Los Angeles, CA – Lupus LA's sixth annual "Evening of Love Light and Laughter," held on May 11, 2006 at the Beverly Hills Hotel, raised more than half-a-million dollars to support the groundbreaking efforts of the Lupus Research Institute, the national nonprofit solely dedicated to novel research in lupus. The hilarious Jason Alexander of TV's Seinfeld hosted the benefit, which featured a rocking performance from Glenn Frey of the Eagles with his Mad Dog Band.
Celebrity auctioneer Sharon Stone raised a quarter of a million dollars at the live auction which featured luxury items, trips and sending 50 children with lupus to camp. Fox Network's Golden Globe winner House Creator/Executive Producer David Shore was honored with the Loop Award presented by House star Omar Epps. Shore's acceptance speech included a video of the many times "lupus" was mentioned on the successful television medical drama.
"We have successfully raised nearly $600,000 tonight for lupus research—and we won't stop until we find a cure," announced Lupus LA Chairman Adam Selkowitz to the star-filled room of more than 500 supporters. Attendees included Rob Lowe (West Wing), Taraji P. Henson (Hustle & Flow), Melissa Joan Hart (Sabrina the Teenage Witch), Paul Rodriquez, Julie Benz (Angel), Howie "D" Dorough (Backstreet Boys), Rick and Kathy Hilton, Shondrella Avery (Napoleon Dynamite), Shari Belafonte and more.
Melissa Joan Hart, Trisha Hart,
Other honorees included renowned Beverly Hills dermatologist, David Rish M.D., who treats many lupus patients. Joyce Green of the John Wayne Cancer Institute received the Michael Wayne Award. Michael, John Wayne's son lost his life to complications from lupus and Michael's widow, Gretchen Wayne presented the honor. Long time lupus awareness activists and Lupus LA founding members Judy and Mark Gutentag received the Spirit of Hope Award. Kathleen and Wayne Newton, Ann and Jim Gianopulos of Fox Filmed Entertainment and Marla and Lowell "Bud" Paxson of Paxson Communications Corporation chaired the event.
Lupus LA is the West Coast division of the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation. It was formed six years ago by Daniel Wallace M.D., one of the country's prominent Lupus specialists, to raise funds for lupus research through the Lupus Research Institute.