On Friday, April 29, Co-Chairs Nancy Davis and Tommy Hilfiger welcomed guests to the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza for the 18th Annual Race to Erase MS. The event raised more than $2 million to benefit the Nancy Davis Foundation for Multiple Sclerosis.
Celebrity guests at this year’s event included host, MS survivor and advocate Nancy Davis, along with Tia Carrere, Holly Marie Combs, Rachael Leigh Cook, Cindy Crawford, David Faustino, Daisy Fuentes, Debbie Gibson, Melissa Joan Hart, Samantha Harris, Nicky Hilton, Paris Hilton, LaToya Jackson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Jon Lovitz, Chris Massey, Kyle Massey, Dr. Lisa Masterson, Shaun Robinson, Matt Sorum, Raven Symone, Lea Thompson, Sela Ward and many more. After celebrities made their way down the red carpet, they stopped by the Windows Phone Booth to take photos and record videos to tweet. For each celebrity video tweeted Windows Phone donated $500 to the cause.
The 18th Annual Race to Erase MS themed Rock and Royalty opened with an exciting celebrity fashion show featuring a sneak preview of Andrew Charles, the new fashion line by Andy Hilfiger. Following the fashion show Andy Hilfiger surprised the crowd by performing “Jumpin Jack Flash” with his band. The evening also included a live auction called by Shaun Robinson and Mark Curry. Paris Hilton helped auction off a shopping spree and lunch with her sister Nicky Hilton on Robertson Blvd., but items such as a private yacht trip and an African Safari were the big sellers for the evening. Tickets to the Dancing with the Stars Finale also outsold tickets to American Idol’s finale. Honorees at this year’s gala included MS survivor Katie Mattingly Brass and William O. “Bill” Perkins who both serve on the Board for the Nancy Davis Foundation for Multiple Sclerosis.
In a nod to the event’s royal theme, A.B.S. by Allen Schwartz unveiled a one-of-a-kind exclusively designed wedding gown inspired by the Royal Wedding Gown worn by Catherine Middleton. The Nancy Davis Foundation and Allen Schwartz have partnered with luxury charity auction site charitybuzz to auction the one-of-kind Catherine Middleton inspired dress to raise funds for the Nancy Davis Foundation for Multiple Sclerosis. Bidding is open from Friday, April 29, through Monday, May 16, at CharityBuzz. The winning bidder will have the royal gown customized to fit their body, making it a truly exceptional piece.
Led by musical director Rickey Minor of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Race to Erase MS once again hosted a variety of musical performances throughout the evening. Joan Jett and the Blackhearts entertained the crowd with an exciting set including “I Love Rock ’N Roll,” “Cherry Bomb,” “Do You Wanna Touch Me,” “Crimson and Clover” and “I Hate Myself for Loving You”. Country music star and MS survivor Clay Walker closed out the evening with a performance of songs including “Lonely Long,” “What’s It To You,” “Fall,” “Honkey Tonk” and “Cold Hearted” while guests danced in their seats.
In Race to Erase MS tradition, the night ended with a performance of “Lean On Me” featuring Clay Walker, David Osmond, Debbie Gibson, BG5, the Davis Family and their special guests for the evening.
The Nancy Davis Foundation for Multiple Sclerosis 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 devastating disease. All funds raised through The Race to Erase MS event support “The Nancy Davis Center Without Walls” program, a selected network of the nation’s top MS research centers currently representing UC San Francisco, Brigham & Women’s Harvard Hospital, Yale, The Cleveland Clinic, Oregon Health Science University, Johns Hopkins and University of Southern California. This nationwide collaboration of physicians, scientists and clinicians are on the cutting-edge of innovative research programs and therapeutic approaches to eradicate MS. It is the hope of the Foundation that in addition to combating MS through research in a clinical environment, awareness will be created by educating the public about this mysterious disease.