Stars Join the Fun, Fundraise at Elizabeth Glaser Foundation’s Family Festival

“I’ve only dreamt about it, never thought it would come true,” joked WWE wrestler Chris Jericho about running a human bowling booth at the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation fundraiser on Sunday. “But today my dreams are coming true.”

Imagine being strapped into a large metal orb that Jericho pushes down a lane into oversized bowling pins, followed by an unprompted, affirming pat on the back from Tony Hale — this only begins to capture the spirit of the 26th annual “A Time For Heroes” festival at Smashbox Studios in Culver City.

The fundraiser supports efforts to end pediatric AIDS and has raised over $35 million over the years in large part thanks to celebrity endorsement. Sunday’s event alone was attended by stars including Jericho and Hale, as well as Mark-Paul Gosselaar, James Van Der Beek, Hannah Simone, Melissa Joan Hart and Tori Spelling.

The kid-friendly event had no shortage of fun things to do including food stands run by local favorites like Pink’s Hot Dogs and Coolhaus ice cream sandwiches, a sound system playing a Top 40 mix and activities spanning tote bag screen printing and the aforementioned human bowling.

Alyson Hannigan and her daughters
David Buchan/Variety/Rex Shutterstock

Inside, Alyson Hannigan sat by a station where her daughters played with a concoction of baking soda, vinegar and food coloring. “There’s maybe a scientific name for it, but I just call it a mess.” she laughed. “It’s really cool, but I’m glad it’s not at my house.” Hannigan could barely contain her excitement talking about a pilot she had recently filmed for a daytime talk show that she called “Pinterest the show,” filled with crafting, cooking and DIY advice. And as for the fundraiser, she explained that she has attended in years past, but this is the first time she has come with her children, which only heightens the experience.

Hannigan’s sentiments were echoed by Hale, whose daughter is “nine-and-a-half.” “When you’re a parent, it definitely hits home,” he said of the foundation’s cause. “When you see other kids going through something like this, emotionally it really motivates you to keep doing stuff for this cause.” Coming off of a big Emmy win in September, “Veep” started production last week, and while he has only seen a few scripts, Hale said definitively that Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ character Selina Meyer “should never be in the White House. She’s not the right choice.”

Melissa Joan Hart and Jaime Pressly
David Buchan/Variety/Rex Shutterstock

In another room, Hart read stories to some children by the backdrop of a camping set with a log cabin, canoes and a fake bonfire. The actress and entrepreneur explained why she has attended the event for the past 26 years. “You can really see what Elizabeth Glaser and even her influence on people like Magic Johnson has done for the AIDS community in terms of funding and research and prevention,” she said, citing inspiration from Glaser’s story of contracting HIV, passing the virus to her children, eventually losing her personal battle, but having the courage to speak openly about AIDS at a time when the topic was more taboo. “It’s above and beyond what anyone else has been able to do.”

Elizabeth Glaser’s son, Jake Glaser, whose 31st birthday coincided with the event, was present to support the foundation’s work and his mother’s legacy. Musical duo Nico & Vinz performed for an audience that also included Danica McKellar, Italia Ricci, Robbie Amell, Nolan Gould, Joshua Malina, Gilles Marini, Garcelle Beauvais and Justin Baldoni who attended with his wife Emily and adorable daughter Maiya.

Paul Michael Glaser and son Jake Glaser
David Buchan/Variety/Rex Shutterstock

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