On Friday, June 4, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) advocate and Center Without Walls founder Nancy Davis welcomed guests to the Rose Bowl for the 28th Annual Race to Erase MS Gala: Drive-In to Erase MS.
For the second year in a row, this legendary event was held at the iconic Rose Bowl Stadium for a night of celebration and fundraising under the stars. With their cars parked next to them, everyone told “campfire like” stories and ate gourmet burgers from Baby’s Badass Burgers, indulged in cookies from Craig’s LA and doughnuts from the tried and true Krispy Kream. The evening raised over $1.4 Million to benefit the Race to Erase MS and its Center Without Walls program, a collaboration of top MS research centers working together as a team on ground-breaking research with the goal of treating and, ultimately, finding a cure for MS.
The event opened with a Spring/Summer 2021 runway show from Hollywood-favorite fashion brand alice + olivia by Stacey Bendet (@aliceandolivia on Instagram). Lance Bass welcomed everyone to the event, and brought Isabella and Mariella Rickel to the stage, who gave a heartfelt introduction to their mother, Nancy Davis. This moment was really great to see in person — words sometimes cannot properly sum up the feeling of joy and admiration. Nancy thanked everyone for their ongoing commitment to the cause, and expressed her excitement over Earth, Wind & Fire’s upcoming performance. She was followed on stage by Red Songbird Foundation founder Hilary Roberts, who last year announced the first-ever Jason Davis Scholarship in honor of Nancy’s son Jason, who passed away in early 2020.
After being introduced by Kathy Hilton (Paris Hilton’s mother), Dorit Kemsley, Kyle Richards, and Sutton Stracke, Letitia Frye hosted the energetic live auction which featured a wide variety of one-of-a-kind items including a Hublot Watch designed in collaboration with Shepard Fairey, a virtual reading from Tyler Henry, 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLS 63 AMG®, and The Little Nell.
Longtime Race to Erase MS supporter Mario Lopez (yes he still looks like he’s in his 20s) brought son Nico up to the stage to help him welcome the headliners of the evening. The legendary Earth, Wind & Fire had everyone dancing and singing along as they absolutely brought the house down with a full set, including their classic hits “September,” “Boogie Wonderland,” “Shining Star,” “Let’s Groove,” “Fantasy,” and more!
As is Race to Erase MS tradition, the evening concluded with a group performance of “Lean on Me,” led by Earth, Wind & Fire, Siedah Garrett, David Osmond, Greg Phillinganes, and others. It was a fitting end to an event dedicated to helping erase the rare incurable disease of Multiple Sclerosis.