Carousel of Hope to Honor George Clooney

Neil Diamond to Perform at Carousel of Hope Ball

George Clooney to Receive Brass Ring Award

Jay Leno to host, Plus Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds and Surprises



Note: Since this article was written, The Carousel of Hope has taken place.  To read about the 2012 gala, click here.)


Barbara Davis is proving once again that nobody does a charity event better. As if having George Clooney as an honoree weren’t enough, the latest news is that Neil Diamond will be performing at the Oct. 20 “Carousel of Hope” Ball at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Davis is the ball’s gala chair.

As an Academy Award-nominated writer and director, an Academy Award-winning actor, and an outspoken and tireless advocate of humanitarian causes, Clooney will receive “The Brass Ring Award” for his artistic and philanthropic achievements.

“Here’s a man who really cares — for Haiti, for Darfur. He is to be admired,” said Davis, recalling the Haiti earthquake of 2010, for which Clooney organized the “Hope for Haiti Now” telethon. It was a cause in which she herself became involved by flying in badly-need insulin, needles and other supplies to the head doctor for diabetes in Haiti.

Clooney has drawn attention to the atrocities in Darfur and the plight of its refugees through his television special, “A Journey to Darfur,” made with his father, veteran journalist Nick Clooney. He also addressed the UN Security Council to help find a resolution to the conflict in this troubled region of Africa. “He uses his celebrity to do wonderful, wonderful things,” Davis said.

Both Diamond and Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds are now slated to perform, along with others yet to be announced. “There will be many surprises,” said Davis.

In previous years, the ball has featured Jennifer Lopez and Mark Anthony, the Jonas Brothers, Elton John, Sting, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Neil Diamond, Barry Manilow, Ricky Martin, Beyoncé, Rod Stewart, Frank Sinatra, Celine Dion, Bette Midler, Josh Groban, Jennifer Hudson and B.B. King, among other top names. Clive Davis first introduced Whitney Houston at an early Carousel Ball.

Plus there will be a silent auction with more than 500 items and a live auction of a top-of-the-line 2013 Mercedes Benz G63 AMG, along with such exotic offerings as an extravaganza of a wedding – valued at $250,000 – at the St. Regis Bora Bora, which includes among other things: a designer wedding gown, photography, round-trip tickets from Los Angeles on Air Tahiti Nui, and a 10-night stay in the Resort’s 13,000 square foot Royal Estate Villa, comprised of three separate pavilions that revolve around a private pool. Villas will be provided for five more couples, too.

With star power offstage as well as onstage, at the last Carousel of Hope in Beverly Hills, longtime host Jay Leno described the gala as one, “where the audience is more famous than you.”

Indeed committee members lending their names and support include Brad Pitt, Michael Caine, Barbra Streisand, Denzel Washington, Sumner Redstone, Paul Marciano, Maurice Marciano, Jane Fonda, Berry Gordy, Richard Gere, David Geffen, Brad Grey, Scarlett Johansson, Raquel Welch, Maria Shriver, Tom Cruise, Goldie Hawn, Halle Berry, Jennifer Lopez, Jane Fonda, Sidney Poitier and Jackie Collins.

More are Kelly and Robert Day, Ghada and Ray Irani, Sherry Lansing and Billy Friedkin, Sting and Trudie Styler, Carole Bayer Sager and Bob Daly, Lauren and Richard King, Leslie Moonves and Julie Chen, Brett Ratner, Candy Spelling, Kate Hudson, Bryan Lourd, Hugh Jackman, Adrien Brody, Magic Johnson, Lionel Richie, Holly Robinson Peete, Wendy Stark and more.

Past Brass Ring recipients Clive Davis and Quincy Jones are the night’s music co-chairs with legendary composer/record producer David Foster as music director and TV’s George Schlatter as producer.

Chaired by Barbara Davis and presented by Mercedes-Benz, the Carousel of Hope has raised more than $75 million since its inception 35 years ago. Funds go toward the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes in Denver, CO, a care and research facility for children with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Other major sponsors include Guess? Inc., American Airlines, Estee Lauder, Moët Hennessy USA and the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

To read my Los Angeles Times story about the 2010 Carousel Ball, click here.

Top photo: Coming up on Oct. 20, the 2012 Carousel of Hope to honor George Clooney and feature Neil Diamond – the dynamic Diamond is shown here in concert in a photo, courtesy of the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes

Second photo: Coming up on Oct. 20, the 2012 Carousel of Hope to honor George Clooney and feature Neil Diamond – Clooney is shown here in a photo by Sam Jones, courtesy of the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes

Third photo, Halle Berry with Jennifer Lopez – Lopez and her then-husband Mark Anthony were the 2010 Carousel of Hope headliners. This year both Halle Berry and Jennifer Lopez are on one of the committees of the 2012 Carousel of Hope to honor George Clooney and feature Neil Diamond (photo by Alex J Berliner/ ABImages, courtesy of the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes)

Fourth photo: from left: The Jonas Brothers: Nick, Joe and Kevin join Barbara Davis and her daughter Nancy Davis at the 2008 always star-studded Carousel of Hope (photo by Alex J Berliner/ ABImages, courtesy of the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes)



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2012 Carousel of Hope to Honor George Clooney and Feature Neil Diamond

Published June 1, 2012; updated Sept. 14 with news of Neil Diamond – Ellen Olivier, Society News LA