Malibu Seen: Heart and Soul

Malibu’s Jane Seymour opens her heart and home for her fifth annual Open Hearts Foundation gala.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost five years since Jane Seymour started her Open Hearts Foundation. Ever since that first year, she has touched many lives. The foundation will host its annual Open Hearts gala at her stunning, ocean-view Malibu estate on May 9. 

“It’s a pretty unique event,” Jane told Malibu Seen. “I don’t think there’s anything like it anywhere. No one does what we do, which is to bring different people and different charities and share their very personal stories.”

Established in 2011, the foundation supports organizations that are dedicated to making a difference in health, education, the arts and sports. 

Its mission is to honor individuals who have used personal adversity to transform their communities and the world. This year’s glitzy gala honors rock icon and Kiss frontman Paul Stanley. Although his home is on the stage, when he’s out of the spotlight, Paul shares his personal experience with a deformity of the outer ear. 

Now aligned with Mending Kids, Paul has been directly involved in fundraising to combat various birth defects, including microtia, giving support to volunteer surgeons and recovery staff in developing countries who perform life-changing surgeries. 

They’ll also be giving an all-star salute to Eileen Garrido of the Beating Hearts Foundation. Eileen was born in 1999 and was diagnosed with a serious heart condition that can be fatal if left untreated. At just five weeks old, she was shuffled in and out of the hospital for surgery to repair damage to her heart. In addition to her philanthropic work, Eileen is a talented singer and pianist. 

Also on the honor roll is Elle Febbo, the former foster child turned best-selling author who now devotes her time to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ventura County. 

In addition to a VIP cocktail party, gourmet dinner, and live and silent auctions, the evening features inspirational stories and moving testimonials from the honorees. 

Guests can also expect live musical performances, including an acoustic set by Gary Lightbody, the lead singer of the band Snow Patrol. Says Jane, “Gary will be a treat and you never know who’ll join in.” 

It’s been quite a journey for Jane, who says she has always been inspired by her mother’s advice. 

From the time she was small, Jane was taught that love has no boundaries and flows unconditionally. That advice helped her through her own personal challenges. While she rose to fame, she tackled divorce, single motherhood, the threat of losing her home, as well as financial woes. 

“My mom used to say, when there are challenges, your natural instinct is to close up your heart. If you can accept your circumstances, keep your heart open and help someone that is worse off than you — that is the best way to heal.” 

As the story goes, she spent some of her last money on a charity auction for an artist to draw her children. At her home, that artist saw some of Jane’s paintings and noticed her talent and potential. She was offered free art lessons on the spot. It was then she discovered her love and unique talent for art, which led to a new career, new passions and the inspiration for Open Hearts. “Now I have a full blown art career in addition to Open Hearts,” Jane said. 

She’s even tried her hand at designing with her Open Hearts Collection for Kay Jewelers. Jane will be offering several pieces from her collection at the silent auction and all the proceeds will benefit Open Hearts. It should be an evening to remember. “The kind of cool thing is everyone has something they can take away,” Jane explained. “They’ll be inspired.” Or as Jane’s mom liked to say, “Keep your heart open and love will find its way in.”