Carousel Spins Pledge of Hope : Children's Diabetes Foundation Benefits as Davises Again Deliver a Celebrity Mega-Event


If Bob Hope and Gerald Ford are discussing their golf games, Kevin Costner is upset because he can't find his wife, Bette Midler is performing without her skirt and Luke Perry is on the auction block, this must be the Carousel of Hope Ball.

The ball's second time around in L.A. was every bit the mega-event the first one was two years ago. But it was to be expected; hosts Barbara and Marvin Davis never disappoint. The celebrity-crammed fund-raiser for the Children's Diabetes Foundation (including the American Diabetes Assn. and the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International) Friday night at the Beverly Hilton was nothing short of amazing, if only for the guest list.

Elizabeth Taylor, Kevin Costner, Rod Stewart, Nancy and Ronald Reagan, Betty and Gerald Ford, Florence Griffith-Joyner, Sidney Poitier, Sharon Stone, Brooke Shields, Sylvester Stallone, Charles Bronson and Gene Kelly were only a small percentage of the stars who showed for a two-hour silent auction, dinner and entertainment.

But in this $1,000-per-person event the Davises have a vested interest. The Children's Diabetes Foundation supports programs at the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes in Denver. The center was started after the Davises' daughter, Dana, developed diabetes when she was 7. (The carousel balls used to be held in Denver but moved to L.A. in 1990).

"What I'm trying so hard to do is make the community aware of diabetes," said Barbara Davis, wearing her traditional lucky pink Scaasi ball gown. "The generosity has poured out all over, and I don't think there's another community that could be this wonderful and generous."

Generous enough to have underwritten the entire event and arranged for donation of such auction items as a walk-on part in a Joel Silver movie, a date with super model Claudia Schiffer and a ride around a Formula One rack track with Paul Newman.

Hunk-du-jour Luke Perry of "Beverly Hills 90210" was up for bid--actually it was a lunch with him at Cicada--but he didn't know it.

"I am? I wasn't aware of that," he said, although he seemed willing to be auctioned off.

Sylvester Stallone kidded that he was waiting for date Jennifer Flavin to "go on the block" before he'd start bidding. She had her eye on California Pizza Kitchen gift certificates, but Sly quickly nixed that one.

"No, Jennifer. No Pizza Kitchen for you."

After perusing and schmoozing at the very crowded auction, guests headed for the main ballroom to dine on roast chicken and be entertained by Bette Midler, Michael Bolton, Tevin Campbell, Billy Connolly, Dan Aykroyd and headliner Natalie Cole, who also received the High Hopes award. A pregnant Whitney Houston was honored with the Brass Ring award. Emcees were Hilton owner Merv Griffin, Chevy Chase and Roger Moore.

A goal of $5 million was set and apparently achieved; Marvin Davis announced that $3 million had been raised from the event and that he and Barbara were going to kick in another $2 million.

In the audience were Charles Bronson, Smokey Robinson, Jane Seymour, Henry Winkler, George Hamilton, Bobby Brown, Quincy Jones and Nastassia Kinski, Sugar Ray Leonard, Howie Long, Bob Mackie, Brandon Tartikoff, Mark Canton, Ronald Perlman, Dr. David Viscott, Tony Danza, Arsenio Hall, Wayne Gretzky and most everyone else in Hollywood.

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