It may have been the BET Awards weekend, but for a group of around 150 or so folks, Saturday evening the Dolby Theater was just a visual landmark across from Ohm Nightclub where Blue Royale Casino Night was about to take place. This event marked the 3rd annual LA fundraiser for the Capital region based Chris4Life Colon Cancer Foundation. Once again, the four year old charity which has achieved national recognition from its work in numerous major markets, worked with ABC‘s “The Bachelor” franchise crew along with other actors and media personalities to bring in the money and the people. Speaking of money, the main star (we’ll get to emcee Chris Harrison) and ringleader of the talent was Bachelor franchise veteran Michelle Money, whose father Scott Cartwright lost his battle to colon cancer in 2011. Michelle, who just finished wrapping “Bachelor in Paradise”, flew in from her home in Utah to hug friends and supporters from “The Bachelor” family.
Since the theme this year was “casino night” the energy was high and excitable, as “celebrity” dealers dealt cards and worked the chips and dice with attendees, while other guests bid on the 36 silent auction items or dug into the small plates of served food from Pace (where movie star and teen heartthrob Robert Pattinson was spotted dining Friday night), L.A. Kitchen and other restaurants (later we attacked the donated mini-Sprinkles cupcakes). Everyone enjoyed the high-end beer generously donated by Reyes Holdings, amongst other beverages. Emcee Chris Harrison, host of “The Bachelor” enterprise (and formerly of HGTV‘s “Designers Challenge”, which I told him later that I used to watch – he returned that he loved that show) gave us a pep talk from the stage to remind us to bid, bid, bid, and then introduced us to Michael Sapienza, Chris4Life’s founder and Michelle Money, both of whom gave a heartfelt speech of gratitude. Having lost a mother (Christine) and father respectively to the preventable disease is the real bond between the two, who met after Michelle went on national television talking about cancer and her father in 2011.
Then it was time for the live auction which included several trips, a concert and meet and greet with Celine Dion in Vegas and my favorite, the Dodgers VIP experience which included a signed jersey. After more playing, betting, bidding, drinking and eating, it was time to announce all of the silent auction winners. The guests paid out, got their rewards, the VIPs walked out with their gift bags, and the night was zipped up. Then the celebrity dealers, the Chris4Life group and some guests moved on to dance and party at Emerson nightclub (for those of us still on EST, it was a bit of a challenge, but hey, bubbles fix all exhaustion, right? That and a late night Umami Burger.).
Many thanks goes out to several parties, especially Robert Egger, Founder & President of L.A. Kitchen, Chris Harrison, all of the donors, sponsors, bidders, attendees, volunteers, staff, supporters, the media partner Angeleno of Modern Luxury, and the entire host committee.
Also thank you to Lisa Ling (the host of the Oprah Winfrey Network show “Our America”) and her husband/ oncologist Dr. Paul Song for acting as Honorary Chairs again.
Photo Credit Christopher Clad
Pamela Lynne Sorensen is the founder of Pamela’s Punch, a leading source of information for the “who, what, when, and where” of Washington, DC’s elite social, professional, and philanthropic scene, which she founded in November of 2006. In 2012 she launched Pacific Punch, based in Los Angeles. Pamela comes from an extensive background in sales and business development from a variety of industries, has been involved with charities and fundraising for a number of years and holds several Board and leadership positions. She currently resides in Arlington, Virginia and when she’s not out on the town, she’s reading or writing while sipping fine wine, or traveling the country and the world ISO adventures, beauty, fun, food, style, libations, music, and the good life. Follow her on Twitter at @pamelaspunch.