Operation Smile Gala
At the Operation Smile Gala, held Sept. 27 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, Brooke Burke-Charvet and her husband, actor David Charvet, spoke of their recent mission to Mexico. There, they witnessed the organization’s work, providing surgeries for children born with cleft palates, cleft lips and other facial deformities.
“We will never forget the look on (the mothers’) faces when their children were returned to them after surgery… with a new smile and hope for a new life,” said Burke-Charvet, the glamorous co-host of “Dancing With The Stars,” who served as emcee of the affair, which broke the gala’s fundraising record with an impressive $3 million in proceeds.
(Check out the gallery below to see more party pictures, where it’s clear – judging from the night’s emcee and female honoree – that eye-popping lipstick red is the new black.)
A Hollywood-heavy affair, the gala had the legendary Harrison Ford to present the award to the first honoree, Dr. Randy Sherman, surgery department vice-chair at Cedars-Sinai. Sherman is Operation Smile’s chief medical officer and Ford’s friend.
Introduced by Burke-Charvet as “the coolest, sexiest, most heroic man in Hollywood,” Ford began his remarks on a somewhat more modest note, by expressing thanks for the “old man music,” which played as he came onstage. (To be sure, however, Ford generated so much applause that I could barely hear the old-man-music myself, but according to the notes, the tune was “When a Hero Comes Along.”)
Corinne Kingsbury of “The Newsroom” next spoke on behalf of Kate Walsh, honored for her fundraising activities on the charity’s behalf. Walsh stars in “Private Practice.”
“I’m not worthy,” insisted Walsh, “I’m really honored to be honored.” Yet the video salute to Walsh preceding the award proved she was indeed worthy.
Michael Burns, vice-chair of Lionsgate, delivered the tribute to Kevin Beggs, newly-named chair of the Lionsgate Television Group, the powerhouse supplier of such shows as “Mad Men,” “Nashville,” “Nurse Jackie,” and more.
Bringing his adopted brother Estuardo Collier onstage, Beggs talked of the importance of Operation Smile’s work. Collier had been born with a cleft lip, which required multiple operations to repair, giving Beggs a close-up understanding of the problems children like his brother face.
The organization’s importance also came clear through videos of the charity’s missions, in addition to the eloquent remarks from Stacy Keach and Henry Salke. Both Keach and Salke also had been born with cleft lips.
There to entertain were Sasha Allen, the Groovaloos, the UCLA Gospel Choir and Neriah Fisher, 13 – Brooke Burke’s daughter – who made her singing debut that night. DJ Mix Master Mike of the Beastie Boys took charge of the after-party.
The more than 450 guests included Harry Shum, Jr. of “GLEE” and Shelby Rabara; Tracey Bregman of “The Young and the Restless” and Aaron Cameron; FOX Television chair Dana Walden and her daughter, Aliza; Nicole Lapin of CNN, “Hannibal” producer Martha De Laurentiis, Jane Seymour, Geena Davis and Susan Blakely.
In addition to the Charvets, event chairs included Jennifer Salke, president of NBC Entertainment; Sue Naegle, until this week, president of HBO Entertainment; “The Bible” producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey; Stephanie Argyros, Krista Jajonie, and Daneia Sanadiki. Kathy Magee and Dr. William Magee founded the charity.
Top photo: Brooke Burke-Charvet of “Dancing With The Stars” served as emcee at the Operation Smile Gala (photo, Vince Bucci, courtesy of Operation Smile)
Second photo: From left, honorees Kate Walsh of “Private Practice” and Kevin Beggs, chairman of Lionsgate Television Group, with Jennifer Salke, whose son Henry spoke eloquently at the Operation Smile Gala
Third photo: Honoree Dr. Randy Sherman, left, Operation Smile’s chief medical officer, with presenter Harrison Ford (photo, Vince Bucci, courtesy of Operation Smile)
Fourth photo: DJ Mix Master Mike of the Beastie Boys provided the entertainment at the after-party for the Operation Smile Gala (photo, Vince Bucci, courtesy of Operation Smile)
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Operation Smile Gala
Published Sept. 28, 2013 – Ellen Olivier, Society News LA