Every year I head into the ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Century City for Nancy Davis’s Race to Erase MS and expect her to say, “Tonight we are celebrating the eradication of Multiple Sclerosis!” Judging by the people who have stuck with her since her first fundraiser and the strides her Center Without Walls has made in the last 21 years—I am not the only one who thinks this. The honoree at this year’s bash, William Dean Singleton, Chairman of the Board of The Denver Post and co-founder of MediaNews Group and who suffers from MS agrees, “Dammit, I’m going to walk again!” He said after driving his scooter to the microphone. “We can’t cure it yet, but we can now stop it in its tracks. When we cure MS—and we will cure it—Nancy Davis did it.”
Davis, who was diagnosed with MS over 21 years ago, went on to raise $1.75 million courtesy of the fete’s attendees. Jack and Kelly Osbourne got into a bidding war on a trip to Mexico during the live auction. Kelly outbid her brother, snatching the trip away from him for $6,000. A little boy bid and won a Pomeranian puppy only to have to give it back. Too young to bid? Or maybe Dad said nope. I couldn’t tell. The silent auction filled the room with the most bidding I see all year at such things with items like botox treatments, trips and walk-on parts to shows like CSI.
This party is always decorated in shades of orange, as Davis finds it a healthy color, and this year was no exception: Gorgeous roses from Mark’s Gardens in various shades of orange were stationed all over the ballroom. In lieu of a fashion show this year (usually celebs walk in Hilfiger), there was just non-stop entertainment. CeeLo Green played opening act, and the hoards of well-dressed folk (basically everyone) rushed the stage. Natalie Cole appeared next. Then the scarves on the microphone could only mean one person—Steven Tyler took to the stage to close the night. Best laugh? When Davis’s two young daughters and another young pal hopped onstage to dance with Tyler. He showed the tots his “Walk this Way” moves.
Who else did I spy with their phones in the air capturing the entertainment? Jack Huston, Jordin Sparks, Daisy Fuentes, Jon Lovitz, Randy Jackson, Howie Mandel and Harry Hamlin. I am still laughing because singer Cody Simpson took one look at me at his table and moved somewhere…else. Natalie Cole’s back-up singers headed my way instead. Simpson mentioned he found another table when we ran into one another again picking up our cars at the end of the night. He eyeballed the goody bags all the guests were carrying (Davis has some of the most fun goody bags in town) and realized he’d forgotten to leave with a party favor. Shoulda stuck with me, kid.
Photographs by Wireimage