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Free Spirit Award 2003: Richard Gere

Richard Gere - 2003 Free Spirit Award

Photo courtesy of Getty Images/Vittorio Zunino Celotto

The Free Spirit Award is to acknowledge the contributions of artistes, both Tibetan and non-Tibetan., who have greatly contributed to the Tibetan cause, World Peace, and environmental issues.

Richard Gere is one person whose contributions in these areas are unmatched by anyone else. He may be a Hollywood heart-throb, but he is also a committed humanitarian, a champion of World Peace, environmental issues, and the prevention of the deadly AIDS virus.

It has, therefore, been decided to honour Mr Gere with the first Free Spirit Award, in recognition of all the support and the very practical benefits that he has provided to the Tibetan community over the years. These include his outright personal endeavours and the formation of the Gere Foundation, which has benefited many Tibetans, as well as others.

As an artiste, he has used his act towards furthering the Tibetan cause, along with a host of other causes. He has risked much, both personally and professionally, for his beliefs.

When Mr Gere spoke out at the Oscar Awards on Tibet in 1993, it exemplified his determination and commitment. It is because of this level of dedication that it has been decided to present Mr Gere the first-ever Free Spirit Award.

The Award was presented during the first-ever Tibetan Music Awards in 2003.

The Award presentation was held on the evening of 10 October 2003. Due to Mr Gere's hectic schedule, he was not be able to receive the award personally. However, the award along with the citation was forwarded to him through his office.