If you don’t count the Emmys, this week’s biggest Hollywood night was Tuesday’s Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Dinner of Champions fund-raiser honoring Joe Roth at the Century Plaza. The annual affair has been Fox exec Tom Sherak’s pet project for the past six years.
“It’s the most rewarding feeling in the world when people say ‘yes’ when you ask for money for a charity,” he said. “It reaffirms your faith in humanity.”
Sherak’s faith was reaffirmed to the tune of $2,522,670 raised. “This industry gets criticized for a lot of things,” he said, “but not giving money to charity isn’t one of them.”
Sherak bagged Roth due to a 15-year relationship that began at Fox and continued after his friend went to the Mouse House. Aside from friendship, the Disney Studios chairman said he thought the dinner was “a shining light in a messy time” that’s got “nothing to do with the politics of the time.”
Byron Allen emceed the program that included Frankie Avalon and surprise appearances by Whitney Houston and John Travolta. Avalon sang and presented an award to his former co-star, Annette Funicello, who now uses a wheelchair because of MS.