Co-chair Wilson lauds lack of bureaucracy
Industryites turned out for two black-tie fund-raisers this week: the Oscars, which netted around $30 million for the Motion Picture Academy, and “An Unforgettable Evening,” which raised $1.5 million for Cedars-Sinai Research for Women’s Cancers.Considering the amount of sturm und drang AMPAS weathered this year, the film org might settle for the lower take if it could pull in the cash as painlessly as Cedars did. Tuesday’s gala at the Beverly Wilshire kicked off with a reception where honorary co-chair Rita Wilson said she avidly supports this event because “there’s no bureaucracy. Where there’s a need, it goes there,” she emphasized. “What the last decade has shown is, if you put money into research, you get results — and we get to keep our mothers and sisters and daughters,” said fellow honorary co-chair Kate Capshaw. “Keep everybody living, that’s why I’m involved.” The evening kicked off with remarks from honorary co-chair Tom Hanks, who called the Cedars-Sinai fund-raiser “the official end of the trophy season in the city of Los Angeles.” Event featured a video fashion show in honor of designer Stella McCartney. She accepted her award with a brief, gracious speech in which she noted the loss of her mother to breast cancer. The evening ended with a vibrant seven-song set from Faith Hill that included a duet with Natalie Cole. And all this was accomplished in two hours — another feat to make the Academy jealous. Among those at the event underwritten by Saks Fifth Avenue were honorary co-chair Steven Spielberg; org founders Anne Douglas, Jamie Tisch, Marion Laurie, Kelly Chapman Meyer, Margie Peterson and Sandra Krause; national spokeswoman Bonnie Bruckheimer; plus guests Jeffrey Katzenberg, Ron Meyer, Jim Wiatt, Richard Lovett, Joel Silver, Margaret Weitzman, George Schlatter and Nia Vardalos.