Celebrities, philanthropists, and generous donors joined together to raise $1.9 million at the Carousel of Hope Ball this year. Event chair Barbara Davis hosted her iconic fundraiser on Saturday, October 6, 2018, at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills. The Carousel of Hope gala has been a Hollywood institution since 1978, raising more than $100 million to date. The proceeds benefit the Children’s Diabetes Foundation and the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes. Here is a look at the Carousel of Hope 2018 gala.
The Brass Ring Award Recipient
This award is named after the brass ring that carousel riders tried to catch in the early days of the popular ride. Today the term “brass ring” is recognized as a symbol of achievement. As a result, the recipients of the “Brass Ring Award” exemplify the dedication that brings the host foundations closer to finding a cure for childhood diabetes.
Robert De Niro received the 2018 award from his friend and award-winning director, David O. Russell. During his speech, De Niro recognized the incredible work that the event’s host, Barbara Davis, has performed over the decades. He also explained that those in attendance at the Carousel of Hope 2018 were in awe of Davis. “We’re all in her debt because she’s so nice, generous, and committed, but she doesn’t just throw money at the challenge of treating and beating type 1 diabetes, she puts her resources where they will do the most good. It’s informed philanthropy – not just about giving, but about getting it done!”
Master of Ceremonies
Repeat host Jay Leno returned to entertain guests once again this year. In addition to entertaining those in attendance, he led the event with introductions and witty banter. His guests on stage ranged from award recipients to musical performers to children who struggle with diabetes. This year, Jay Leno also added another description to his Carousel of Hope emcee duties, which is the title of “auctioneer.”
The fun and lively auction was memorable and entertaining at the Carousel of Hope 2018. Led by Leno, guests bid on a wide variety of items in a live auction. The live auction included highly sought after wins like a bespoke trip for four to Monteverdi, Tuscany. You could also win a private meeting with Clive Davis at his New York City Office. Also, a silent auction earlier in the evening gave guests the opportunity to bid on even more exciting items and opportunities. Some of the silent auction items were a Serena Williams autographed tennis racket and a Gibson Flying V guitar autographed by Lenny Kravitz. Bidders also loved the meet and greet experience in Las Vegas with Lionel Ritchie.
A highlight of the Carousel of Hope 2018 was the wide variety of talented and accomplished musical guests. First of all, David Foster led the evening’s musical festivities. Fernando Varela performed classics such as “I Will Always Love You” and “Nessun Dorma.” Also, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds performed his rendition of Eric Clapton’s “Change the World” as well as his hit “When Can I See You.” Most noteworthy, legendary performer Gladys Knight brought the crowd to their feet. She had them singing along with her hits “Midnight Train to Georgia” and “Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me.” Guests were also treated to her surprise cover of Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me.” The event concluded as it does every year. A group performance of “That’s What Friends Are For” brought the gala to a close.
Families and children all over the United States and the world are grateful for the generosity of those who attended the Carousel of Hope 2018. The millions of dollars raised will fund research and also development. Hopefully, children may someday benefit from a cure to diabetes. As a result, lives will be saved.