Kaleidoscope Ball Ultra-Sweet

Grace Suomi and Maria Menounos.

Grace Suomi and Maria Menounos.

The second annual Kaleidoscope Ball had the theme “Designing the Sweet Side of L.A.” at the legendary Beverly Hills Hotel. And the first sweet treat of the night came with the cocktail reception which showcased unique enormous cakes that looked like L.A. landmarks. Among them were Griffith Observatory, the Capitol Records Building, the Beverly Hills Hotel, and even every little girl’s fantasy home: Barbie’s Malibu Dream House. Ultra-creative pastry chefs dedicated themselves to the project that helped raise money for the event’s good cause.

Sweet TV personality Maria Menounos was the host for the evening. And the sweetness continued when Dancing with the Stars’ Emmy-winning pro-dancer Derek Hough, and his dancing-singing-actress sister Julianne Hough arrived to be honored at the event benefiting the Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA. The event co-chairs Amanda Brown and Beth Friedman said Julianne and Derek were receiving the Kaleidoscope Award because they “bring joy to others on and off the dance floor, and we look forward to their continued friendship to the children who are patients at our hospital.” Both siblings were thrilled to get the Kaleidoscope Award, given to members of the entertainment industry who bring light and laughter into the lives of children through their professional achievements and personal humanitarianism. Julianne talked about their desire to make a difference in the lives of others through various worthy causes.

Derek Hough and Margie Barron.

Derek Hough and Margie Barron.

Chatting with Derek he told me that he and Julianne were excited to put together “Move, Live on Tour,” a dance production that will tour this summer throughout the U.S. Also upcoming, Derek will be seen co-starring in the film Make Your Move, and Julianne stars in the movie Paradise directed by Diablo Cody.

A sweet married couple, Maureen and Bryan Stockton got the Humanitarian Award presented by UCLA Chancellor Gene Block. The Bruin-loving Mattle-family duo share a deep devotion to the children’s hospital and the Stockton’s honor was well deserved because of their commitment to education, children’s health and the advancement of the arts in Southern California.

The UCLA Children’s Discovery and Innovation Institute honored Dr. Sherin Devaskar, who helps the most vulnerable young patients. And deep appreciation for “magnificent philanthropy” was expressed to Harry Winston, Inc., which announced a $1-million pledge to establish the Harry Winston Fellowships at the Institute. It will support the work of pediatric physician-scientists.

The event’s sweetest moment came when nine-year-old Grace Suomi stole everyone’s heart and the spotlight when Dr. David Feinberg presented her with the Innovator Award. The crowd got goosebumps when they learned that the spirited little girl had suffered from a rare cancer when she was five. Her parents, Clare and Marvin, took her to Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA for treatment, and she is now in remission. She started “Grace’s Basket” in 2011, putting together groceries, gas gift cards, and other things to help families whose children are in treatment at UCLA. The awesome kid said she wanted to “pay it forward” and came up with the idea of the helpful basket.

The UCLA Gospel Choir started the evening, and a special musical performance by Grammy Award-winning artists Amy Grant and husband Vince Gill was the heartwarming finale. Among the many songs Gill and Grant sang, their “House of Love” added to the irresistible sweetness of the night.


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