It’s not every day I get to play dress up and attend a star-studded gala event, but on Saturday night I got to do just that… and for a very good cause. Childhelp, the country’s oldest and largest non-profit advocating for abused and neglected children, held its annual Drive the Dream gala here in Phoenix. Each year, this event raises around $1 million for the organization, which helps abused and neglected kids at its residential treatment centers and children’s advocacy centers, and through its education and training programs.
This year, event chairs Dr. Stacie J. Stephenson and Mr. Richard J Stephenson put on an amazing show, with celebrity guests including Mario Lopez (swoon), CeeLo Green, the Temptations, Peter Cetera, The London Essentials and the Montreal Rhapsody Orchestra. And I had a prime spot on the red carpet — well actually, the green carpet since the theme was “Journey to Oz.”
Yes ladies, It’s true. Mario Lopez, the emcee of the evening, is even more beautiful in person. And thanks to my colleague, who snapped this pic (below), I now have a photo of Mario and me (well, my back anyway), even though I was too shy to ask him to pose for a selfie.
Also spotted on the green carpet were the Temptations and Peter Cetera (pictured here with event chairs the Stephensons. How gorgeous is that emerald dress?!)
CeeLo Green (“I guess the change in my pocket wasn’t enough, I’m like forget you and forget her too…”)
And one of my all-time favorite Seinfeld characters, J Peterman (aka John O’Hurley), a longtime Childhelp supporter.
But despite all the glitz and glamour, it’s important to remember the reason why we were all there — to support an organization that has been working for more than 55 years to put an end to the physical, sexual and emotional abuse of children. With over 10 million kids saved through their programs, Childhelp is making a big impact. If you suspect that a child is a victim of child abuse, please call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD. Crisis counselors staff this line 24/7 and can provide assistance in more than 200 languages. Learn more at Childhelp.org.