Heeding an urgent call for more research and care in battling an epidemic rise in childhood diabetes, The Carousel of Hope, the world’s premiere charity event benefiting childhood diabetes, hosted biennially by Barbara Davis, and presented by Mercedes Benz, held its 26th gala on Sat., Oct. 20, in Beverly Hills, Calif., at the Beverly Hilton.
The evening raised over $2.5 Million for the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes.
Over 100 of Hollywood’s best, from Oscar winners Jane Fonda, Sidney Poitier and Shirley MacLaine to music giants Quincy Jones, Clive Davis, Smokey Robinson and KISS co-founders Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, walked the gala’s red carpet.
Other guests included Alan Thicke, Carmen Electra, Carrie Ann Inaba, Charlene Tilton, Cheryl Burke, Daisy Fuentes, Diego Boneta, Donna Mills, Gayle King, Harry Hamlin, Hill Harper, Holly Robinson-Peete, James Van Praagh, Jennie Garth, Joan Collins, Joan Van Ark, Julianne Hough, Loretta Devine, Mimi Rogers, Nicky Hilton, Nicollette Sheridan, Sasha Alexander, Stacy Keibler, Thora Birch, Tommy Thayer and more.
Oscar-winning actor, producer, director and philanthropist George Clooney received “The Brass Ring Award” for his unprecedented humanitarian undertakings. Shirley MacLaine presented his award.
Featured Performers included Rock & Roll Hall of Famer and Kennedy Center Honoree Neil Diamond, R&B and Pop icon Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds and other world-renowned artists. Neil Diamond closed his performance for the evening encouraging George Clooney to the microphone to sing along to “Sweet Caroline.”
Among the event’s top auction items, from over 1,000 show-stopping auction offerings, was a one-of-a-kind experience – a St. Regis Bora Bora celebrity wedding valued at over $250,000 USD.
The legendary, star-studded gala benefits the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, the country’s leading care and research center for type 1 diabetes.
The event’s blue ribbon committee included Sir Michael Caine, Barbra Streisand, Denzel Washington, Sumner Redstone, Les Moonves, Paul and Maurice Marciano, Jane Fonda, Berry Gordy, Richard Gere, Carey Lowell, David Geffen, Brad Grey, Scarlett Johansson, Raquel Welch, Maria Shriver, Tom Cruise, Goldie Hawn, Sir Sidney Poitier and Sir Elton John.
Jay Leno encored his role as Master of Ceremonies and David Foster and George Schlatter, respectively, reprised their turns as music director and producer.
George Clooney has starred in dozens of films, including “Oceans Eleven” and “Michael Clayton,” and is a longtime advocate for the Darfur and Haitian refugees, causes for which he has generated much international attention and engaged the interest of many world leaders, and was a co-founder of the America: A Tribute to Heroes charity telethon, which raised $200 million for 9/11 families and workers.
For the fifth consecutive year, Mercedes-Benz was the gala’s presenting sponsor and a highlight of the evening was the auctioning of a 2013 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG. Other major sponsors included Guess? Inc., American Airlines, Estee Lauder, Moët Hennessy USA and The Beverly Hilton. Guests enjoyed specialty Belvedere Vodka cocktails and Chandon Still Wines and also experienced the Chandon Bubble Bar featuring Chandon Sparkling Wines.
Over three decades, The Carousel of Hope has featured once-in-a-lifetime performances by Elton John, Sting, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Ricky Martin, Beyoncé Knowles, Rod Stewart, Frank Sinatra, Celine Dion, Bette Midler, Josh Groban, Jennifer Hudson and BB King.
Since its founding 35 years ago by Marvin and Barbara Davis, in honor of their daughter Dana Davis (Founder of Dana Davis footwear), who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 7, The Carousel of Hope has raised over $80 million on behalf of the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes in Denver, Colo. Over 6,000 children and adults with type 1 diabetes from around the globe visit regularly for specialized care. The Center also cares for children with type 2 diabetes. Both forms of the disease are increasing at an epidemic rate.