It is an unforgettable event: the annual Lupus L.A. charity dinner that raises awareness as well as critical dollars for lupus research. It is always entertaining, but this year had to be the best night yet, because the Band From TV had the 2011 Lupus L.A. Orange Ball rocking the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, and folks were urged to get up and dance wildly for a great cause at the end of the evening. A big treat was seeing Teri Hatcher join the members of the Band From TV, including her Desperate Housewives hubby James Denton, Scott Grimes, Greg Grunberg, Adrian Pasdar, Anthony Ruivivar (Third Watch) and The Bachelor’s Bob Guiney, for classic rock-and-roll tunes.
Paula Abdul didn’t dance but she did call it “an awesome event” and took the stage to receive the Loop Award for being a longtime friend of Lupus L.A. Abdul has helped bring awareness and funding to the organization, and so the honor was well deserved, according to Dr. Dan Wallace. He co-chaired the gala with Cindy and Glenn Frey, Nancy Utley and his wife Janice Wallace. For their devotion to the Lupus Research Institute, the inspiring couple, Debbi and Roger Cowan, was honored with the Founders Award, presented with pride by their daughter Amanda.
Always generous with his time and talent for worthy events, Fred Willard played host for the night. With his wonderful comedic flair, Willard started off by looking over the Orange Ball crowd and saying, “There are more doctors in this room than a Mercedes-Benz dealership.” That was true, but one stood out among the rest: Dr. Iris Low-Friedrich from UCB Inc., who accepted the Medical Visionary Award. She said at UCB they start every project with the question: “How will this make a difference in the lives of people living with severe diseases?” With that mandate, groundbreaking research is being done on effective treatments for lupus. Members of the medical community on hand cheered, as did Adam Selkowitz, executive council chairman of Lupus L.A., who spoke of progress being made for the cause.
Also attending the event was fun-loving Sharon Stone, who was there to support her sister Kelly, who has lupus. Another gorgeous blonde, Charlotte Ross (Glee), and talented actress Kellie Martin, singer Howie Dorough, Meredith Monroe, Shante Broadus and Extra correspondent Terri Seymour were there as well.
Phill Lewis was a great auctioneer, plus Jimmy and Donnie Demers performed, and the amazing work of wood sculpture artist Lee Silton was on display as the centerpiece of each table.
The crowd in the ballroom went wild when Teri Hatcher bounced on stage and announced “I’m with the band.” The Band From TV is a powerhouse combo of well-known actors celebrating music, and living out their own rock-and-roll fantasy. “We have fun while bringing classic rock to life,” noted Scott Grimes, who added that Hatcher sings with them regularly. He was glad she joined them at the Lupus L.A. event because it’s Grimes’s choice charity. Grimes (from ER fame, now doing American Dad) explained that Band From TV was created to provide funding and resources for several charities around the world.
To date, Band From TV has raised close to $3 million by appearing at special events over the past five years. And the actors, who are accomplished musicians, have released a Band From TV CD with a bonus DVD called “Hoggin’ All The Covers Unleashed!” to raise even more money for charity. James Denton, who plays guitar with the group, said, “Everybody wins, and we have so much fun playing at being rock stars.”
For more exclusive photos from the event, visit our website at www.tolucantimes.com.