The event: Chrysalis Butterfly Ball party-goers had a nice surprise on Saturday when former Vice President Al Gore turned up to deliver the tribute to honorees Jeff Skoll and Jim Berk, founder and chief executive, respectively, of Participant Media.
Powerhouse producer Steve Levitan of “Modern Family” and other hit comedies also presented an award to honoree Jay Sures, managing director of United Talent Agency, on behalf of the Chrysalis organization, which is dedicated to lifting individuals from homelessness and poverty.
And Chrysalis president and CEO Mark Loranger presented an award to client Darius Coffey, who achieved self-sufficiency with help from the organization.
The scene: Guests gathered for the dinner beneath the stars at Susan Harris and Hayward Kaiser’s Mandeville Canyon estate in Los Angeles, compared by emcee Max Greenfield of “New Girl” to a “Disney house.” Ceremonies took place on a stage bathed in the charity’s signature purple colors, as did performances by Karmin, a.k.a. the duo of Amy Renee Heidemann and Nick Noonan; and Gavin Rossdale, who performed “Love Remains the Same” and “Glycerine” with Chris Traynor.
“Rossdale’s the coolest,” Greenfield said, as the mini-concert concluded. “He played the hits for you.”
The crowd: The event honors leaders in television, film and music, so the entertainment industry was well-represented with celebrities who included Diane Kruger, Vin Diesel, Ben McKenzie, Katharine McPhee, Tom Arnold, Jordana Brewster, James Van Der Beek, Soleil Moon Frye, Vanna White, Balthazar Getty and fashion designer Rosetta Getty. Dinner co-chairs included actor Rebecca Gayheart-Dane, Evolution Media Capital’s Rick Hess, William Morris Endeavor’s Richard Weitz and Universal Pictures chair Donna Langley.
Quote of note: At the podium, Gore called Coffey’s story inspiring, and he praised Skoll, Berk and their company for producing socially relevant films, including the Academy Award-winning documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” which spotlighted his educational campaign on global warming.
“A good story well told can truly make a difference in the world,” Gore said, repeating the company’s credo.
The numbers: Counting 700 guests with tickets priced from $1,000 and tables ranging up to $50,000, plus additional donations, the event raised a record-setting $1.4 million in proceeds.
Olivier is founder of SocietyNewsLA.com