For over a decade, actress Rebecca Gayheart-Dane has known exactly where she will be during the first weekend in June — gathering her friends and colleagues to support the Chrysalis Butterfly Ball.
The star-studded event, now in its 14th year, was held Saturday evening at the private Mandeville Canyon estate of Susan Harris and Chrysalis board chairman Hayward Kaiser and has become the largest source of revenue for Chrysalis, an org dedicated to creating pathways to self-sufficiency for homeless and low-income individuals in Los Angeles.
This year’s soiree was a family affair for Gayheart-Dane, who walked the red carpet with her husband Eric Dane and their two young daughters. The longtime champions of the Butterfly Ball were joined by fellow Chrysalis supporters including Sharon Stone, Elizabeth Banks, Donna Langley and Russell Simmons.
Musical guest Aloe Blacc kicked things off with a performance of his hit song “The Man” and then introduced his wife, hip-hop artist Maya Jupiter, who joined him onstage.
“New Girl” star Max Greenfield, who recently checked into “American Horror Story: Hotel,” served as the night’s MC for the second year in a row. Greenfield told Variety that Chrysalis has become a very personal cause for him and one that he consistently chooses to support.
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“As you kind of progress in life, I think you find the organizations that you really feel attached to, and this has become mine,” Greenfield explained.
Following an introduction by Kaiser and Gayheart-Dane, Vince Vaughn took the stage to introduce Spirit of Chrysalis honoree and DreamWorks CEO Michael Wright.
Vaughan teased that when he heard he would be honoring a DreamWorks exec, he thought Steven Spielberg would be a more likely choice. The jokes continued in a series of video clips featuring Steve Carell, Ray Romano, Conan O’Brien, Dwayne Johnson and Spielberg himself.
In his acceptance speech, Wright cited his stepfather as an example of working toward self-sufficiency in the wake of adversity and expressed his hopefulness that those in need will seek out Chrysalis’ services.
“Chrysalis is undeniably honorable,” Wright said. “Their entire mission is informed by their understanding of how central self-sufficiency is to our dignity as people and how daunting it can be to reclaim our own self worth as self-sufficiency eludes us.”
“Scandal” actress Darby Stanchfield presented the next Spirit of Chrysalis Award to Shondaland producer Betsy Beers and explained that Beers has been both a boss and mentor to her over the course of their four seasons together.
“Growing up in Alaska, I was a total geek. I was a fisherman’s daughter with red hair, too many freckles, big glasses,” Stanchfield said. “Back then I would have never dreamed that someone as cool as Betsy Beers would take a shine to me.”
Though Beers’ producing partner Shonda Rhimes was not in attendance, she and several members of the Shondaland family including Kerry Washington, Tony Goldwyn and “How to Get Away With Murder” creator Pete Nowalk shared their congratulations in a video tribute.
Beers, who first learned about Chrysalis while working with Eric Dane on “Grey’s Anatomy,” said she takes this commitment seriously and plans to continue her work with the org.
“Rebecca wasn’t just talking about showing up for a party. Rebecca was talking about investing in an organization. Rebecca was talking about joining a family,” Beers said of her conversations with Gayheart-Dane. “I’m looking forward to earning this honor by making the time to spend with the amazing people at Chrysalis.”
Following an emotional testimonial from John Dillon award recipient Charles Johnson, Greenfield enlisted the help of special guest Kristen Bell for the fundraising portion of the evening during which attendees cracked open purple glow sticks as the donations poured in. Bell noted that Chrysalis would meet its fundraising goal if every guest were to donate $250.
“For a lot of us, that’s not a lot. I think we all paid that for the Mayweather fight, and that was substandard boxing,” Bell quipped. “So I think filling out that donation card might be more fun that watching that fight.”
In order to encourage guests to donate, Greenfield and Bell joined in a rendition of the “Frozen” tune “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” Bell then asked the audience “Who needs brownie points with their kids?” and continued the “Frozen” theme by offering to leave guests’ children voicemails from her character Princess Anna in exchange for donations of $10,000.
Later in the evening, filmmaker-producer Will Packer received the final award of the night from his son, Dominique.
Blacc and Jupiter then closed out the night and got the audience dancing with a performance of “Wake Me Up” and Jupiter’s song “Rico.”
The party continued as attendees made their way toward the after lounge, featuring an assortment of sweets from Dylan’s Candy Bar, cupcakes, ice cream and cookies from Sprinkles and burgers and fries from the Habit Burger Grill.
Other guests in attendance included Seth Rogen, Patricia Heaton, Elizabeth Berkley, Vanna White, Soleil Moon Frye, Balthazar Getty, Ben Feldman, James Van Der Beek and Paula Patton.