Malibu Seen

WISHING ON A STAR

A galaxy of A-listers and luminaries added some shine to the annual Rising Stars Gala to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles. The ballroom of the Beverly Hilton Hotel was bopping as Malibuites like Kelsey Grammer, wife Camille and Steve Soboroff got gussied up in their beach-chic best. There were hibiscus, island and palm tree prints as far as the eye could see, but apparently emcee Brad Garrett didn’t get the word and turned up in a dark suit. Colorfully clad honoree John Lasseter couldn’t let that happen. He promptly dispatched an assistant to track down a more appropriate Hawaiian shirt so big hearted Brad would better fit in with the laid back crowd.

After buttoning up the fashion dilemma, the Disney animation chief underscored the importance of having role models. “All of us have had mentors in our lives,” Lasseter said. “Mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers.” In Lasseter’s case, family influence put him on the road to a hit movie. “My mom was an art teacher and my dad was a car parts dealer,” he said. “The theme of ‘Cars’ was inspired by my mom’s love of art and my dad’s interest in cars.” Lasseter had words of praise for all the big brothers and sisters in the room saying, “No matter what you do in life, if you do it alone, your successes are empty. Big Brothers and Big Sisters help kids share their successes by giving them a family.”

The evening’s other honorees included attorney-turned-TV personality Rikki Klieman as well as Tyler James Williams of “Everybody Hates Chris” fame and Andrea Bowen, who plays Teri Hatcher’s daughter on “Desperate Housewives.” “Housewives” creator Marc Cherry presented Andrea’s award, marveling at how the soon to be seventeen year old has grown up before our eyes. “It freaks me out,” Cherry said. “She used to be a little kid and she is growing into a beautiful woman.”

The awards dinner was followed by dessert, but the real treat was yet to come when the one and only Randy Newman took the stage. The music man struck a chord with this crowd singing “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” and “Feels Like Home.” Of course no Newman set would be complete without the city’s unofficial theme song “I Love LA.”

The Rising Stars gala ended on a high note raising $400,000 for the organization-and that’s a lot of brotherly and sisterly love!

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