The event: The 22nd annual Race to Erase MS gala, hosted by Nancy Davis and honoring fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger, got off to a fast start Friday, as Disney stars G. Hannelius and Rowan Blanchard introduced 12-year-old Internet rapper MattyB to open the show. Held at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, the celebrity-studded affair also closed on a high note with performances by Rita Ora and Ne-Yo, and by evening’s end, proceeds of $1.7 million had been raised for research on treatments for multiple sclerosis.
The scene: Paris Hilton stepped onto the stage, cradling a 4-month-old Pomeranian puppy, on offer to the highest bidder. The live auction at dinner, introduced by Anne Heche and James Tupper, also included a 2015 Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT, trips to exotic locales, a dinner for 20 and more. A 600-lot silent auction took place during the cocktail hour, which featured jewelry, accessories, more trips, show tickets, gift baskets, celebrity meet-and-greets and other goodies.
The music: “Are you ready L.A.? Are you ready to kick it off high?” asked Randy Jackson, as he brought out Ora, who delivered her performance in a polka dot mini-dress, matched to polka dot boots. Ne-Yo ended the affair with a set so electric that, as he and his dancers took their final bows, partygoers began taking apart their centerpieces so they could toss them the flowers.
The crowd: Davis and Lynn Palmer chaired the auction, and actors, dancers, reality stars and others filled the ballroom. Among them were Rumer Willis, Willow Shields, Robert Herjavec, Kym Johnson, Keo Motsepe; Valentin Chmerkovskiy, Tony Dovolani and Cheryl Burke of “Dancing With the Stars”; TV personalities Lisa Vanderpump, Ken Todd, Camille Grammer, Reza Farahan, Keltie Knight; Sharon Osbourne, Jack Osbourne and Kelly Osbourne; Frances Fisher and her daughter Francesca Eastwood; Carmen Electra, Megan Nicole, Lydia Hearst, Katherine McNamara, Aly Michalka, AJ Michalka, Lea Thompson, Clementine Ford, Robert Knepper, Loni Anderson, Barbara Alyn Woods, Francesca Capaldi, Ioan Gruffudd, Sandra Taylor and Linda Thompson.
Quotes of note: Hilfiger received the charity’s Medal of Hope, and Davis called him “a true American hero.”
“He is that rare gentleman who lives up to every promise he makes and then some,” said Davis. The daughter of the late Marvin Davis, former owner of 20th Century Fox, Davis founded the charity event after being diagnosed with MS.
For his part, Hilfiger — whose sister has MS — said of Davis, “She is the one who carries the flag 24/7 and really fights for a cure for this disease.” He told the audience, “I believe with all your help and your generosity [a cure] will happen in a very short amount of time.”
The numbers: An estimated 1,200 guests attended the event, which offered tickets ranging from $1,000 to $2,500. As to the auction, the car fetched $155,000; the puppy, $16,000.
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