LOS ANGELES — In recognition for their compassion and dedicated support of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, actress Drew Barrymore, the Billy and Audrey L. Wilder Foundation and the Los Angeles Kings hockey team each received the Courage to Care award at the “Once Upon a Time Gala” Oct. 15.
More than 1,200 philanthropists, local dignitaries and supporters gathered at the Event Deck at L.A. LIVE. The gala raised $4 million in unrestricted funds, which will support the hospital to fill its most critical needs including patient care, medical research and families in need.
“Tonight we celebrate the hope and healthier futures that Children’s Hospital Los Angeles creates and provides to children across Southern California and far beyond,” hospital President and CEO Paul S. Viviano told the audience.
Grammy Award winner Josh Gad hosted the event, which celebrated the ongoing support from the evening’s honorees.
Barrymore’s annual Mother’s Day pampering events, in conjunction with her company Flower Beauty, have had a lasting positive impact on CHLA’s patient families. Barrymore’s special guests for the evening were patient Madison Elizondo and her mother Gina Elizondo, whom she met at CHLA several years ago.
Barrymore said that her work with the hospital is meaningful because it has touched her on a personal level. “Personal means everything,” she said.
Luc Robitaille, Los Angeles Kings president and NHL Hall of Fame member, accepted the award on behalf of the hockey team, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this season.
“Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is and always will be a place that we will continue to support and partner with, and it is where we go to be reminded about all of the important things in life,” Robitaille said. “We love winning Stanley Cups, but we know happy healthy kids are what really matter.”
The Bill and Audrey L. Wilder Foundation continues the legacy of legendary film director Billy Wilder and his wife, actress Audrey Wilder. The couple was committed to children’s causes throughout their 53-year marriage.
“We know that if Billy and Audrey were up here now they would be overwhelmed by your kindness,” said Jerry Moss, honoree and trustee for the Wilder Foundation and CHLA. “They are looking down from heaven and smiling as their hearts are full of pride for being able to help so many children at such a fine institution.”
The “Once Upon a Time” storybook themed celebration kicked off with dramatic Cirque-style performances, bringing to life some of the most famous children’s stories through acrobats and aerialists. After dinner, which was prepared by Wolfgang Puck, Katy Perry concluded the evening with a four-song set that included her hits “Roar,” “Teenage Dream,” “Dark Horse” and “Firework,” as well as an emotional rendering of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” which she said was inspired by her visit to the CHLA Newborn and Infant Critical Care Unit last December.