LOS ANGELES Co-chairs Nancy Davis and Tommy Hilfiger beckoned a crowd to the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on May 7 for the 17th annual Race to Erase MS benefit, an annual fund-raiser known to draw serious star wattage and big bucks, too. Thanks in part to Davis's status as Hollywood nobility, and also to Hilfiger's considerable pull, the event raised $2 million to benefit the Nancy Davis Foundation for Multiple Sclerosis.
The event, headed by Race to Erase MS executive director Liz Seares, opened with a Tommy Hilfiger spring 2010 fashion show and included a live auction with Tom Arnold and Nancy O’Dell. The gala is known for its big-ticket—and often unusual and inventive—auction items, and this year Brooke Burke helped hawk a maltese puppy. One guest took home a Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4 with a winning bid of $210,000.
Presenters included Olympic gold medalists Apolo Anton Ohno and Lindsey Vonn, as well as Dr. Phil and Robin McGraw and Christopher and Kyle Massey. Led by musical director Rickey Minor of American Idol, the event staged a variety of musical performances. Heart revived favorites like “Barracuda” and “Alone,” and Dr. Hollywood performed “We Run L.A.” Avril Lavigne, who recently joined the board of directors for the event and the foundation, closed out the evening with a five-song set including “Girlfriend” and “Complicated.” In Race to Erase MS tradition, the night ended with a performance of “Lean On Me” that included Heart, Avril Lavigne, the Davis family, and their guests.
Tommy Hilfiger, American Airlines, EMD Serono, Lamborghini, the host venue, and Associated Television International were among the evening's sponsors.