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Guests raised $1 million during the 8th annual March of Dimes Celebration of Babies luncheon, held at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Friday afternoon.
The event, which honored stars including Jennifer Lopez, recognized those in the entertainment industry as well as prominent figures who exemplify the Dimes mission of ensuring that all moms have healthy, full-term pregnancies.
Starter salads were served while Universal Pictures president and event chair Jimmy Horowitz introduced master of ceremonies Nick Cannon.
Cannon, a proud repeat emcee for the nonprofit, kicked off the event by describing his own experience after the premature birth of his twins.
“I felt helpless, because it was out of my control,” he said. He added that it is important to support families who are in that situation.
“Any time someone can lend support, I know from experience that it’s something that means so much to a parent,” he said.
The Celebration of Babies luncheon hit home for many Hollywood parents, especially Grace Kelly Award honoree Lopez, who started raising money for the March of Dimes at a young age, back when she lived “on the block.”
An emotional Lopez spoke of her twins, Max and Emme.
“Happy, healthy kids and their well-being is more important than anything else in the universe,” she said. “Everything else fell away, in comparison. It’s not just about me anymore.”
After lunch had been served, warm and fuzzy mommy stories continued.
A+E Networks president and CEO Nancy Dubuc, a mother of two, received the Inspiring Woman of the Year award.
“My daughter was born at a little over ten and a half pounds, and walked out of the hospital,” she joked.
The exec, who was introduced by Project Runway’s Tim Gunn, went on to describe her ideal inspirational woman: “I don’t think of myself. I think of the single mom raising her child alone, fighting for affordable health care and not giving up until she gets it.”
Dr. Balaji Govindaswami was given the Advocacy & Government Affairs Volunteer Champion award for research leading to the passage of AB 1078, the law that requires California birthing facilities to screen every newborn for critical congenital heart disease.
Other attendees included Reese Witherspoon (last year’s Grace Kelly Award recipient), Josh Duhamel, Instant Mom’s Tia Mowry-Hardrict, Franklin and Bash’s Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Chris Pratt and Edy Ganem (Devious Maids).
The event came to a close when envelopes marked “Fund the Mission” were brought to each table.
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