Nancy Davis’ 24th Race to Erase MS Gala Honors Jamie-Lynn Sigler
The benefit raised $1.6 million towards the organization's mission of finding medical advancements to help cure MS.
At the silent auction before the Race to Erase MS Gala on Friday, founder Nancy Davis said this year’s event at the Beverly Hilton should be “a huge celebration” because of recent medical advances.
“There’s a new drug called Ocrevus that’s changed the entire MS landscape,” said Davis, who herself suffers from the central nervous system disorder. “With certain types of the disease, it helps 90 percent of the people.”
As part of that celebration, Davis decided the night should begin with her own daughters Isabella and Mariella dancing, then came remarks from Kathy Griffin, who began by saying, “Hello, rich white people and Quincy Jones.” After some obscenities directed at President Donald Trump, who she wants "impeached by this weekend," Griffin noted the gala was being held on Cinco de Mayo and said her intention was to stand on the president’s intended wall “and throw the immigrants back in.”
Honoree and MS sufferer Jamie-Lynn Sigler, who was introduced by friend Lance Bass, said, “At first it felt strange to get an award for a disease you have.” Then, fighting back tears, she added, “A disability can make your world feel small, but I have a way for looking to make it bigger.
"I want to be back onstage singing on Broadway again," Sigler continued. "I want to be back in this room for the Golden Globes again one day. These are the affirmations I recite daily, because not too long ago there were days I didn't even think I could go on."
The night’s musical entertainment began with Jones introducing Siedah Garrett, who performed “Man in the Mirror,” the mega-hit she co-wrote for Michael Jackson. She went on to reveal that she herself has MS and “though my husband said I shouldn’t say this, I’m here to make MS my bitch.” Garrett then sang "Carry On," a new song she wrote about having MS, to strong applause.
Garrett was followed by an effective though deafeningly loud live auction. (The entire night raised $1.6 million.) The evening finished with a 45-minute set by Chicago that had the entire 1,000-strong crowd on its feet.
Among those on hand were musical director David Foster, Harry Hamlin and Lisa Rinna, Randy Jackson, Kris Jenner, Barbara Davis, Tommy Hilfiger, Carmen Electra, Lea Thompson and Cornelia Guest, who co-stars in Showtime’s new version of Twin Peaks and said, “If I tell you who dies, it will be me who ends up dead.”
Jamie-Lynn Sigler (center), flanked by Lance Bass and Kathy Griffin (Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)