2009 February 11

An Unforgettable Evening

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Angie Harmon Angie Harmon
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(LOS ANGELES) Despite the waning economy, there was no shortage of generosity and Hollywood glamour at Tuesday night’s Entertainment Industry Foundation Women’s Cancer Research Foundation benefit dinner at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Altruistic attendees including Jay-Z, Rita Wilson, Steven Spielberg, Kate Capshaw, Jennifer Meyer, Lisa Kudrow, Jessica Capshaw, Jamie Tisch, Pam Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor joined forces to raise awareness and funds for cancer research, while honoring Gwenyth Paltrow and Courteney Cox, recipients of this year’s Courage Award and Nat King Cole Award, respectively.

Sheryl Crow made the rounds during the cocktail hour and shared her commitment to cancer research, saying, “I just love this foundation. They do an immense amount of good, and while the economy is so dire it’s important that the foundation is still able to propagate research. They need to be able to do what they do. I try to be here every year.”

Minutes before Tom Hanks (looking dapper in a slick Tom Ford suit) took the stage as host, the WCRF co-chair projected the evening ahead, “Rita and I have been doing this for 14 years now and seriously, it’s no work! You listen to a little bit of science, somebody sings and then you’re outta here by 10 o’clock! I guarantee you everyone knows a woman who is suffering from some form of cancer, so we should all do what we can to help the cause,” the actor said earnestly. “And since I’m hosting, I’m really looking forward to embarrassing myself to no end and making a heck of a lot of apology phone calls tomorrow!”

While guests dined on salmon carpaccio, filet mignon and chocolate-covered strawberries, Amy Grant crooned for the crowd, and was later followed by touching acceptance speeches by this year’s honorees.

“I am so honored to be a part of this evening. I’m a housewife in England and married to a singer…and all of the sudden I’m here, and it’s all just so surreal. Sadly, not all of my family could be here with me, but I’ve got Jay-Z in the house, so that makes up for it!” toasted Paltrow.

Ending the evening with a bang, Beyonce blew the crowd away with a show-stopping performance including a trio of hit songs including, ‘At Last’ and ‘Single Ladies’; bringing the crowd to their feet, including a shimmying duo of Wilson and Kate Capshaw in the front. “I thought the whole night was absolutely spectacular. I am still feeling Beyonce’s gold sparkly dress…it totally reflected her insane energy! She was just unbelievable in person,” raved Wilson after the event.  “I think it really was the most unforgettable evening of the year!”

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