Race to Erase MS to Hold Drive-In Gala at Rose Bowl

A general view of the exterior of the Rose Bowl-Jason Davis-Getty-Inset-H 2020
Maxx Wolfson/Getty Images; Inset: Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images

As large-scale charity events face unprecedented challenges amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, organizations like Race to Erase MS are getting creative.

The Race to Erase MS Gala is temporarily relocating to the Rose Bowl. 

Race to Erase MS founder Nancy Davis announced today that due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, this year's event will be a drive-in gala held Sept. 4 at the iconic venue in Pasadena. Renamed Drive-in to Erase MS, the program will feature performances by Andy Grammer, Eric Benét, and Siedah Garrett, the latter of whom navigates life with MS. Also planned: a virtual look at the Fall 2020 Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive Collection, a line with design twists that make dressing easier for those with disabilities.

This year's gala will also feature a tribute to Nancy Davis's son, Jason Davis, who will be honored with a posthumous Medal of Hope for his lifetime contributions. The duo founded the nonprofit Cure Addiction Now before Jason passed away as a way to navigate and treat substance abuse issues.  

“We are thrilled and excited to be hosting our reimagined Race to Erase MS gala as a drive-in concept, providing a safe and fun evening in your car. We couldn’t imagine not putting on this legendary event, which raises life-saving funds and awareness as we continue to work toward finding a cure for MS,” said Davis.  “We are incredibly grateful to Tommy and our fabulous performers Andy, Eric and Siedah who will make this another gala to remember."

As large-scale gatherings are still prohibited amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many nonprofit organizations have been forced to pivot to virtual events as a way to raise crucial funds. However, some, like Charlize Theron's Africa Outreach Project, pivoted to a drive-in events as a way to give supporters and interested parties a chance to gather while still maintaining a safe social distance. Theron hosted her event last weekend, at the same time the Rose Bowl tested the drive-in format for stars of RuPaul's Drag Race.

More information about Drive-in to Erase MS Gala can be found here. All funds raised support the Center Without Walls program, a collaboration of MS research scientists currently representing Harvard, Yale, Cedars-Sinai, University of Southern California, Oregon Health Science University, UC San Francisco, Johns Hopkins and UCLA. The Race to Erase MS is also supported by the design contribution of Shepard Fairey and Studio Number One to their original invite concept, an exclusive limited-run graphic T-shirt. Inspired by his wife Amanda, who suffers from MS, Fairey’s exclusive design is meant to give hope that soon there will be a cure.