Nancy Davis Reimagines Annual Charity Gala As A Drive-In & Raises $1.4 Million

27th Annual Race To Erase MS: Drive-In To Erase MS
Lucy Hale

Photo Credit: Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Race to Erase MS

Angelenos made a rare, COVID-era outing on Friday, September 4 for a cause — to support philanthropist Nancy Davis at her annual Race to Erase MS Gala, which, this year, was reimagined live drive-in instead of a sit-down gala dinner. For the first time ever, guests were invited to “Drive-In” for an evening of socially distanced music, celebration, and raising funds and awareness. The event raised over $1.4 million to benefit the Race to Erase MS and its Center Without Walls program, a collaboration of top MS research centers working together as a team on ground-breaking research with the goal of treating and, ultimately, finding a cure for MS. The event also honored Davis’s son Jason, who passed away earlier this year, with a very special posthumous “Medal of Hope.”

Shepard Fairey, Amanda Fairey, and Race to Erase MS founder Nancy Davis

Photo Credit: Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Race to Erase MS

The evening, which was attended by Jordan Bell, Anne Heche, Marg Helgenberger and Derek Hough, and additional special guests including Brandee Evans, Brenda Banda, Caroline D’Amore, Cassie Scerbo, Christine Devine, Dave Winfield, Diana-Maria Riva, Elle Lorraine, Francesca Capaldi, Gerald Isaac Waters, Hilary Roberts, Jason Wahler, Jovan Adepo, Katelyn Ohashi, Katie Welch, Keltie Knight, Logan Shroyer, Loni Love, Lucy Hale, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Maureen McCormick, Maximilian Acevedo , Olivia Sanabia, Pia Toscano, Victoria Justice and Xochitl Gomez, among others, opened with an exclusive virtual look at the Fall 2020 Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive Collection — a line of clothing with innovative design twists that makes dressing easier for people with disabilities.

27th Annual Race To Erase MS: Drive-In To Erase MS
Victoria Justice

Photo Credit: Rich Fury/Getty Images for Race to Erase MS

Anne Heche introduced Davis, who gave a touching tribute to her late son Jason. The mother-son team founded the non-profit Cure Addiction Now (CAN) before Jason’s passing, in the hopes of revolutionizing the way that substance use disorders are viewed and treated. Nancy recognized her son with the “Medal of Hope,” which was accepted by his sisters Mariella and Isabella, who spoke about Jason’s incredible heart, zest for life, and tireless support for everyone around him. In honor of Jason and the Davis family’s ongoing commitment to this work, Red Songbird Foundation announced that it will present the first-ever Jason Davis Scholarship to a deserving individual who is struggling with MS, in conjunction with substance use disorder or extreme depression. The scholarship will award an individual with a full treatment program that addresses their mental health and addiction needs. Jason’s longtime friend Matthew performed a song that they created together, rounding out a heartfelt tribute to his legacy.

27th Annual Race To Erase MS: Drive-In To Erase MS
Anne Heche

Photo Credit: Rich Fury/Getty Images for Race to Erase MS

Letitia Frye then hosted the energetic live auction which featured a wide variety of one-of-a-kind items including a jam session with the iconic Nile Rodgers over Zoom, a reading from Hollywood medium Tyler Henry, a mini Australian labradoodle, a private dinner for 20 at LA landmark Mr. Chow and many more.

27th Annual Race To Erase MS: Drive-In To Erase MS
Derek Hough

Photo Credit: Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Race to Erase MS

Siedah Garrett, who herself manages an MS diagnosis, delivered a beautiful musical performance, starting with a powerful new original piece she wrote for the current times entitled “The New Frontier: Say Their Names.” She also treated the crowd, who responded with cheers and honking from their cars, to a performance of what is perhaps her best-known song, “Man in the Mirror,” which she co-wrote. Eric Benét brought his effortless cool to the stage and performed “Georgy Porgy” for the crowd. Derek Hough welcomed his friend Andy Grammer to the stage, who kept the car-bound crowd dancing with a set list that included some of his biggest, and most uplifting, hits including “Good To Be Alive,” “Honey, I’m Good, “Keep Your Head Up,” “Back Home,” “Fresh Eyes,” and “Don’t Give Up On Me.” As has become Race to Erase MS tradition, the evening concluded with a group performance of “Lean on Me,” led by Garrett, Benét, and Grammer.

27th Annual Race To Erase MS: Drive-In To Erase MS
Catriona McGinnand and Mark-Paul Gosselaar

Photo Credit: 27th Annual Race To Erase MS: Drive-In To Erase MS

The Race to Erase MS was honored by the gracious design contribution of Shepard Fairey and Studio Number One to their original invite concept, which is also an exclusive limited-run graphic t-shirt. Inspired by his wife Amanda, who suffers from MS. The artist’s exclusive design is meant to give hope that soon there will be a cure.

27th Annual Race To Erase MS: Drive-In To Erase MS
Andy Grammer

Photo Credit: Rich Fury/Getty Images for Race to Erase MS)

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