Celebrities with a Heart and a Cause Flock to GBK Event

Photos courtesy of GBK

Dorothy Hamill.

Many parties were held leading up to the MTV Movie Awards, but none showed as much heart as the GBK Celebrity Lounge. Jason Ritter (Parenthood) who lost his father, the funny and wonderful John Ritter, to heart disease ten years ago, made a special presentation to the GuardAHeart Foundation. With Aviir, the biotech firm that specializes in cardiac risk assessment, Jason co-presented a check for $100,000, to help the non-profit GuardAHeart continue their efforts to raise awareness about heart disease and aid in the prevention. Cardiac risk blood tests were offered to guests to promote the “save a life” campaign.

Who would have ever thought that a fun-filled Hollywood gift lounge would offer the greatest treasure of all, the gift of life? Kudos to GBK founder Gavin Keilly, who showcased the heart-saving foundation and other charitable organizations that had star appeal.

Photos courtesy of GBK

Jason Ritter.

Funnyman George Lopez was there to support his Lopez Foundation, and to talk about his passion for golf. Fortunately he gets to combine both with his upcoming George Lopez Celebrity Golf Classic, May 6 at Lakeside Golf Club, just a nine-iron away from his Toluca Lake home. The golf tournament is George’s big fundraiser for his foundation. The charity’s mission is to create positive, permanent change for underprivileged children, adults, and military families confronting challenges in education and health. There’s also a big focus on kidney disease and organ donation. As many are aware, George has had a life-saving kidney transplant, and now he helps others.

The Hall of Fame boxer Sugar Ray Leonard was also on hand, kidding around with Lopez, but getting very serious when talking about The Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation. “Our mission is to raise funds for research and awareness towards a cure for Juvenile diabetes,” reports Sugar Ray, who will host “Big Fighters, Big Cause,” his fourth annual charity boxing night, May 21, on the Santa Monica Pier.

Some of the celebrity guests learning about all the great causes included the MTV Movie Awards “Best Musical Moment” winners: Pitch Perfect cast members Ester Dean, Alexis Knapp, and Hana Mae Lee. Jared Gilman from the film Moonrise Kingdom had the biggest smile because he was nominated for “Best Kiss,” and little Oscar-nominee Quvenzhane Wallis from Beasts of the Southern Wild got an MTV nod for “Breakthrough Performance.” Also on hand Tamala Jones from Castle, Ray Liotta, Drake Bell, and Andy Dick, still surprised to be on Dancing with the Stars. Plus DWTS pro Gleb Savchenko was making the girls swoon at the event.

Dorothy Hamill, who had to leave DWTS for medical reasons, talked to the folks from the European-inspired Sparkling Hill Resort. They represented the wellness spa/resort that incorporated Swarovski crystal elements into every aspect of its design. The photos of the vacation resort in Vancouver were awesome.

The event’s presenting sponsor Viva Diva Wines created a party atmosphere with everyone enjoying their Pinot Grigio or incredible flavored Moscato. It was lovely while enjoying Sky’s Gourmet Tacos, Sabra Dips, and the popular Cookie Connection. KuKuRuZa Gourmet Popcorn provided a specialty “popcorn bar,” and musical entertainment came from DJ Baby Chino, the world’s youngest/ cutest DJ.

Other fantastic sponsors included Caribbean Living featuring the newest Hard Rock resorts in Puerto Vallarta and Cancun; Empress Essentials pure soy candles; Sol Republic’s customizable headphones; Jada Toys; 2K’s video games; SKLZ core muscle workout; and the most attention-grabbing beauty sponsor was imPRESS Press On Manicure by Broadway Nails.

Thanks to celebrity participation at the GBK event important causes got the spotlight, such as My Life My Power, Steps4 Paws, and Lambda Legal. But although Suzanne Lindley is not famous, she became an inspiring shining star for me. Full of positive energy, Lindley is the founder and executive director of Yes! Beat Liver Tumors. But more than a decade ago she was diagnosed with colon cancer which spread into her liver. She was told to prepare for the inevitable, but Lindley hung on to hope, found the right treatment that would help, and become a living testimony on how to beat the odds. Now she helps others through beatlivertumors.org, and says, “Every day is a gift.” Amen!

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