Charity: Orange you glad you bought that and helped erase MS?
We always enjoy being a fly on the wall at Nancy Davis' annual Race to Erase MS charity event, even though we've come to realize that there are few things as anxiety-inducing as watching a live charity auction in the midst of a recession.
The 16th annual event, co-chaired by Nancy Davis and Tommy Hilfiger, unspooled at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on Friday night and included musical performances by Michelle Branch and a four-song set by the Eagles (uncharacteristically clad in suits and ties), ending with "Take It To The Limit." "My wife calls this the credit card song," a wry Glenn Frey told the crowd.
It seems a few members of the audience took that advice to heart, including the fellow who bid $270,000 for the crown jewel of the auction -- a 2009 Lamborghini Gallardo 560-4 Spyder, and actress Angie Harmon who ponied up $45K for a two-week vacation at Tommy Hilfiger's place on private Mustique Island. According to the organization, when it was all over, about $2 million had been raised to benefit the Nancy Davis Foundation for Multiple Sclerosis -- surprisingly about the same as last year's event and only down about a half-million from the 2007 tally.
But it's also possible to show your support without breaking the bank. Since May is MS Awareness Month, a handful of brands are offering special merchandise with a portion of proceeds going to the charity -- many of them in the shade of orange, which is become associated with the cause.
Among them: orange, limited-edition Tory Burch polos (20% to the cause), alice + olivia's "Madison" dress (10% of the $440) and a Neil Lane for ARCADE ring (50% of the $975). Of course our favorites are the ones that donate 100% of the purchase price -- which means you're basically getting a freebie for donating to a good cause.
So we're lobbying hard for the orange Tommy Hilfiger leather wallet embossed with "We ♥ to Erase MS," or a bottle of coral colored "Orange You Happy to Erase MS?" nail polish ($8) by Cosmetic Industries Inc., both available online, where you'll also find out additional information about the rest of the products.
-- Adam Tschorn
Photos from top: The Eagles' Don Henley (left) and Glenn Frey perform at the Race to Erase MS charity event May 8, 2009. Credit: Matt Sayles / AP Photo. "Orange You Glad to Erase MS" nail polish, and a Tommy Hilfiger wallet, courtesy of the Race to Erase MS.