Benefit honoring Gwyneth Paltrow, Alexandra and Sean Parker raises $2.35 million for UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital
Art, science and philanthropy came together May 6 for Kaleidoscope 5, a benefit for UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital, taking as its theme “Light: A Celebration of Discovery and Innovation.”
Presented by Harry Winston, the festive gala honored Alexandra and Sean Parker for their philanthropic leadership, Gwyneth Paltrow for her advocacy of healthy living and 12-year-old Kaiis Davis Jarrahy for his courage.
Then, at evening’s end, “Coldplay” frontman Chris Martin closed the gala with a surprise performance. (More about that later.)
Installations by noted artists filled the cocktail area at 3Labs in Culver City. Ben Jones’ candy-colored video, “Road Trip II,” captured attention in one corner, as did James Turrell’s holograms in another, which according to the description, instead of depicting objects, “aim to make a hologram of light itself.”
Famous faces dotted the room, including actors Lori Loughlin, Angie Everhart, Molly Sims and Jaime King, TV personality Randy Jackson, filmmakers Ron Howard and Kyle Newman, Laker Julius Randle, Laker General Manager Rob Pelinka, and of course, the honorees.
After his son Kaiis accepted his award, Reza Jarrahy took over the microphone and, acknowledging his wife, Geena Davis, he joked, “You know with Geena and Gwyneth in the room, I feel like I should be thanking the academy or the Hollywood Foreign Press.”
“He’s revolutionized the world as we know it,” Michael Milken said onstage with his wife, Lori. Referring to Sean Parker’s co-founding of Napster, as well as the philanthropic pursuits of Parker and his wife, Alexandra, Milken called it an honor to bring onstage “two individuals that have changed the world in the past, and we look forward to [their] changing the world for medical research in the future.”
For his part, Sean Parker warned, “We’re going to try talking about science. It has the potential to get a little bit boring, so you’re going to have to really focus.”
He then talked about collaboration in solving medical problems and immunotherapy “as a new weapon in our fight against cancer.” For the nonscientists in the room, he deferred to Alexandra to act as science-to-English interpreter.
“I, on a good day, cannot understand my friend Sean Parker and what the ... he’s talking about,” said Paltrow, during her turn at the podium. She then praised the Parkers for their “incredible support” of UCLA and other hospitals. “It’s an honor to be honored alongside you guys,” she said.
“My Uber’s been outside for an hour. My rating is going to go down,” joked Coldplay singer Martin. Given the late hour, he let the audience know, “If you do have to leave, I really won’t be offended,” adding, “Anyone else, come a little closer,” as guests instantly crowded around the stage.
Proceeds came to $2.35 million, totaling tickets for 750 guests, beginning at $750, tables of 10 ranging up to $50,000, a live auction and added contributions.
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Ellen Olivier is the founder of Society News LA.