Tony Goldwyn, Ginnifer Goodwin Support Stuart House at John Varvatos' 13th Annual Event
The event shuts down part of Melrose Ave. to support the program that serves the needs of children who have been sexually abused and their families.
Designer John Varvatos and his 13th Annual Stuart House Foundation kept some A-listers away from the desert heat of Coachella on Sunday afternoon in favor of the L.A. heat. As the sun beamed heavily over a partly shutdown Melrose Ave., stars including Tony Goldwyn, Jeremy Piven and Ginnifer Goodwin arrived on the red carpet to support the iconic designer and a cause that’s close to his heart.
The foundation began 13 years ago when the menswear designer paid a visit to the Stuart House in Santa Monica. “My heart was ripped out; it wasn’t a nice day," he said. "A couple of children were being brought in and I said to myself, ‘I have to do something’ and not just for this present moment but also for long term."
Stuart House is a model program that was created by The Rape Foundation of the Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center, which serves the needs of children who have been sexually abused and their families. The program has served as a “one-stop” facility for navigating through the emotional and legal steps to create relief after the trauma has occurred.
“Aside from being a fashion icon, the fact that John Varvatos throws events like this and gives back to the community is such an inspiration,” said Supergirl's Peter Facinelli. “I have three daughters, and I’m very happy that this hasn’t happened to them, but god forbid anything ever happens, I would hope that people were able to help them get through it.”
Varvatos, who is a father himself, initially began the annual event from just inside his boutique on Melrose Ave., and now he has been able to bring in the biggest names in entertainment while he shuts down part of the heavily frequented L.A. street with an array of food trucks and vendors lending their time and goods.
“It’s great that [John Varvatos] is building this foundation up,” said bass guitarist Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick, the rock band that recently got inducted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. “It’s like every year it gets bigger and bigger, it’s just such a great thing.”
Scandal star Tony Goldwyn was another father who came out to support the worthy cause. “[Stuart House] is incredible; I know how lucky my kids are to have grown up being able to trust the adults in their lives and taking that for granted, frankly,” said Goldwyn, who plays the president of the United States on the ABC hit show. ”But at the same time I have too many friends that have experienced sexual abuse as children, and they did not have a place like Stuart House to help them navigate that trauma and heal from it.”
The family event was sponsored by Chrysler for the eighth year, which had its new all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivan on site for kids (and parents) to explore. While some attendees waited in the stretched-out lines for In-N-Out burgers or for a taste of nitrogen-infused cookies and cream ice cream, others stood under the shade and enjoyed the music of rock 'n' roll legends.
“Sammy Hager is going to be playing with Chad Smith from the [Red Hot] Chili Peppers and Michael Anthony from Van Halen; I heard the sound check and I’m like, 'Oh my god, this going to be so incredible,' ” Varvatos said of the musical guests.