at least for one night.
|MS Advocates: @Longhaulpaul & @thegirlwithMS|
In just two weeks, Gala ticket in hand, it became game on for this girl with MS. Complete with orange carpet, the 24th Annual Race to Erase Gala is an event not to be missed. From Hollywood movie stars to MS Celebrities, the Beverly Hilton was packed with folks wanting to make a difference. And make a difference they did!
|MS Advocates: Caroline Craven & David Osmond|
The actual money raised for Nancy Davis' Center without Walls MS Research is not yet known, but one car went for $290,000 at the silent auction. Wowza!
My escorts were amazing. As the MS took hold of my legs and made me weeble and wobble, out of the blue came an arm and a voice, "Here, walk with me." Whew! I thought for sure I'd topple over at any moment. And who was this voice? None other than MS advocate Paul Pelland, aka @longhaulpaul. Well this was convenient. Two MS advocates walking the orange carpet. Woot woot! Yes, we are in La La Land.
And then walks down David Osmond, who I got to meet on the phone during an interview a few months ago. But we had not met in person. Finally! And well worth the wait. David who lives with MS does so much to help build awareness.
When Chicago is playing for a private party at the Beverly Hilton a good time can be expected. Add the bonus of Quincy Jones, David Foster and Siedah Garrett. It was the tops!
Not only does this Race to Erase MS raise awareness for MS but it raises a significant amount of funds for MS research. On Saturday, the day after the Gala, there is an MS Forum which has become one of my favorite events. Ever.
The MS community is family. The hope and inspiration found at the MS Forum is contagious and is greatly appreciated by this MS patient.
A lot of great information was shared by the MS Forum.
The panel included medical specialists: Peter Calabresi, M.D., Adam Kaplin, M.D., Ph.D, David Hafler, M.D., Daniel Pelletier, M.D., Nancy L. Sicotte, M.D., Emmanuelle L. Waubant, M.D., Ph.D., Howard Weiner, M.D., Vijayshree Yadav, M.D.
Those living with MS on the panel included Nancy Davis, David Osmond and Arnetta Hollis.
Claudia Hurry Hill, living with MS for over 32 years, was the moderator. More on the forum to come.
The Gala was quite amazing. And prepping for it was even more entertaining. After arriving at the Beverly Hilton we ventured over to Neiman Marcus for their amazing popover, consommé and glass of rose before moving on to the Chanel counter to replace some make up. Natasha from Chanel worked her magic and provided my face with a much needed professional touch as well as replenished some product for later use.
In prepping for the Gala, much fun came from the dress shopping and the hunt for accessories. Just the right look was of importance. Orange is the color of MS but it's not necessarily the best color for me. Also, when one is searching the internet for gowns and evening wear, there are a lot of choices. Especially when one starts looking at designer and/or vintage gowns. But where was that one dress that would work the best?
Several friends and family in the industry suggested looking at Rent the Runway. After a simple search, several orange gowns were found. And while my body is usually quite easy to fit, the thought of not being able to try it on was a concern. So a dress that fit easy and was soft and fluid would be perfect. And a dress in a softer shade of orange would be even better. It did not take long for RTR to produce the perfect dress. Easy to wear, and comfortable! Thank you RTR and Solani dresses for this optimum look.
Once the dress was chosen, time for the accessories. OK, if the budget matched the choices, I could have spent $1000's of dollars getting ready for this gala. Tinsel town was on my mind. But instead went for a slight bohemian feel, allowing for fun, costume jewelry.
A friend and I hit the stores. She's also my stylist and I highly recommend her. Contact me and I'll connect you two. We hit almost every TJ Maxx, Ross, Zara and H&M within a ten mile radius and found everything we needed and wanted. We even found back-up options and a back up dress incase they are needed. Whew. This is coming together quickly and easily.
The Gala was extraordinaire! Of course staying at the Beverly Hilton is a treat in itself. Love this place.
After a lovely day, and an even lovelier evening of food, drink and good cheer, this Girl with MS is inspired and energized.
I can not thank Nancy Davis enough for all she does to help everyone with MS. The research provided by her fundraising is invaluable to our wellbeing.