“Many people are diagnosed with MS in their 30s,” said Tisdale, former star of “High School Musical.” “I am 30, so it really hits home.”
Founded by Nancy Davis, the gala raises funds to provide treatment and ultimately find a cure for Multiple Sclerosis.
“When I was first diagnosed, everyone was afraid to be around you and afraid to shake your hand because they thought you were going to give them MS,” said Davis, before taking the stage to welcome the audience. “Now, people are intelligent and smart about it and they understand what MS is.”
This year’s gala honored Carolyn Rafaelian, CEO of Alex and Ani, for her philanthropic work with Charity by Design.
The program also hosts a live auction, which has helped attract many celebrities to donate to the cause.
“I got my very first dog here 15 years ago on the auction floor, a little chocolate lab named Sophie that I spent $10,000 on,” David Faustino said.
The night featured multiple musical performances, including a tribute to Natalie Cole by Eric Benet, who sang “Inseparable” while David Foster played on piano. Jordan Smith, took the stage to perform two numbers before the band KISS rocked the building.
Guests enjoyed Svedka cocktails and a three course meal while Benet, Smith, Clay Walker, Emblem3 and Alexander Jean closed out the show with a rendition of “Lean on Me.”