Race to Erase Raises $1.5 Million for MS Research With the Help of Natasha Bedingfield, A Great Big World and Caroline Rhea

Hollywood’s support for Race to Erase MS kept rolling into its 31st year Friday at the Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles, helping the Nancy Davis-led charity raise $1

Published Time: 13.05.2024 - 07:31:28 Modified Time: 13.05.2024 - 07:31:28

Hollywood’s support for Race to Erase MS kept rolling into its 31st year Friday at the Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles, helping the Nancy Davis-led charity raise $1.5 million to multiple sclerosis research.

The night’s headlining musical act, Natasha Bedingfield, played a medley of hers and others’ songs, including her 2000s-era hit “Unwritten,” which was recently given a new life in “Anyone but You,” and Bill Withers’ “Lean on Me,” which she sang alongside Davis and friends. Bedingfield was introduced by Casey Affleck.

“This is a cause worth showing up for,” Bedingfield told Variety. “There are a lot of amazing medical developments so far. Music is the thing that brings hope, to help inspire people to keep being creative. The solutions are always created – they’re always a little bit out of the box.”

Grammy-winning duo A Great Big World performed three songs, including “This Is the New Year.” Before playing, singer Chad King told the crowd that he was diagnosed with MS in 2007 but tried to “ignore” symptoms to himself, friends, and family.

King said he has experienced physical differences in recent years, including walking and, most recently, using his voice.

“This is going to be one of the first times that me and Ian Axel have performed together in a very long time,” King, who walks with a cane, said. “It’s an honor to be here with you all and with Nancy raising such awareness.”

The Davis family, including 93-year-old matriarch Barbara Davis, has been a charitable force in L.A. for decades. Barbara founded the Children’s Diabetes Foundation in 1977 and spearheaded the Carousel of Hope annual event, which has drawn Sidney Poitier, Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Lopez, Shirley McClaine, and Robert DeNi -

ro over its 30-plus years.

Nancy Davis was diagnosed with MS 33 years ago when she was 33. Race to Erase MS has helped to propel her advocacy and fundraising towards multiple sclerosis. A Race to Erase MS video presentation shown to the crowd Friday assembled researchers from top academic medical programs, including Johns Hopkins and Yale universities, plumbing developments for MS, an autoimmune nerve condition, which affects more than a million Americans, and sharing them with each other.

“This event would not happen if not for a lot of big dreams being answered and the generosity of the Hollywood community,” Nancy told Variety. “Everyone has been here to support us. I’m so grateful for that.”

Since its inception, Race to Erase MS has had high-profile musical performances including Stevie Wonder and Sir Elton John, as well as media-friendly multi-year attendees such as Tommy Hilfiger, Paris Hilton, and Lindsay Lohan.

Veteran comedienne Caroline Rhea made the tough gig of keeping the seen-it-all crowd engaged during dinner look easy, helping a live auction raise more than $160,000 from the audience of 750.

Two auctionitems included a rare-breed Australian labradoodle puppy that went for $18,000, and eight seats at Rick and Kathy Hilton’s annual Christmas pajama house party that went for $41,000.

Other celebrity attendees included Jessica Lowndes, Ioan Gruffudd, Emma Slater, Bijou Phillips, Joely Fisher, David Arquette, Carmen Electra, and Tia Carrere.

More information is available aterasems.com.

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