yeshiva Gedolah, Braille Institute and the Los Angeles Clippers Foundation as well as eight local high schools.

"It has been a tremendous honor over the past four years to be one of the organizations selected by the Sterling Foundation to receive one of their generous grants,” said Bill Shumard, President/CEO of the Special Olympics Southern California. “Attending the Holiday Luncheon when these grants are awarded is a personal highlight for me. Mr. Sterling has a solid reputation as a community leader and generous supporter of worthy causes. Thanks to his generosity, the 15,000 athletes served by Special Olympics Southern California benefit greatly."

A prominent philanthropist, Sterling personally supports more than 170 charities and created the annual Sterling Charitable Foundation Awards to not only honor the people doing good in the community but to bring together prominent non-profit organizations and corporate donors to establish partnerships between those that give and those in need.

According to Clippers president Andy Roeser, helping the community has long been a priority for Sterling.

“When I was a young executive with the team, Mr. Sterling said, ‘We’ve got to have a foundation. It’s something that is important to me,’” Roeser said.

That was once again evident by the turnout and support at the charity luncheon.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW PHOTOS FROM THE EVENTDonald T. Sterling Foundation Annual Awards Luncheon Photos