Prominent Hollywood leaders, philanthropists, local dignitaries and supporters united for the Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) 2022 Gala on Saturday, October 8 at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, CA.
Hosted by actors Chris Pine and Robert Pine, the evening recognized longtime CHLA corporate partner Panda Express and philanthropists Kristin and Jeff Worthe with the Courage to Care Award and raised over $5.5 million to support the patient care and medical research that children who visit the hospital need.
The biennial gala returned for the first time since 2018 and kicked-off with a heart-warming moment of appreciation for CHLA healthcare workers. As Robert Pine shared in his opening remarks, “As you may know, this event was supposed to take place originally in 2020, but global events had other plans… And before we celebrate tonight’s honorees, we would be remiss if we didn’t honor those heroes of health care workers who’ve been showing up and providing outstanding care for children during a global pandemic.” After calling out the myriad of roles ranging from physicians to receptionists that worked in unison to keep the hospital running smoothly during the COVID-19, Chris Pine added, “Let’s all give them a BIG round of applause.”
“We are here today in support of the hope, compassion and expertise that provides transformative, lifesaving care for more than half a million infants, children and youth every year,” said Children’s Hospital Los Angeles President and CEO Paul S. Viviano. “Children’s Hospital Los Angeles remains committed to our mission of creating hope and building healthier futures for all children.”
CHLA Trustee and legend of Los Angeles radio, Ellen K. presented the first Courage to Care Award to Panda Express, one of the hospital’s top corporate partners and the evening’s title sponsor. Since the corporate partnership began in 2003, Panda Express’s philanthropic arm Panda Cares has donated more than $21 million and in 2020, pledged an additional $20 million to establish the Panda Cares Center of Hope at CHLA. Following a special video message from longtime CHLA supporter Jamie Lee Curtis, Andrea Cherng, Chief Brand Officer of Panda Express and the daughter of its co-founders and co-CEOs, Andrew and Dr. Peggy Cherng, accepted the award.
Philanthropists Kristin and Jeff Worthe were honored with the Courage to Care Award for invaluable contributions to CHLA spanning nearly two decades. Children’s Hospital Los Angeles President and CEO Paul S. Viviano returned to the stage to thank the Worthes for their pivotal leadership and support, and present the award.
At the conclusion of the presentation to the Worthes, a special video message from Governor Gavin Newsom paid tribute to the honorees and thanked the hospital for providing the compassionate, lifesaving care that makes CHLA the top-ranked children’s hospital in California.
Following a special video message from singer Michael Buble, actress Jessica Biel welcomed the evening’s mission ambassadors Leo Mascarenhas, MD, MS; James Stein, MD, MSc, FACS, FAAP who have each helped change children’s lives at CHLA for nearly 30 years.
Following the award presentations, multi-talented actor and musician Justin Timberlake surprised the crowd with a performance of his biggest hits and classic covers, including “Suit & Tie,” “Senorita,” “Smile,” and “Wonderful World,” and more. He closed the night with “Can’t Stop the Feeling” and was joined on-stage with 4 year-old CHLA patient Ella.
Additional guests at the gala included Jimmy Kimmel & Molly McNearney, Garcelle Beauvais, Nikki DeLoach, Mark Hoppus & Skye Hoppus, Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Ling, Chuck Lorre, Becky Baeling Lythgoe, Alex Meneses, Crystal Kung Minkoff, Christopher Nolan, Justin Turner, and more.
Panda Express was the gala’s title sponsor. Celebration sponsors were Kristin and Jeff Worthe. Benefactor sponsors were Eastdil Secured, Christine and Jordan Kaplan, and Stockbridge. Partner sponsors were AltaMed Health Services, Amazon, Bob and Diana Friedman, The Friese Foundation, The Goldhirsh-Yellin Foundation, Mindy and Jon Gray, Sheffie and Nadeem Meghji, SADA, The Tesoriero Family, and Worthe Real Estate Group.