Truer words were never spoken. “Strength happens when you have no other choice,” said Giuliana Rancic, co-star of E!’s Fashion Police, and, more importantly, cancer survivor. Giuliana shared her story with a room full of women who absolutely understood the health crisis, a double mastectomy, she went through. All on hand were strong supporters of the Associates for Breast and Prostate Cancer Studies. The organization known as the ABCs honored Giuliana, along with Good Day LA’s Jillian Reynolds and Kris Jenner, the Keeping up with the Kardashians’ mom, at the annual Mother’s Day Luncheon to benefit cancer research at the John Wayne Cancer Institute.
The sons of John Wayne, Patrick and Ethan, helped with the presentations and spoke about their iconic dad, who died of cancer, plus other members of their family who fought the disease. “We’re all part of Team Duke, and the Wayne family is committed to the cancer research being done in memory of our father,” Patrick said. He also had high praise for ultra-funny actress-comedienne Lisa Ann Walter who emceed the Women of Achievement event.
Lisa Ann entertained the crowd with a brief Q&A with Kris Jenner, asking the Kardashian mom if she’ll ever be on Dancing with the Stars. Kris replied, “I might have done it about six years ago, but not now. Kim proved she really can’t dance, getting voted out early. But my son Rob came in second place last season, so we’ll leave on a high note.”
Gloria Gebbia, president of the ABCs, thanked Beverly Cohen and Lana Schervone who co-chaired the event, and Sherry Rosenblum chaired the fashionable boutiques set up for the event at the Four Seasons Hotel.
Among the celebrities supporting the ABCs event were Leeza Gibbons, former Miss America Mary Ann Mobley, Catherine Bach, Rosa Blasi, David Spade, and the incomparable Ruta Lee. Wearing her signature wide-brim hat, Ruta chatted about the SHARE Boomtown Gala, June 1, at the Beverly Hilton, with special guest stars Neil Sedaka, Lainie Kazan, and John O’Hurley. So You Think You Can Dance producer-choreographer Bonnie Lythgoe told me she was “thrilled to help with the dance numbers and join the chorus.” It should be a great show with the forever young SHARE gals kicking up their heels.
Mother of the Year Award
More wonderful women enjoyed the special 83rd Mother’s Day luncheon and fashion show benefiting Cedars-Sinai’s The Helping Hand group. Following in the footsteps of past honorees Doris Day, Lucille Ball, Betty Ford, Dolores Hope, and Shirley Jones, Jeanne Pritzker received the Mother of the Year Award.
What makes Jeanne really special is her dedication to Foster Care Counts, noted Helping Hand president Nan Krasne, and Ellen Brooks, v.p. and luncheon chair. Mother to six of her own, Jeanne is also a foster mom and for the past four years the Pritzkers have hosted foster children and their families on Mother’s Day. When she was presented her award, Jeanne asked for volunteers to come to her home to help make cookies for the 2,000 foster folks she expected over the weekend.
Christine Devine was the perfect host for the gathering, since the Emmy-winning Fox 11 news anchor has helped to find “forever homes for amazing youngsters” with her “Wednesday Child” segments encouraging adoption.
A spectacular fashion show presenting the Kevan Hall Collection capped off the heartwarming afternoon at the Beverly Hills Hotel. It featured well-tailored classic styles emphasizing sensuously draped silhouettes, enjoyed by all the Helping Hand ladies.
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