Glam Gala: The Brent Shapiro Foundation

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Marina Anderson and Elliot Mintz

What could be better than a balmy night in Beverly Hills, a slight breeze through the palm trees under a cascade of stars, food catered by Wolfgang Puck, a fashion show, great conversation, A-list celebrities, top echelon socialites and media, glitz, and glamour…? The benefit for the Brent Shapiro Foundation for drug and alcohol awareness, founded by famed attorney Robert Shapiro and his dedicated wife, Linelle, had all that, and more!

Over 1,200 people attended the star-studded summer spectacular gala event held September 7 in Beverly Hills. Each year, the event focuses on sobriety, strides of recovering addicts, and celebrating life to its fullest. This year’s event raised $500,000!

Lisa Rinna and husband Harry Hamlin

Shuttles took patrons from parking to the 40,000 sq. ft. palatial estate, owned by Mei Sze Chan and Jeff Greene, where guests schmoozed the night away and dined on the scrumptious cuisine.  Red velvet cake, assorted cookies, and chocolate-dipped strawberries were to scream for as everyone “ooooh’d” and “ahhhh’d” over a jaw-dropping fashion show by G Haute Couture.

The evening was highlighted by Master of Ceremonies, television personality Pat O’Brien’s participation, actor Robert Davi’s charming us all with Sinatra favorites, and a live auction, which included once-in-a-lifetime events as well as prized art (Douglas Kirkland, Bradford Stewart), jewelry (Swiss Jewelry House of Avakian), dream vacations (Diamond Resorts International) and even a pure-bred Cocker Spaniel puppy!

Baj Ling

Ted Danson was honored for Angels at Risk, and perhaps the most touching and inspiring moment of the evening was not only the Shapiro’s own personal story of the tragic loss of their son Brent to drug and alcohol use, but that of Harry Hamlin, who recounted his own family history of tragedy and personal battles. Hamlin (accompanied by his vibrant celebrity wife Lisa Rinna), was honored by the foundation for his accomplishments in overcoming his obstacles. Two college-bound, sober students from the Phoenix House were also honored with fully-funded scholarships to continue their education.

The foundation’s vision is to bring awareness, compassion and support to those who suffer from the fear, grief, and helplessness caused by the disease of drug and alcohol abuse in order to help turn their lives around.  In Boyle Heights, the Shapiro Foundation recently launched “Brent’s Club,” which offers educational incentives to kids who “do the right thing” by remaining in school and staying clean. BY MARINA ANDERSON

Visit brentshapiro.org for more information and news on future events!