Elton John, who was seated between Rod Stewart and co-honoree Sharon Osbourne at the Race to Erase MS recent fundraiser at Century Plaza, was standing beside their table when he said he’d recently performed at The Breast Cancer Research Foundation event, was set to do the Robin Hood Foundation dinner May 13 and would be at his piano for the set ending the night.
"This is my charity streak," said Sir Elton.
Friday's event raised $1.8 million and included both a silent and live auction led by Howie Mandel and Shaun Robinson (the big item was an Aston Martin that went for $230,000.) Performances began with a three-song set by British singer-songwriter Taio Cruz, followed by John, who did eight songs, beginning with "Tiny Dancer" and ending with "Circle of Life."
The presentation of Medal of Hope awards went to MS sufferer Jack Osbourne, who said, "This is like the bar mitzvah I never had,” upon receiving the award; and his mother, Sharon. “I always wanted a medal with a ribbon,” she said. “Who knew it would come from MS? I thought it would come from the Queen."
Event chair Nancy Davis, who has MS, said the key fact about the event was "when we started 20 years ago, there wasn’t one MS drug on the market. There was no hope. Now there are nine drugs and a lot of hope."
Among the 1,000 guests filling the ballroom were Ray Romano, Anne Heche, Cybill Shepherd, Lisa Rinna with Harry Hamlin, Neil Patrick Harris and Amy Yasbeck.