1st Annual One Starry Night – Part 1.
by Dawn Garcia | Cover Photo by Dawn Garcia
JULIANA HANSEN & JONATHAN WHITE
CORDIALLY INVITE YOU TO A BENEFIT EVENT
ONE STARRY NIGHT
Hollywood and Broadway Stars Come Together to Fight ALS
Music exists in our soul like air exists all around us. The lyrical poetry that sums up our emotions, plays to our hopes, wakens our dreams … we cannot exist without it. Bring a melody to a world hungry for change and resolution and what you have is a miracle.
PASADENA, CA – There are events that happen in life that you never forget: Your first crush, your first concert, your first victory – and if you’re lucky, you get to add meeting a few childhood inspirations to that list. Last night, invited to attend Pasadena Playhouse’s 1st Annual One Starry Night Benefit Concert, I not only experienced one of the most incredible benefit events to date, I met inspirations that are among the reasons I create – and – the reason most of us still believe in a little magic.
The evening began with a preview of the silent auction items located near the entrance of the Playhouse. Everything from “Rat Pack” memorabilia to historic original music by none other than Richard M. Sherman, the man behind some of the most unforgettable music in Walt Disney history including Mary Poppins. As the wine was poured in the courtyard, the red carpet photos had been taken, the onslaught of remarkable talent filtered in through the crowd and into the theatre, the bell tolled harkening us to take our seats and prepare for what would surely be an unforgettable evening.
As the familiar faces of resident ushers showed us all to our seats, the lights dimmed and for a couple of hours everyone in that room, including those on stage, came together in an effort to fight the horrible disease of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. The electricity that emanated as each performer shared their exceptional talent was defining. Every artist changed us in some beautiful way and not a moment was wasted nor did the focus of the event ever get lost.
And so, as intermission proceeded, I walked out into the lobby and who did I find myself face to face with? My childhood inspiration and the modern day dreamers: Richard M. Sherman and Roy Disney, Jr. of Walt Disney Studios. Both gentleman, the epitome of grace and kindness. Having been able to talk with them both was like a kid getting to meet the “real” Santa Clause. It was mesmerizing and nostalgic. During the second half of the performance, Mr. Sherman sang, “Supercalifragilistic” and during the song he paused to ask the audience if anyone knew how to say “supercalifragilisticicspyalidocious” backwards, and like a child eager to reply, I shout out, “YES!” And I said it, whether the crowd heard me entirely or not was irrelevant, with emphatic glee.
When the words, “dociousaliexpyiciousfragicalirupus” poured out of me I was transported to a place of youth that makes the entire heart happy. Once again, proof that everything Walt Disney did; those he surrounded himself with; those he hired – all were and are PURE MAGIC.
Every song sung that evening by each performer was true brilliance. The heartfelt intention of the evening to raise both awareness and brevity to fight ALS was every bit as impacting. Every act, including the playful magic of Crow Garrett gave us a wondrous look into a fondly creative world. I had my highlights to be sure, but it was meeting so many of the performers and so many artists that contribute to the reason any one of us dare to dream that struck a cord. While he is not listed in the performance roster below because he was there as a guest, I have to mention Christopher Atkins who was an absolute delight to speak with. I also want to mention the trio of The Flying Morgans: Gary, Bonnie, and Molly – ASTOUNDiNGLY INSPIRING! But above all, it’s man who I am fortunate enough to call my friend who was responsible for putting this evening together alongside Juliana Hansen, Jonathan White. Proceeds from the event will benefit The ALS Association Golden West Chapter, who serve people with ALS and their families in 31 counties throughout California and the state of Hawaii.The precision and style, elegance and casual sophistication of this evening is an testament to the devotion that went into creating what will no doubt be one of many ALS benefits to come.
You can read Part 2 of this piece in a couple of weeks when the final numbers come in regarding how much was raised to fight ALS. It will be accompanied by professional photographs taken by Clarence Alford. Enjoy a small glimpse of how the evening panned out in the photo gallery following the performer roster. Click on images for FULL resolution. To view our Facebook album, you may visit us at A Taste of Dawn.
For more on how to join the fight against ALS, please visit: www.alsagoldenwest.org/
*I have to mention that I was elated to see Terri White outside before the performance. I gave her a huge hug and was reminded of the last time I saw her perform. The last I saw her was when she performed at 1st & Hope in Downtown Los Angeles in 2012. Hours before her performance, I was rushed to the ER with a massive hand injury and, I did NOT want to miss her. I put the pressure on the ER staff to get me out of there before her 7pm show, they stitched my hand (my writing hand no less) and I never got ready so fast! In the company of a dear friend, he and I were thankfully memorable! He in his towering 6’3″ stature and me with a massive bandage on my hand as I held it upright at the table and watched mesmerized by Terri White singing and giving us a glimpse into her struggles and triumphs. We sat with her and her wife, Donna for an hour after the show and I was forever changed.
Photographs below by Dawn Garcia (iPhone) + Professional Photos by Clarence Alford
ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Eventually, people with ALS lose the ability to initiate and control muscle movement, which often leads to total paralysis and death within two to five years of diagnosis. For unknown reasons, veterans are twice as likely to develop ALS as the general population. There is no cure, and only one drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration modestly extends survival.
Quote from our President and CEO
“The ALS community is grateful to Juliana Hansen and Jonathan White for their creativity and dedication in the fight against ALS,” said Fred Fisher, President and CEO of The ALS Association Golden West Chapter. “While there has been significant progress in recent years, people with ALS and their loved ones still have far more questions than answers. Today, the groundbreaking work of scientists continues to inspire confidence that there will soon be greater advancements in understanding the causes of the disease, developing new treatments and ultimately finding a cure.”
About The ALS Association and The Golden West Chapter
The mission of The ALS Association is to lead the fight to treat and cure ALS through global research and nationwide advocacy while also empowering people with Lou Gehrig’s Disease and their families to live fuller lives by providing them with compassionate care and support. The Association is a member of the National Health Council and the only national organization solely dedicated to fighting ALS on all fronts while directly serving the ALS community. By leading the way in global research, providing assistance for people with ALS through a nationwide network of chapters, coordinating multidisciplinary care through certified clinical care centers, and fostering government partnerships, The ALS Association builds hope and enhances quality of life while aggressively searching for new treatments and a cure. The Golden West Chapter serves people with ALS and their families in 31 counties throughout California and in the state of Hawaii. For more information about The ALS Association Golden West Chapter, please visit us at www.alsagoldenwest.org or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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