It was Braxton meets Bollywood as Lupus L.A. hosted its colorful Orange Ball at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Six-time Grammy- winner Toni Braxton headlined the event, which started off on an exotic note.
A chorus line of dancers opened the evening with a performance of “Jai Ho” from the film “Slumdog Millionaire.” It wasn’t long before they had this crowd ready to party for a good cause. In keeping with the orange theme, the ballroom was awash in shades of tangerine and the tables topped with coral-colored blooms.
Arriving on the orange carpet, Braxton was at her boho best, rocking an eye-popping pink and yellow paisley gown. Fresh off her acclaimed performance in “Grey Gardens,” Drew Barrymore went for a more classic look in a sleek, black sheath, while host Eva La Rue was pretty in purple. They joined local music man David Foster in feting this year’s Orange Ball honorees, which included longtime Foster friend and fellow composer Carole Bayer Sager as well as Fox Searchlight Picture’s Nancy Utley.
Giving a nod to someone like Nancy also has its perks.
Her guests left with gift bags filled with DVD titles including Academy Award-winning “Slumdog” to call their own.
The high-flying fling raised $600,000 for Lupus L.A. and the Lupus Research Institute.
A SUNNY THING HAPPENED
Few people in Hollywood are as inspirational as eternal optimist Michael J. Fox. So it should come as no surprise that when he puts on a fundraiser, it’s one uplifting affair. His “A Sunny Thing Happened on the Way to Cure Parkinson’s” was held at the exquisite Tuscan home of Paige and David Glickman. Nestled in the rolling hills of Topanga, we had a picture perfect day for our get together on the grass.
Guests roamed the estate’s spectacular grounds while enjoying a delicious Mediterranean feast and sipping fresh guava martinis. As the sun went down, Robert Wuhl stepped up to the makeshift stage and shared some laughs with pal Jimmy Kimmel.
Then came heartfelt thanks from MJF, who told the crowd, “You are the heroes and the game changers who help us speed progress toward a cure for Parkinson’s disease. Your dedication and commitment to our cause leaves me feeling humbled and grateful. Together we will make Parkinson’s a thing of the past.”
The exceptional outing got even more extraordinary when a golf cart carrying the one and only Stevie Wonder rolled up to the garden stage. From “Superstition” to “Overjoyed,” Stevie had us rocking in our chaise lounges and up on our feet.
What began as a sunny day ended as an unforgettable evening. We left with a fine bit of summer reading penned by our hard-working host. Should any of us require a reality check, we know we can always borrow a page from MJF, a true role model who is “Always Looking Up.”
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