The event, which benefits Chrysalis and its mission to help homeless (an estimated 58,000 in Los Angeles alone — a 23% increase from the previous year) and low-income individuals find and retain jobs, was held at the private estate of Susan Harris and Hayward J. Kaiser for the eleventh year. A record number of guests — 800 in total — attended the fundraiser.
Netflix exec Scott Stuber, who hosted the pre-dinner cocktail party with wife Molly Sims, set the inspirational tone for the evening by saying, “No one wants a hand-out; they want a hand up.”
The spirit of giving was kicked off by celebrity chef Curtis Stone and wife Lindsay Price, who donated a private dinner for 12 that raised $30,000 for the non-profit.
Emcee Jussie Smollet then welcomed the first presenter, Halle Berry, whom he worked with 25 years ago as a child actor in 1993’s “Queen.” Smollet pleaded “love me Halle, please” before the Oscar winner took the stage to present the Spirit of Chrysalis Award to Peter Cramer.
|Presenter Halle Berry posing on the Butterfly Ball red carpet.
Berry kept the humor going by joking she had never made a movie with the studio exec, declaring, “I’m cheap these days. I have my own trailer. I do my own hair and makeup. I’m free!”
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She also recounted how, as the daughter of a VA hospital nurse, she saw how veterans lives were squandered after service. Cramer, upon accepting the award, echoed the need to serve veterans and the underprivileged, saying, “Our city can’t just be a city of dreams for some of us.”
Chrysalis president Mark Loranger then introduced the 2017 John Dillon Award recipient Raymond Davis, a client who went through the Chrysalis program. A former addict who was arrested five times, Davis recounted how the organization help him find a job, including setting up his very first email account at age 40. They helped him build a resume, conducted mock interviews, and even helped to dress Davis — who is now sober and gives back as a drug/alcohol treatment worker. “I didn’t have a fail of failure,” Davis revealed after receiving the biggest standing ovation of the evening. “I had a fear of succeeding. Chrysalis helped me succeed.”
Another Oscar winner — Patricia Arquette — then presented the Spirit of Chrysalis Award to Rosetta and Balthazar Getty, a couple she introduced to each other. The Gettys humbly accepted the award, sharing it with the many Chrysalis workers and volunteers who support the 400 clients that walk through the three Chrysalis centers’ doors daily. The Gettys also thanked Chrysalis founder and co-chair Rebecca Gayheart Dane and her husband Eric for championing the organization (it was Eric’s first public appearance since revealing his battle with depression).
Zendaya, a newcomer to the event, introduced the final honoree of the evening, who she described as “decidedly uncommon” and “extraordinary.”
Common took to the stage to accept the Spirit of Chrysalis Award, where he talked about visiting a Chrysalis center and seeing its work firsthand. “When I saw what Chrysalis was doing, I was in the proximity of change.” The rapper then talked about the need for consistent and persistent activism, particularly in these times.
The event wrapped up with a rousing performance by Common (Berry was treated to a seat right on the stage) and more fundraising before guests made their way down from misty Mandeville Canyon.
By night’s end, Chrysalis had raised approximately $1.6 million to reach its 2021 goal of helping 4,600 clients get jobs, double the 2,350 placements it made this last year. In fact, 16 Chrysalis clients helped present the evening’s dinner and were recognized for their contributions.
Other celebrity attendees including Jason Bateman, James Van Der Beek, Dania Ramirez, Vanna White, Russell Simmons, Jordan Peele, Brian Grazer, Ben Feldman, Claire Forlani, Soleil Moon Frye, Elizabeth Berkley, Edgar Ramirez and Jaime King.
Click here to learn more about Chrysalis and their work.