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Parties: Emotions Run High at the Noche de Niños

It didn’t take long for people to get very emotional at the 3rd Annual Noche de Niños, held on May 9, 2009, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills. “Courage to Care” honoree Jamie Lee Curtis started it at the VIP cocktail party that began the evening. Sporting a hot pink wig and a sexy long black dress, Curtis got choked up as she explained just why she was going punk at the black-tie affair that raises funds for the Childrens Hospital Los Angeles.

“It’s in honor of Katie Westbrook, a girl I met in Pittsburgh while I was doing a charity appearance for Childrens Hospital,” Curtis explained, as her sister Kelly stood close. “She had cancer, and this was the wig she was wearing when I met her. And she whipped it off and had written ‘Jamie Lee Curtis rocks!’ in magic marker on her bald head. Katie died two years later, and I asked her mother for this wig, to wear in her memory.”

Later, as the star-studded crowd moved into the ballroom for dinner, an exuberant dancing show, and the more serious award segment of the evening, Jennifer Lopez added some vehement feelings of her own to the proceedings, as her husband Marc Anthony looked on. The mother of twins recalled a sickening moment when her baby girl Emme was just a few weeks old.

Piano prodigy Emily Bear with Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony.Piano prodigy Emily Bear with Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony.

“She had a lump on her head,” Lopez said with a shiver. “I asked Marc, ‘Did you drop her?’” He hadn’t, and they rushed the baby to the hospital, where it happily turned out all was well. But that “terrifying” experience led Lopez and Anthony to found the Maribel Foundation in conjunction with Childrens Hospital, and for Lopez to step up the work she was already doing with the institution.

Even California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger got a bit emotional as he awarded his long-time friend Jamie Lee Curtis her “Courage” award.

“She is a perfect woman,” he said, “and when it comes to children, she knows how to make them into eagles. She helps them soar!”
Annette Bening and Warren Beatty.Annette Bening and Warren Beatty.
Helping sick children was what the gala was all about, and plenty of Hollywood’s heavy hitters made their commitment clear. Actors came out in force, including Annette Bening and Warren Beatty, Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance, Noah Wyle, Shoreh Aghdashloo, Kevin Sorbo, Christopher McDonald, Mary Hart, and Alex Meneses, who served as one of the gala’s co-chairs, and a terrific lineup of musicians made the night a memorable one.
Jewel sparkled at the Noche de Niños charity gala.Jewel sparkled at the Noche de Niños charity gala.
Jewel looked gorgeous and sounded even better, Raphael Saadiq brought the cool, and he’s our new favorite soul singer, (shades of Marvin Gaye), and child prodigies Emily Bear and Tim Callobre proved that you don’t have to be a grown-up to make the piano and guitar sing.
Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance.Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance.
Ironically, in the midst of all those wealthy people hellbent on making life easier for children with serious illnesses, probably the biggest gun in the room wasn’t quite sure why he was there. Billionaire businessman-lawyer-philanthropist John E. Anderson, still spry and sharp at 91, leaned over amid the din of the cocktail party and asked us, “What is the charity we are here for? I just came along with my wife, I know she is on the board.” We’re sure that no matter whether he knows which charity event he’s attending, Anderson and his wife have given more than their share to the cause of saving the children.

For more information or to contribute to the cause, go to

About Jenny Peters (163 Articles)
Jet Set Jen is the brainchild of Jenny Peters, a longtime freelance journalist whose career has spanned everything considered "Lifestyle" reporting, from movies and celebrities to fashion and fast cars, with plenty of food, wine and travel thrown in too. She currently contributes regularly to USA Today's,, New York Magazine, Coast Magazine, Bask Magazine and numerous other newspapers, magazines and websites worldwide. She is a founding and voting member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (, which annually honors the year's top films with the Critics' Choice Awards. Jenny and her crack cadre of reporters at Jet Set Jen offer up opinions, suggestions and insider scoops on the best that the world has to offer, to keep you on the cutting edge of that ever elusive pursuit of life, liberty, happiness – and fun, fun, fun.

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