Tommy Hilfiger Honored at Race to Erase MS Gala
The star-studded benefit featured performances from Rita Ora and Ne-Yo.
Nancy Davis’ annual Race to Erase Gala honored fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger for his commitment to finding a cure for the disease. The event raised funds for Davis’ non-profit organization that she founded in 1993 after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
“When I was diagnosed, there was no options and they told you to go home and go to bed,” Davis told The Hollywood Reporter. “Today there are eleven drugs on the market. Many more are coming through the pipeline for different treatments, and we’re so thrilled and excited that here we are today.”
Davis expressed that Hilfiger was the perfect honoree this year because he’s been an intricate part of her annual event since it first started. Hilfiger’s son, Richard, and daughter, Ally Hilfiger, presented the Medal of Hope to the fashion designer who addressed his personal connection to the disease.
“I accept this award on behalf of my sister who has had MS for over 25 years," said Hilfiger. "She’s in a wheelchair. She is great in spirit but she suffers and watched this over the years.”
Hilfiger has significantly donated to finding a cure for MS, but he expressed that Davis and her Center Without Walls program deserves the real credit for making advances in the treatment of MS.
“I really believe that the eleven drugs that have already come out are just the beginning because of the fact that she created the doctors to work together without walls," added Hilfiger. “She brought them all together to share research to find a cure, and I really believe that it’s going to happen.”
Read more Tommy Hilfiger Opens Up About His Commitment to Find a Cure for MS
The event, sponsored by Svedka, featured a live auction which included a small dog that Paris Hilton modeled onstage. The dog, a Pomeranian the size of her hand and similar to the breed of her own, was sold for $16,500.
Rita Ora and Ne-Yo each closed the show with a slew of his hits that got Kathy Hilton, Carmen Electra and Rumer Willis to their feet. The two singers later shared the stage with Hilfiger, Davis and her mother, Barbara Davis, to close out the gala with “Lean on Me” - a Race to Erase MS tradition.
Sharon, Kelly and Jack Osbourne were also in attendance as longtime supporters of the organization; Jack has relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).
"I am hoping that by the time that Jack’s daughter (three-year old Pearl Osbourne) is 16, she will be at this event and there will be a cure,” Sharon told THR.
Jack created a website called You Don’t Know Jack About MS with webisodes informing the public about the disease that affects approximately $2 million Americans. He had a little bit of advice for people who have been recently diagnosed with MS.
“Don’t get lost in forums because there is a lot of scary crazy stuff out there,” said Jack. “Ultimately take a breath and don’t freak out that badly. There’s a lot of hope out there. There’s a lot of treatments out there that are fantastic and work. I’m proof of that. It’s not what it used to be 25 years ago.”