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Ian Somerhalder was super excited to sit with Ted Turner at the Captain Planet gala

Ian Somerhalder and wife Nikki Reed, both of "The Vampire Diaries" fame, were among the stars on the "green carpet" Friday night, at the annual Captain Planet Foundation gala. The enviro-friendly gala held at the InterContinental Buckhead celebrated the foundation’s 25th anniversary, and raised money for environmental and educational projects.

Among the evening's highlights: this happy moment when Somerhalder, who received the Superhero for Earth award, learned he'd be setting next to media mogul and environmentalist Ted Turner.

Stars aligned for the event included Ted's amicably parted ex, Jane Fonda, Winona Ryder, who's been in Atlanta starring in Netflix' binge-worthy "Stranger Things" (season 2 is filming now); singers CeeLo Green and Zac Brown, Spanx founder Sara Blakely, and CNN host Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

During the event, the Foundation announced the launch of the new “Project Hero” national species/ecosystem initiative, which will enable kids & classrooms in four states (Georgia, Colorado, California and Texas - and eventually the whole United States) to act on behalf of local species in trouble by doing a habitat or ecosystem restoration project.

E.O. Wilson, Ph.D., biologist, researcher, naturalist and author (“Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life”), received the Exemplar award, as did His Royal Highness Charles, Prince of Wales, environmentalist and conservationist. Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, 16-year-old climate change activist and hip-hop artist, and 14-year-old environmental activist Hannah Testa received the Young Superhero for Earth award. Entrepreneur Jesse Itzler emceed the event.

The Gala’s Premiere Sponsors were Delta Air Lines and the Isdell Family Foundation; Presenting Sponsors are Davis, Pickren, Seydel & Sneed; Jane Smith Turner Foundation; Pratt Industries, and Turner Foundation, Inc. Sustaining Partners are Meg and Jeff Arnold; The Coca-Cola Company; Dole Packaged Foods, LLC; Drummond; Eventologie; Great Range Brand Bison; Level Growth, LLC; Parking Company of America, Inc.; Ray C. Anderson Foundation; SCANA Energy; SPANX, Inc.; Ted's Montana Grill; and Voya Financial.

Since 1991, the Captain Planet Foundation has brought together public agencies, non-profit organizations, corporations, and foundations to help youth develop into environmental stewards and active global citizens: individuals who think critically and collaborate nationally and internationally, in projects that benefit their health, schools and communities.

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Jennifer Brett is a multiplatform journalist and digital coach. She writes The Buzz blog for