A report from the back table at "An Evening With Women" by Sarah Witness
The always amazing annual event "An Evening With Women," a star-studded benefit for the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center, took place again this past weekend at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. Established in 1971, The L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center provides a wide array of social services to the LGBT community, including shelter, food, clothing, and support for homeless youth, free HIV/AIDS care for those in need, and low-cost counseling and addiction-recovery services.
Celebrities come out in droves to support the cause, and by celebrities I don’t mean someone who starred in a webisode. Linda Perry and Brent Bolthouse are the big guns behind the operation and they call upon their famous friends to contribute to the night.
Brent Bolthouse, Devon Aoki and friend
Photo by Faye Sadou
Upon arrival, guests were treated to a hosted bar and encouraged to take a look at the items up for grabs in the silent auction. The goods included backstage passes to an upcoming Christina Aguilera concert, a Carolina Herrera dress custom designed for presenter Renée Zellweger, bass guitar lessons with Flea, and a guitar autographed by Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue.
Eventually, we were ushered into the ballroom and seated for dinner. Because I’ve tricked the PR people into thinking I’m a journalist, I was seated with actual journalists, from People Magazine and US Weekly. It’s always shocking (and awesome) to have "straight" publications covering gay events. Maybe I’ll invite them to Dinah Shore next year.
The dinner menu was designed by Top Chef‘s Jamie Lauren. It was delicious, but I’m still upset because one of those journalists ate my dessert while I wasn’t looking. Those straight people are crafty I tell you. I tried to remain calm and enjoy myself regardless.
Host Gina Gershon kicked off the show with a rousing musical performance and wore very high, shiny boots. Hot.
Photo by Faye Sadou
The C.E.O. of The Center, Lorri L. Jean, gave an inspiring speech detailing the work they do, and then an award was given to Jewel Thais-WIlliams. Thais-Williams founded Jewel’s Catch One, originally an African American gay and lesbian disco. The club still exists (and has thankfully expanded beyond disco), and it’s proceeds benefit the Village Health Foundation, a non-profit holistic health center.