The sensational bash and “party with a purpose” raised funds to benefit the Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation and its signature program, Leeza's Place. On the event’s bustling red carpet, conversation changed from “what are you wearing” to “how are you caring” as the stars celebrated the importance of philanthropy and giving back. The evening’s entertainment featured performances by world renowned artists such as Grammy Award winning artist LeAnn Rimes, musical prodigy David Foster, Broadway star Eden Espinosa and singer/songwriter Chantelle Delaney.
The event hosted a bevy of Tinseltown’s most philanthropic celebrities including: Brian Boitano, Diane Warren, Eddie Cibrian, Fran Drescher, Hill Harper, Jackson Rathbone, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jennifer Grey, Kathryn Joosten, Lance Bass, Maria Menounos, Mario Lopez, Shaun Toub, Sela Ward, Terrell Owens and more.
“No one does it quite like Leeza Gibbons,” Michelle Vink told LookToTheStars.org. "This is a woman that never ceases to amaze me. I had the opportunity to work with her on the premiere of her charitable Oscar event, Night To Make A Difference, where she reminded all of us to celebrate the celebrity winners in philanthropy.
“When she called me to come back to work on Dare 2 Care on March 3, 2011, I didn’t hesitate to accept. Every now and then, you meet someone that is capable of changing the world. That is how I feel about Leeza Gibbons. She is a shining example of how a celebrity can harness their power of influence and truly create change. I am not the only one to recognize her genuine desire to make the world a better place. Hollywood’s finest came out to support her in this year’s event. From honoree, Jamie Lee Curtis to performer, LeAnn Rimes, everyone in attendance came out on one of the busiest weekends in Hollywood, all to make a difference.”
Highlights of the event included:
- Country music darling LeAnn Rimes got teary eyed during her set, exclaiming that in her long career the most important thing she’s learned is the importance of support and love and to not judge others for their mistakes.
- “Dancing with the Stars” champion Jennifer Grey presented Jamie Lee Curtis with the Caring Heart Award for continually championing important causes and lifting others through her example.
- Hill Harper was given the Empower Award for utilizing his celebrity to provide opportunities for the next generation by way of mentorship and scholarships. Shortly after, Jewish Family Services of Los Angeles was granted the Leadership Award for 157 years of helping families suffering from debilitating circumstances like hunger and domestic violence.
- Event sponsors InStyler & Sheer Cover provided a “touch up lounge” for guests to get their make-up freshened up and gifted them with tons of free product.
- One lucky senior citizen from Brookdale Senior Living, named Clarita, had her dreams come true when she was invited to dance by one of the “Dancing with the Stars” professional dancers, a life goal for this deserving woman. The duo danced to the music of an aspiring musician, Kristi Cawley, whose dream it was to have her demo heard by industry bigwigs. The moment was made even more special when Clarita was surprised by her celebrity crush Mario Lopez who cut in and finished the dance.
- Leeza partnered with EXTRA and developer/philanthropist Rick Caruso to seek out Caruso’s Courageous Caregivers – family members who tirelessly devote their time and energy to someone they love dealing with a chronic illness. Nominations were accepted online and the three winners were announced during the course of the evening, each of which was bestowed a medal for the way they “dare to care”.
- Broadway star Eden Espinosa then took to the stage to serenade these women with the Broadway pop anthem “Defying Gravity” from the smash-hit musical “Wicked”- a poignant song about strength and never giving up.
Read Leeza’s blog about the event here.