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Joan Mangum’s Society Scene—Carousel of Hope Ball Celebrates Hollywood, Fights Diabetes

Nina Oberfeld, Barbara Lazaroff and Tonya Winfield at a Spago luncheon benefiting Aviva Family and Children's Services.

Posted: Friday, October 21, 2016 – 7:02 PM

It was Hollywood glamour at its finest… The Carousel of Hope Ball returned to The Beverly Hilton for its landmark 30th edition, hosted by chair Barbara Davis. The 2016 ball was a “Celebration of Hollywood,” and its strength, power and talent. Since its 1978 inception, the iconic event has united entertainment industry leaders from all areas for a night dedicated to raising awareness and ultimately, finding a cure for diabetes.

The ball has raised more than $100 million to date, with proceeds benefiting the Children’s Diabetes Foundation and the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes. Longtime supporter and friend to the cause, Sir Sidney Poitier, was honored with the “Inspirational Lifetime Achievement Award,” inspired by his incredible legacy and the many lives he has touched. Denzel Washington presented him with the special award, introducing him as “My hero, my mentor, my friend.”

Jane Fonda, David Foster and Sherry Lansing each received a “Brass Ring Award” for their humanitarian efforts and continued support of the cause with Quincy Jones, Carole Bayer Sager and Anjelica Huston doing the honors.

The entertainment was absolutely incredible… Award-winning artists Jamie Foxx and Idina Menzel treated guests to musical performances, with Menzel performing Wicked’s hit song Defying Gravity, and one from her new album titled Small World. Foxx brought the crowd to its feet with his renditions of I Feel Good and What’d I Say.

The talented and funny Jay Leno had the crowd laughing all night as he reprised his role of emcee for a show produced by the always brilliant George Schlatter. Legendary producer Foster returned as music director for the ball, while musical icons Clive Davis and Quincy Jones served as music chairmen. Sharon Stone joined Jay onstage as auctioneer (she did a fantastic job) for a memorable live auction experience that had guests bidding on items ranging from the ultimate mountain getaway in Aspen, to a luxurious trip to the St. Regis Dubai and the soon-to-be-opened St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort.

Brenna Whitaker surprised the crowd with a soulful rendition of It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World, joined by performers Ben Gulley and Rogelio Davis Jr. And Foster had another surprise in store for the crowd, when he pulled Quinton Aaron onstage for his impressive take on the classic Let’s Get It On.

Additional guests at the sold-out event (there were several people in the lobby who offered to buy my tickets) included Lindsay Arnold, Kathy Griffin, Raquel Welch, Jerry Hall, Kristin Cavallari, Vivica A. Fox, Nigel Lythgoe, Stefanie Powers, Jerry Bruckheimer, Carmen Electra, Don Rickles, Garcella Beauvais, Ed Begley Jr., George Hamilton and Alana Steward, Suzanne Somers, Ann Turkel, Jane Seymour, Russell Simmons, Billy Davis Jr. and Marilyn McCoo, Berry Gordy, Robert Herjavec and Kym Johnson, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Samuel L. Jackson, Alan Thicke, and Lea Thompson.

One of my husband’s favorite stars, Melanie Griffith, was sitting at the next table. My husband said, “She looked gorgeous, glamorous and sexy”… And all this time I thought it was only me.

The 2016 Carousel of Hope Ball was sponsored by Activision Blizzard, American Airlines, Tina and Rick Caruso, Robert Day, Dexcom, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, Vista Equity Partners, The Coca-Cola Company, and The Walt Disney Company. Additional sponsors included the Kroenke Family & Los Angeles Rams Foundation, Bob Daly, GUESS Foundation, Parx Casino, CBS, Viacom & Paramount Pictures, 21st Century-Fox, HBO and The Beverly Hilton.

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Barbara Lazaroff hosted a luncheon at Spago to benefit Aviva Family and Children’s Services, a nonprofit for at-risk children and families. Attendees were part of Aviva’s Platinum Associates, which, since its 2001 inception, has raised $1 million+ in support of Aviva’s Wallis Annenberg Residential Treatment Program.

For the last three years, Aviva has worked jointly with the Youth in Action Film Collaboration (YAFC), founded by Jason Lesner, as a creative collaboration between at-risk teens and film industry professionals to experience anything that is possible through filmmaking. This project was created by YAFC as a way to build confidence, skills and teamwork among foster youth residing at the treatment center to divide into teams and collaborate with professional producers, writers, directors, actors, cinematographers and editors to create original short films followed by a film screening.

Film and TV professionals from shows like Modern Family, The Mindy Project, New Girl, Chasing Life and Robot Chicken came together this summer helping at-risk foster youth create scripts and direct their own original film shorts. This year’s film creations were titled Truth Be Told, Nailed It and Shifty.

In attendance for the meal prepared by Chefs Tetsu Yahagi and Della Gossett were Cheryl Saban, Robin Broidy, Katherine Baumann, Dr. Robin Unger, Laura Baron, Bucky Hazan, Jackie Applebaum, Dina Leeds, Tonya Winfield, Sharon Feldstein, Nina Oberfeld, Nancy Stephens, Louise Masin Sattler, among others.

Congrats to event co-chairs Laura Alpert, Leslie Kavanaugh and Susan Rothenberg for a very special luncheon.

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