Lupus LA held their 14th Annual Orange Ball earlier this month to raise awareness of this more often than not deadly disease and to honor those in the medical field and in the entertainment industry who are taking great strides to help find a cure.
The evening got off to a moving start with a very moving speech from the hilariously funny Kristen Johnston. who hosted the night and also shared her powerful speech about it is like to live with Lupus. The Emmy winning actress and star of TV Land’s “The Exes,” hosted the night where she gave a powerful introduction to the night, that included her sharing her struggles of living with the disease the fiercely independent actress must face every day.
Kristen encouraged the guests to donate even more of their hard earned dollars to the live auction, which got lively when Hugh Jackman drove the crowd to bid higher and higher as they fought to receive the one-of-a-kind jacket he wore as Wolverine in the upcoming movie “X-Men: Days Of Future Past.” Other guests included Toni Braxton, Gilles Marini, Scott Grimes, Scott Campbell, 'GG' Gharachedagh and Stacey Dash.
“Mike & Molly” star Billy Gardell, took to the stage to recognize his friend Phill Lewis, who starred as the hard working straight man to the trouble-making twins on Disney Channel’s “The Suite Life of Zach and Cody.”
"I think it’s a good cause and I’m all for a good cause," Billy told Classic TV Examiner on the Orange Carpet before the event. "I’m presenting my friend Phill Lewis with an awards this evening. He’s a man like me who believes that “service is the key to happiness” so we kind of look out for each other. Any time you can shed a little light on something like this, it’s good. Plus Phill told me it’s the only one that I know of that provides financial help to families that are going through this. If you lose your job, because you can’t work, they help out and I’m all for that."
Billy also managed to poke a little fun as the doctor who gave a lengthy speech right before he took the stage, saying “Wouldn’t it be great if you could get your doctor to talk that long to you when you are in the doctor’s office?"
The event, held at The Beverly Wilshire Hotel, sported an Orange Carpet instead of the traditional RED, and raised nearly a half of a million dollars in support of the fight against the disease.
Capping off the night was a powerful performance by “The Voice” Season 4 finalist Judith Hill. The singer said that she supports Lupus LA because it was important to her former boss, Michael Jackson, (a past Lupus LA honoree) who she sang background for. She noted missing at the ball every year.
May is Lupus Awareness Month so to find out more about this mysterious disease or to donate, click here: Lupus LA
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