It's been 19 years since socialite and jewelry designer Nancy Davis launched the Race to Erase MS Gala, created to raise money to help find a cure for what honoree Teri Garr calls "that scum-sucking disease," and after all those years her Hollywood pals still show up to lend a hand. Both Davis and Garr suffer from multiple sclerosis, with Garr, whose career highlights include hilarious roles in "Young Frankenstein" and "Tootsie," now confined to a wheelchair because of it.
But with the help of her daughter, Garr slowly walked on stage to receive the "Medal of Hope" award on May 18, that after a lively fashion show that featured designs by Andy Hilfiger (Tommy's son) from his Andrew Charles Rock 'N' Roll Collection as well as from the Authentic Icon line, inspired by "American Idol." A gang of young Hollywood stars took to the catwalk for that show in the packed Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel ballroom, including Shannon Elizabeth, Wendi McLendon-Covey, "Dancing with the Stars" pro Anna Trebunskaya and "American Idol" favorites including Taylor Hicks, Pia Toscano and Ace Young, along with the Jenner sisters, Kendall and Kylie. Their older sis, Khloe Kardashian, kept to her seat, clinging close to hubby Lamar Odom; and vacated their seats soon after. Not sure where they were headed, as they don't have a reality show to shoot any more!
But most of the star-studded crowd stayed to the very end, including Marg Helgenberger and Cybill Shepherd, who co-hosted and helped present the other Medal of Hope award to Deb and Bill MacMillan. Shaun Robinson and Jason Kennedy led the live auction, which included a luxurious trip for 8 people to Vomo, Fiji's premiere private island, as well as a shopping spree and luncheon with Paris and Nicky Hilton, an adorable Maltese puppy, and a once-in-a-lifetime experience in the Presidential Suite of the Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort and Spa in French Polynesia. Lively bidding wars went on for those top prizes, as well as during the silent auction earlier in the evening, which resulted in over $1.8 million being raised for the cause in just that one night.
Once all the money was collected, the show really took off, with wild sets by Fitz and the Tantrums, the Tenors, and David Cook, who ripped off the roof with an amazing version of Led Zepplin's "Rock and Roll." Then the surprise of the night came, with Stevie Wonder hitting the stage and performing six of his classic tunes, to the delight of Charlie Sheen, La Toya Jackson, Clay Walker, Camille Grammer, Jack Osbourne and the rest of the like-minded crowd, who were all rooting for the end to MS as a crippling disease, and who cheered on Nancy Davis as she hopefully proclaimed:
"We're going to find a cure for multiple sclerosis, I know we are!"
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- Arts & Entertainment
- Nancy Davis
- multiple sclerosis