Funnyman Ben Stiller was the toast of the town at this year’s Project ALS gala and his A-list friends turned out in force. Ben has helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to combat ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Local lovely Téa Leoni arrived looking absolutely angelic in her jade-green tunic, black dress slacks and sky-high stilettos. But Téa, who has a hand in causes the world over, would rather dish good deeds than garb.
“We auctioned off a bunch of guitars the other night and raised $120,000 for breast cancer,” she told The Malibu Times. “I bought Melissa Etheridge’s and put it in my daughter’s room.” Ben also persuaded Téa to help support his cause. “I have a friend in New York who has ALS and when I see that, it really hits home. Plus Ben and I go way back; I’d do anything for him.”
Soon, the joint was jumping. The VIP lounge was transformed into a swanky indoor garden complete with hedges, flowering vines, orchids and potted plants. Guests kicked back on overstuffed sofas while enjoying a specialty drink called the “FOB” or “Friends of Ben.” It was a refreshing concoction composed of vodka, elderflower, lemon juice, Chambord and soda. “Fantastic,” in the words of one well-heeled reveler, “like a Collins with a twist.”
The red carpet, meantime, was a procession of fabulous fashion statements. Gina Gershon shimmered in a beaded bolero, pop-to-be Ben arrived in a slick black suit, Marcia Cross seemed every bit the prime time queen in her polished plum chiffon creation while casually clad school of rocker Jack Black looked like a man in search of a laundromat.
J.B. helped emcee the event, dishing out a few light-hearted jabs at the honoree’s expense.
It’s no secret that Ben has taken a lot of-um, pies in the face, during the course of his career, enduring more mishaps than Wyle E Coyote. He’s been bashed, banged, smashed, soaked and stained in zany comedies like “Zoolander,” “There’s Something About Mary,” “Dodgeball,” “Meet the Parents” and “Starsky & Hutch.”
In recognition of his courageous efforts and fearless antics, Mr. Black gave his buddy a personalized tribute. “Ben, we are pleased to present you with the first ever noble humiliation award-The Humy.” The emcee spoke passionately of this deserving honor. “Ben believes in trust,” mused Mr. Black. “Trust even at the cost of personal humiliation. And isn’t that worth an award alone?”
On a more serious note, Ben was bestowed with the Jenifer Estess Award for his many years of hard work on behalf of ALS. The evening of awareness and entertainment helped raise $800,000 for ALS programs.