Oscar week in Hollywood is always a blast. This year, I was honored to be working once again with the wonderful team at the non-profit Wounded Warrior Project on two fabulous events to honor injured service members and their families and to give back during the film industry's biggest week!
Usually it’s the celebrities that get all the extra perks, but on Friday, February 28, 2014, the Style & Beauty Suite at Avalon Hollywood, hosted by Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP), connected some of the biggest names in film, television, music and sports with our nation’s wounded service members to provide a true Hollywood experience. The nonprofit organization, whose mission is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors, brought veterans and their families to Hollywood, CA, to enjoy a much-deserved day of appreciation for their selfless and brave service.
Some of Hollywood's brightest stars including Angelique Cabral (“Enlisted”), Elliott Yamin ("American Idol"), Gloria Loring (“Days of Our Lives”), Jenifer Lewis (“Think Like A Man“), Kenny Lattimore (R&B artist), Lindsay Arnold (“Dancing with the Stars”), Nestor Serrano (“24”), Sabrina Bryan (“The Cheetah Girls”) and Wendy Davis (“Army Wives”) spent the day with some of our nation's heroes and got the chance to interact with and thank these brave men and women and their families for their sacrifice and all they have done for our country.
Guests were treated to luxurious and relaxing spa treatments from the team at Spa del Rey, which is located at The Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey, in a beautiful and zen mini spa that they created onsite. Partygoers enjoyed massages, HydraFacials, Intraceuticals’ Oxygen treatments and anti-aging hand treatments. Guests also took home fabulous gift bags from Spa del Rey with luxury spa products from Natura Bisse ilike Organic Skincare, Coola Organic Suncare, wHet Vegan Nail Polish and more! The team at OPI treated guests to manicures featuring OPI nail lacquer and the team at DeVita Cosmetics provided glam mini makeovers featuring their high end line of vegan cosmetics. The Oscar Blandi team offered blowouts and hair styling services. The team from SheaMoisture hosted a men’s grooming lounge featuring classic shaves using their line of certified organic products.
Raw Skin Ceuticals gifted guests with products from their line of chemical free, gluten free, and cruelty free products. PlumFlower Soap Co. gifted their handmade line of natural soaps. ISO Beauty gifted their line of professional hair styling tools.
Guests were treated to tons of fabulous fashion, exquisite jewelry and stylish footwear and accessories. iiJin gifted pieces from their fabulous clothing line for women from their new store located at 116 S. Robertson Blvd. in Los Angeles. Dearfoams gifted their comfy and chic line of slippers for men and women. 100% Gumdrop will was proud to gift their custom “Hope” and “Courage” necklaces made especially for the event to pay tribute to our wounded veterans. Ali’s Collection gifted beautiful necklaces, rings and arm cuffs from their gorgeous collection. Zumer Sport gifted their amazing line of duffel bags made from footballs and tennis balls.
Bkr gifted their line of eco-chic glass bottles and PackIt will gifted their colorful freezable cooler bags. Guests were also able to take home wonderful products for their children. Tag Along Teddy gifted guests with adorable backpacks and hats complete with plush animals, and BuggyLOVE’s gifted their safe and organic line of cleaning products for strollers and baby gear.
Partygoers enjoyed the sounds of Hollywood’s finest, DJ Kid Fish as they were treated to a delicious gourmet lunch catered by Ciao!Cristina Italian restaurant in Burbank, owned by veteran Alan O’Donovan. Ciao!Cristina’s servers were comprised of male and female Iraqi War veterans who served CiaoCristina!’s authentic Italian menu of salads, vegetarian and meat lasagnas, and foccaia. Guests indulged their sweet tooth with Arctic Zero’s guilt free frozen treats. AquaHydrate powered the hydration station, refreshing juices were provided by Purity Organic and Monster Energy provided energy drinks.
During the program at the event, guests watched the powerful and emotional Wounded Warrior Project national TV awareness spot featuring EMMY award winning actor Dean Norris from the hit television show “Breaking Bad”, which tells the inspiring story of wounded warrior Eric Edmonson and his family. Celebrity hosts were able to formally show their support of Wounded Warrior Project and their efforts by filming a heartfelt message of support on site that will be used to create national awareness around the life-long needs of this generation’s injured service members and WWP‘s efforts in assisting them. Guests also took beautiful photos at the social media booth where they were able to post them to Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #StyleWWP to help spread the word about WWP’s great work and the event.
The highlight of the Style & Beauty Suite was when the remarkable Norbie Lara shared his inspirational story from the stage. Norbie, a WWP Alumni who lost his arm in a 2004 firefight in Iraq and who suffers from a brain injury and post traumatic stress disorder, connected with the audience at the event by sharing his struggles and triumphs during his lengthy recovery process. Since retiring from the military, Norbie has helped many Wounded Warriors like himself transition to their new life after injury, by introducing them to the Wounded Warrior Project.
Injured service members, their families and celebrity hosts took home incredible gift bags featuring generously donated products from Amrita Singh, ClifBar, GoGo Squeez, Make My Day Beautiful!, MyTime, One Rewards, PAK and UlyssesPress.
“Everything we do at Wounded Warrior Project is built around honoring and empowering this generation’s injured service members, whether that be through one of our 19 different programs or through events like the Style and Beauty Suite, “ said Adam Silva, chief development officer, Wounded Warrior Project. “It is important for us to continue to show our gratitude for their sacrifices so that they may never be forgotten and to reiterate our lifetime commitment to their ever-changing needs; and we are so thankful for all the celebrities and sponsors who participated in this special day to help WWP do just that.”
Amy Jean Davis (“American Idol”), Angelique Cabral (“Enlisted”), Barrett Foa (“NCIS: Los Angeles”), BD Freeman (comedian), Carly Steel (TV host), Christine Bentley (“Ballers”), DJ Young Slade (DJ and Lil’ Jon’s son), Elliott Yamin (“American Idol”), Erin Sanders (“Melissa & Joey”), Gloria Loring (“Days of Our Lives”), Griffin Gluck (“Private Practice”), IM5 (recording artists), James Kyson (“Justified”), Jen Lilley (“Days of Our Lives”), Jenifer Lewis “(“Think Like A Man“), Jimmy Deshler (“General Hospital”), Justin Bird (“Millionaire Matchmaker”), Kate Linder (“The Young & The Restless”), Katrina Parker (“The Voice”), Keith Coogan (“Adventures in Babysitting”), Kenny Lattimore (R&B artist), Lindsay Arnold (“Dancing with the Stars”), Lindsey McKeon (“Supernatural”), Marisa Coughlan (“Space Station 76”), Nestor Serrano (“24”), Phoenix White (celebrity photographer), Sabrina Bryan (“The Cheetah Girls”), Riley Weston (“Christmas at Water’s Edge”), Vincent M. Ward (“The Walking Dead”), Wendy Davis (“Army Wives”) spent the day honoring injured service members and their families at Wounded Warrior Project’s Style and Beauty Suite.
To cap off a fabulous weekend of events, Wounded Warrior Project hosted a private Viewing Party of the 2014 Academy Awards for the injured service members and their families, at which guests enjoyed a gourmet four course meal prepared by the executive chef at L’Ermitage Beverly Hills. “American Idol” stars Elliott Yamin and Blake Lewis, GRAMMY nominated R&B singer Kenny Lattimore and actor Nestor Serrano joined the festivities where guests enjoyed taking fun photos in the Polite in Public photo booth, dancing to the sounds of DJ Kid Fish and a very special performance by magician Joel Ward. Guests were dazzled by the Academy Award best picture themed table arrangements designed by Flour LA. The partygoers with the most correct Oscar picks took home fabulous prizes generously donated by Crown Diamond, Daisy Rock, Kirby Allison’s Hanger Project, iiJin, Lilypond and Comfort Research.
Wounded Warrior Project: The mission of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP’s purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. To get involved and learn more, visit woundedwarriorproject.org Twitter: @wwpinc
After working on two events during Oscar week, it was nice to be a partygoer and enjoy some downtime at E! News host Giuliana Rancic's "TinyWins of Awards Season" brunch sponsored by Crystal Light Liquid at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills. I took my inspiring friend Julia/ favorite DJ aka DJ Kid Fish, to the event where we enjoyed a delicious brunch while testing out refreshing Crystal Light drinks. It was a nice way to catch up with friends and colleagues post awards season.
We can all follow Giuliana's lead who reminded us that we should celebrate our tiny wins and the simple choices we make to live happy and healthy lives. Lots of women feel pressure to be perfect (whatever that means) in all areas of their lives and often feel everyone (family, friends, colleagues, bosses etc.) is judging their every move. Giuliana said at the end of her glamorous Oscar red carpet hosting duties, her after party was rushing back to cuddle her beautiful son and spend time with her husband Bill. And as a fellow Mama, I'd say that is the biggest win of all! Join the conversation on social media and share your personal victories by using the hashtag, #tinywin.