The Oscars Show and Lounging Around with Celebrities

Photo by Margie Barron

Sugar Ray Leonard signed a boxing glove with “Knock Out Smoking” for Nicorette’s “Pledge to Quit” campaign.

The 85th Academy Awards was great — long but still great. Credit goes to host Seth MacFarlane who was comfortable with his ultra-sharp comedy material. Of course he was irreverent, that’s part of Seth’s charm, but all his mischievous mocking never caused Hollywood’s elite to be uncomfortable. Actually, they seemed to embrace the idea of poking fun at themselves, which had to delight about a billion people around the world who tuned in the ABC telecast.

MacFarlane teased two-time Oscar-winner Sally Field about her Flying Nun days. And he reminded Ben Affleck that he went from doing the bomb Gigli to becoming one of the industry’s most respected filmmakers. Hey, Affleck took home a Best Picture Oscar for Argo, so who really got the last laugh?

Bruce McGill of “Lincoln” and GBK’s Gavin Keilly.

Bruce McGill of “Lincoln” and GBK’s Gavin Keilly.

Producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (Chicago) also deserve kudos for infusing the show with great musical numbers. And my favorite line from the three-and-a-half hour show was Seth saying to the Oscar hopefuls, “It’s Sunday, we’re dressed up. It’s like church only more people are praying.”

Partying started days before the Oscars, at all the celebrity gift lounges around town. Among the special hangouts for the Hollywood crowd was the Sofitel Hotel for the GBK luxury lifestyle lounge. Many of the stars from the Oscar-nominated films (including Lincoln, Argo, Silver Linings Playbook, Django Unchained) were delighted to participate at the exclusive event hosted by GBK founder Gavin B. Keilly, who puts charity fundraising at the forefront of his events.

There were many worthwhile organizations that benefitted from the participation of the celebrities. Lincoln star Bruce McGill was among the many celebrities happy to meet Sugar Ray Leonard, who was there to support The Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation. Leonard’s mission is to raise funds for research and awareness towards a cure for juvenile diabetes. Bless him for his efforts.

Another great organization was YES! Beat Liver Tumors, an organization dedicated to providing resources, support, and hope to those who are affected by cancer of the liver and other forms of advanced cancer. The City of Hope was there too, letting everyone know how they are transforming the future of health by turning science into practical benefit, and hope into reality. The Creative Coalition was formed for the charitable and educational purposes of bringing together artists and entertainers to learn about pressing issues so they can better inform and influence the community and nation. The Guard a Heart Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to heart disease prevention by spreading the word to guard your heart and save your life. Also on hand was Global Green USA, the American affiliate of Green Cross International, founded by President Gorbachev to foster a global value shift toward a sustainable and secure future.

Healthy products and services were a popular trend, and Nicorette and NicoDerm were a GBK lounge presenting sponsor on site to encourage attendees to make a “Pledge to Quit” smoking. On behalf of Nicorette, actor Terry Crews presented a $10,000 check to the Tobacco Free Kids group, with Keilly proud of the efforts being made.

The lounge also featured Vita Organic Foods, gifting their tasty Warrior Bars. The Capsiate Natura dietary supplement was also for the health conscious. On the beauty front, the NVEY ECO organic make-up line was very popular. Always a celebrity favorite was RevitaLash, with its family of beauty products. José Eber Hair had its revolutionary Infrared Blow Dryer on hand; Viavo avocado oil enriched bath and body products; EcoGenics Active Botanical Skincare; G the Body Art Professional had luxury body art applications; and MATRIX had its collection of haircare products.

Jewelry and accessories for ladies and gents made their mark at the luxury event. The Artisan Group had a treasure trove of the most impressive handcrafted gifts, from jewelry collections, stationery, fine art photography, and bath products created by a variety of unique artisans around the country, all connected by

The luxury timepieces from Égard presented were works of art, as were the Tiro Jewelry Designs. For stars on the go, MINIM, the versatile travel bags were the ideal companions for the vacation resorts presented by the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board. And Caribbean Living was promoting the newest Hard Rock resorts in the Caribbean – Punta Cana & Cancun. For the savvy traveler, the world-renowned company the Rosetta Stone was offering solutions for language lessons, now available online and for mobile devices.

Every star who enjoyed the GBK lounge was a winner, and it was nice to know that so many charities were too.

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