CLEARING THE AIR
By Kim Devore/Entertainment Writer
Olivia Newton John and a host of high-profile pals presided over an all-star evening to benefit the Children’s Health Environmental Coalition.
Several hundred lucky guests, including A-listers John Travolta, Kelly Preston and Meryl Streep, gathered beneath the towering palms at the spectacular Beverly Hills home of Cindra and Alan Ladd Jr. to celebrate “One World, One Child.”
The Ladd estate was all dolled up for the occasion. Outdoor tables were dressed with satin bows and yards iridescent fabric topped with bouquets of fragrant Casablancas, cala lilies and tuberose. The wait staff, meantime, made the rounds serving up platters of mushrooms with truffle oil, tasty crab cakes and bite-sized burgers.
As a slight chill set in, the well-heeled gang buttoned up their cashmere sweaters and Prada coats and headed for the tennis court, which was transformed into an outdoor theater.
Kelly Preston and comic Bruce Vilanch kicked things off playing the part of celebrity auctioneers. The must-have item at this event was a magnificent pair of Paspaley pearl necklaces, which went to the highest bidder.
Next, it was time to rock on with the likes of Melissa Etheridge and Sheryl Crow. Even Olivia got in on the action, firing up the way-back machine with the ’70s hit, “Physical.” It was a blast to the past that made you want to fluff up the ‘fro and pull out the platforms.
Olivia has been a longtime friend of the organization and its founders, Nancy and James Chuda, who lost their 5-year-old daughter to a rare form of cancer linked to environmental toxins.
Over the past 10 years, CHEC and its influential friends have campaigned tirelessly for improvements in both state and federal environmental laws. Celebrated crusader Erin Brockovich added her voice to the cause saying that “children are our most precious resource and protecting them is the most important job we have.”
The evening wrapped up on a high note with Sheryl, Melissa and Olivia singing a sweet rendition of “You’ve Got a Friend.”
MEGA-STAR MERRY ROUND
Malibu doc Frank Ryan was among the VIPs mingling with the stars at this year’s splashy Carousel of Hope Ball. Barbara Davis’ glitzy gala drew a who’s who of Hollywood’s beautiful people including Halle Berry, Jessica Simpson and Liz Hurley as well as movers and shakers like Oprah Winfrey and legends like Elizabeth Taylor.
Kelsey Grammer served as emcee, but couldn’t resist the itch to burst out in song. Before you knew it, K.G. cut loose, letting the good times roll along with featured performer B.B. King. Elton John and Sting helped round out the evening’s entertainment. Let’s face it, this was not your average rubber chicken affair.
The biennial bash is considered the world’ premier fundraiser for children’s diabetes and raised a whopping 4.5 million dollars for the cause.