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2009 March 11

Our House

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Joyce Varvatos and John Varvatos Joyce Varvatos and John Varvatos
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(LOS ANGELES) Leave it to John Varvatos to motivate the masses into emptying their pocket books for a good cause in the middle of a recession. Hundreds of stylish patrons including Angie Harmon, Bridget Moynahan, Melissa Joan Hart, Justin Chambers, Jim Belushi, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Jamie King, Gina Gershon, Lisa Rinna, Shannen Doherty, Eric Dane, Heather Thomas Brittenham, Brendan Fraser, Tracey Ross, Stacey Keibler and Ryan Eggold packed into the ‘Bring Your Heart to Our House’ 7th Annual Stuart House Benefit on Sunday afternoon to support the program of the Rape Treatment Center at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center. 

“We’re so happy to be here today. Kyra [Sedgwick] visited Stuart House awhile back and as soon as she left, she called me on her cell phone from the car and was just overwhelmed with emotion,” co-host Kevin Bacon shared. “We knew we had to help out. We have kids of our own, so this is a cause that we really care about.”

While little ones went wild for face painting, balloon art, ceramic tile painting and Converse sneaker customization stations, adults generously bid on ostentatious packages in the live and silent auctions including a luxurious Hawaiian getaway, American Idol final performance tickets and a private shopping spree with Varvatos. “I like the framed photographs of Robert Nixon and Jim Morrison so we bid on those. We’re thinking of gifts that would be good for our parents or my wife’s friends, and we’re going to keep our ears open during the live auction, too,” Chambers commented, perusing through the auction items set up in the main tent.

The event culminated in a concert by ZZ Top that had everyone on their feet. “We’ve got more rockers here than ever before! Alice Cooper and a lot of my friends showed up to support this event and watching everyone in the audience jamming on a Sunday afternoon is just unbelievable,” Varvatos said. “All we really wanted to do today was bring even more awareness to rape and sexual child abuse because it’s a tragic issue. And of course, a big thank you goes out to the city of West Hollywood for letting us close down frickin’ Melrose Avenue to do this every year!”

A.J. Buckley ducked out of the ear-deafening rock fest for some much-needed retail therapy. “I’m in John’s store once a month, and I always find something else I have to have! Today I got my spring/summer sweater hoodie, and 25 percent of the proceeds goes towards the charity,” the actor explained. “I actually grew up in a group home myself and I don’t think people understand how important establishments like the Stuart House are. The numbers are insane, so I’ll do anything I can to support such a good cause.”

By the end of the day, it was clear that everyone came out a winner. “Everything about today was pretty great, but honestly, I was most excited to be just one degree of separation from Kevin Bacon. That’s been a lifelong dream of mine, and today we’re both out here supporting the same cause. Now that’s a good day, right?” laughed Lance Bass.
JENNIFER CHAN




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