On Friday, April 24, host, MS survivor and advocate Nancy Davis welcomed guests to the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza for the 22nd Annual Race to Erase MS.
The event raised over $1.7 million to benefit the Race to Erase MS and its Center Without Walls program, a collaboration of top MS research centers working together as a team on ground-breaking research to treat and ultimately cure MS.
Celebrity guests at this year’s event included host Nancy Davis, honoree Tommy Hilfiger, presenters Randy Jackson, Sharon, Kelly and Jack Osbourne, Anne Heche and James Tupper, Paris Hilton, G. Hannelius, Rowan Blanchard, performers Rita Ora, Ne-Yo and MattyB, along with guests Rumer Willis, Frances Fisher, Francesca Eastwood, Carmen Electra, Lea Thompson, Cheryl Burke, Val Chmerkovskiy, Camille Grammer, Lydia Hearst, some of the current “Dancing with the Stars” cast including Robert Herjavec and Kym Johnson, Aly Michalka, AJ Michalka, Lisa Vanderpump and Ken Todd, Loni Anderson, and many more.
Youtube and music sensation MattyB, opened the night with his hit song “Turn Up the Track.” Disney Channel stars G. Hannelius and Rowan Blanchard welcomed the singer to the stage. Next Sharon, Kelly and Jack Osbourne opened the night’s remarks, and spoke about the progress the doctors at Davis’ Center Without Walls are making in curing this disease.
Davis then welcomed guests and generously thanked those that made the night possible, and encouraged everyone to remain hopeful for a cure. Ally and Ricky Hilfiger took the stage to introduce Medal of Hope recipient, and their father, Tommy Hilfiger. They spoke about his dedication to cure this disease and his hope for the future. Hilfiger expressed his thanks and accepted the award on behalf of his sister, who suffers from MS.
He thanked Davis for the honor, stating, “She is the one who carries the orange flag 24/7 and really fights for a cure for this disease.” He continued, “I really believe the 11 drugs that have already come out are just the beginning because of the fact that she created Center Without Walls.”
The 22nd Annual Race to Erase MS included a live auction called by Anne Heche and James Tupper, during which lucky bidders walked away with items including a trip to Hawaii, Greece, an experience with Larry King and a stay on an Illusions Yacht. The big item of the night was a Bespoke Aston Martin Vanquish, commissioned by Tommy Hilfiger, that Robert Herjavec from “Shark Tank” walked away with.
Race to Erase MS continued its legacy of incredible musical performances this year. Longtime Race To Erase MS supporter, Randy Jackson, introduced one of today’s hottest acts, Rita Ora. Ora sang hits including “Doing It,” “I Will Never Let You Down,” and “Black Widow.” Finally, Grammy Award-winning artist Ne-Yo was introduced by Paris Hilton, and sang an incredible set which included his best hits “Sexy Love,” “So Sick,” “She Knows,” “Let Me Love You,” “Miss Independent,” and more.
In what has become a Race to Erase MS tradition over the past 22 years, an uplifting rendition of “Lean On Me,” was performed as the finale of the evening, led by Rita Ora and Ne-Yo, and who were joined on stage by Nancy Davis, Tommy Hilfiger and more.
Each guest received a coveted Race to Erase MS gift bag, bursting at the seams with over 40 items, including gifts from Kitson, MAC Cosmetics, an Alex and Ani bracelet, and iPad covers to name a few.
The evening was generously sponsored by Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, Associated Television International, Aston Martin and Alex & Ani.
Race to Erase MS is dedicated to the treatment and ultimate cure for MS. Funding research is the core focus of the foundation and significant strides have been made to find the cause and cure of this debilitating disease. At the event’s inception 22 years ago, the absence of medications and therapies encouraged its involvement. their scientists have spearheaded and helped to create FDA approved medications, providing hope and encouragement for those who suffer with MS.
The funds raised support their Center Without Walls program, a unique collaboration of the world’s leading MS research scientists currently representing Harvard, Yale, Cedars Sinai, University of Southern California, Oregon Health Science University, UC San Francisco and Johns Hopkins. This nationwide collaboration of physicians, scientists and clinicians are on the cutting-edge of innovative research and therapeutic approaches to treat MS. It is the hope of the Race to Erase MS that in addition to combating MS through research in a clinical environment, awareness will be created by educating the public about this mysterious disease.