There is a lot of talk about Hollywood going “green” these days, but on one very special night, Hollywood went orange.
The eyes of the world turned to the orange carpet at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills on May 12, where a galaxy of stars posed and strutted before the world press to support Lupus LA at the 11th annual Orange Ball.
The evening not only raised money and awareness, but it also made news.
It was the first public appearance for Paula Abdul since Simon Cowell announced her selection as one of the judges on Cowell’s highly anticipated TV show, The X Factor. Abdul walked the orange carpet before receiving the Loop Award at the annual fundraising event.
The carpet area resembled a flashy Hollywood movie premiere, where dozens of celebrity photographers and major news media recorded the festivities. Among those joining Abdul on the magical carpet were actress Teri Hatcher, who performed later with the Band From TV, actress Sharon Stone, a staunch supporter of Lupus LA, actresses Kellie Martin, Ali Hillis, Charlotte Ross, and Meredith Monroe, singer Howie Dorough of the Backstreet Boys and actors Phill Lewis, James Denton, Greg Grunberg, Adrian Pasdar, Scott Grimes and Bob Guiney.
After the last interview was granted and the last photo was taken, stars and guests alike mingled at a reception and sipped on Get Looped Peach Bellinis, the ball’s signature orange drink.
Host Fred Willard welcomed more than 400 guests and kept the evening moving with his warmth and humor. Lupus LA Chairman Adam Selkowitz presented the state of the agency and introduced Backstreet Boy Howie Dorough, whose sister passed away in her 30s from complications due to lupus. Dorough presented Dr. Iris Löw-Friedrich, Executive Vice President Development and Chief Medical Officer of UCB, Inc., with the Medical Visionary Award. Löw-Friedrich accepted the award on behalf of UCB, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company being recognized for studying a very promising new agent for lupus.
Amanda Cowan thanked her parents, Debbi and Roger Cowan, members of the Lupus LA Executive Council, for their love and support as she battles lupus. She presented them with the Daniel J. Wallace Founders Award for inspiring hope in the lives of lupus patients and their families. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house as Roger became so choked up that he was unable to speak at first.
Last, but certainly not least, Paula Abdul, long-time supporter and friend of Lupus LA, accepted the Loop Award from Lupus LA Founder Dr. Daniel J. Wallace.
Following the presentation of the awards, the ball turned into a party thanks to the Band From TV, whose entertaining performance inspired more than 100 guests to join the band and guest singer Teri Hatcher on stage.
The band, created to provide funding and resources for worthwhile charities around the world, is on a mission to make a difference in advancing and supporting the charities for which they feel passionate. The band is composed of Greg Grunberg (drums), from Heroes, Alias and Felicity; James Denton (guitar), currently starring in the ABC hit Desperate Housewives;Jesse Spencer (violin), currently starring in the FOX hit House; Bob Guiney (vocals), who appeared on The Bachelor and is now the daily host of GSN: Live; Adrian Pasdar (guitar), from Heroes and Desperate Housewives; and Scott Grimes (keyboard & vocals) from American Dad, ER and most recently Robin Hood.
While talented actors, the band is truly about celebrating music, living the rock and roll fantasy and having fun while bringing classic rock and roll music to life. Each band member donates his share to the charity of his choice, and because Scott Grimes plays for Lupus LA, the organization has certainly benefitted from the band’s work. To date, the Band From TV has raised close to $3 million.
With the power of Hollywood and the strength of its volunteer leadership, Lupus LA raises lupus awareness by harnessing the might of the media and entertainment industries to spread the word about lupus and its symptoms and dangers, and the need for safe and effective new treatments and a cure.
Money raised at the Orange Ball will go to The Lupus Research Institute, which is at the forefront in working to find a cure for this disease that affects nearly two million people in the United States. The funds will also support the growth of Lupus LA’s patient services programs and support groups, and will allow the organization to continue its Emergency Grant Program.