With a Roberto Cavalli fashion show and celebrity purses galore, the 15th annual LA Bag Luncheon held at the Beverly Hilton on Friday raised over $300,000 and created awareness for dedicating a cure for Lupus.
Over 600 attended the event with over 200 designer handbags donated by celebrities including Selena Gomez, who had a kidney transplant in September of this year to treat her lupus condition.
Lupus LA honored two “Women of Achievement Awards” at the fashion-filled event. One award went to film writer Emily V. Gordon and the other to Cara Dellaverson, Senior Vice President of Drama Development at NBC.
Gordon was introduced by her husband, Silicon Valley star and comedian Kumail Nanjiani. Nanjiani gave a tearful speech about his wife’s illness and the resulting 8-day medically induced coma. Their story about love in sickness and in health was chronicled in this year’s film release, The Big Sick.
“It’s not a pretty thing to see,” said Nanjiani. “Emily was laying there on the bed, very still. Her eyes were closed. I remember thinking if she comes out of this, I think we’re going to get married.”
Nanjiari added, “I am forever grateful to the doctors and nurses that saved the life of the love of my life. You’ve truly changed our lives. Most of all, I want to thank Emily for fighting.”
Honoree Cara, who was diagnosed with lupus at 19, said: “Lupus LA is a force of nature in their effort to educate and raise awareness.”
The event included a live auction, which brought in over $35,000 while the silent auction of handbags brought in $60,000 to help with Lupus research for the chronic, autoimmune disease that affects 1.5 million Americans.
Among the attendees were Terri Seymour (Lupus LA ambassador and TV personality), Lisa Gastineau (TV personality and jewelry designer), Shanna Moakler (model, actress and TV personality), Storm Reid (A Wrinkle In Time), Kearran Giovanni (“Major Crimes”), Ali Hillis (Wraith), Kate Von (“Cutthroat Kitchen”), Kellie Martin (“The Guest Book”), Lisa Ann Walter (The Parent Trap; Bruce Almighty), Meredith Monroe (The Edge of Seventeen), Tameka Raymond (TV personality), John Dellaverson (filmmaker; former EVP, Lions Gate), Jennifer Salke (President of NBC Entertainment), Pearlena Igbokwe (President of Universal Television) and more.