Beverly Hills went a la francais Friday night at the 19th Annual UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation’s “Taste for a Cure” gala. Held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, the evening celebrated the finest of French wine and cuisine all while benefiting Cancer research.
“Glee’s” Lea Michelle and Darren Criss, Alyson Hannigan, Joel McHale, Jennifer Grey and Clark Gregg were just some of the stars who came out to support the event that ended up raising over $700,000 for Cancer research. The evening honored Sony Pictures Television President Steve Mosko with the Gil Nickel Humanitarian Award, named in memory of JCCF supporter Gil Nickel, proprietor of Napa Valley’s Far Niente, Nickel & Nickel and Dolce wineries, who lost a courageous battle against melanoma in 2003.
Actress Jennifer Grey says she and husband Clark Gregg (“Agents of Shield”) have been attending the “Taste for a Cure” gala for years for the great purpose that it serves. “The food is amazing, great people, and basically the UCLA Jonsson Foundation is the most incredible foundation and has the best and most-forward people finding a cure for Cancer,” said Grey, whose uncle and cousins are on the board. The actress says Cancer is a disease that affects too many lives and that she hopes there will soon come a day where that’s not the case. “Too many people are dying and soon hopefully they won’t be; and I want that to happen sooner rather than later obviously because it really feels epidemic. Sometimes it just feels like every day I’m hearing about another person. It’s a terrible, terrible disease.”
The impact of that terrible disease is what brought “How I Met Your Mother Star” Alyson Hannigan out to support the UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center’s work. “Cancer is near and dear to my heart. Unfortunately I lost the best aunt I have ever had to Cancer,” said Hannigan. This is such a wonderful foundation; anything I can do to help raise awareness and support the cause I’m here.”
Founded in 1945, UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC) is ranked among the nation’s top 12 cancer centers by U.S. News &World Report. The foundation’s researchers are recognized as international leaders in the discovery of new and efficient ways to prevent, detect and treat cancer.
NBC President of Entertainment, Jennifer Salke, who has been an avid supporter of JCCC, spoke of why this cause and foundation is so significant to her. – “I was honored a few years ago by Jonsson Cancer Center. I’m actually a Breast Cancer positive gene, so I had all the preventive surgeries five years ago,” said Salke, who added that the Breast Cancer gene runs in her family. “It seems to be everywhere and I’m really trying to be as supportive as I can. Cancer research is something very close to my heart and I always love coming out to support this cause- because it’s such a great one but it’s also just a really fun evening.”
And a fun evening it was as Lea Michele welcomed the more than 450 guests who had earlier savored the very best of French wines and delicacies. Fourteen of France’s most prestigious wineries shared their premiere vintages at the pre-show gourmet food and wine tasting reception. The “Glee” star also sang a moving rendition of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” with co-star Darren Criss. Criss also belted out versions of “Let It Be” and “Crazy Love.”
The night also featured a five-star live auction by Jeff Tanenbaum that included glamorous trips to Paris and Napa Valley, a walk-on role on ABC’s “The Goldbergs” and much more. Additional auction items are available online that include tickets to FOX’s “So You Think You Can Dance” and “American Idol”, a set visit to “The Americans”, and much more!
Visit www.tasteforacure.com for complete details and bidding information.