Brian Grant’s Shake It ‘Till We Make It Fundraising Gala
Last night I had the honor of attending Brian Grant’s Shake It ‘Till We Make! celebrity gala to benefit the Brian Grant Foundation. The court at Moda Center was transformed into the most gorgeous evening wonderland of class and glamour. Before sharing about the evening, you should know about Brian Grant’s work on behalf of those with Parkinson’s. Brian himself was diagnosed in his prime at 36 with young onset Parkison’s disease. Since then, he alongside his foundation, raises funds and awareness for programs, services, support and research to improve the quality of life for those who have it. The goal of his event last night was to raise both funds and awareness so this meaningful necessary work can continue and thrive.
The celebs showed up on the red carpet to begin the night. Though the list is long, notable guests included NBA player Antonio Harvey, comedian Bill Bellamy, Bill Schonley, musician Brian McKnight, Jerome Kersey, golfer Allison Hanna and many more….including pro athletes from the NBA and NFL, sportscasters, entertainers. Everyone looked beautiful.
Center court of the Moda Center was decked out in stunning candlelit glamour. Portland Taiko, Bill Bellamy, Brian McKnight, Mike Phillips, singers from SEI and Cascade chorus opened the evening with lovely music and song. Guests then had the pleasure of watching a short film about Brian’s trek up Mt. St. Helens with a group of friends and colleagues who also have Parkinson’s disease. The message of powering forward, in spite of adversity, was inspirational. How many of us can imagine the impact–physically, mentally, emotionally–of having a progressively debilitating disease? Parkinson’s is like the neurological wild west in terms of it’s effects. Many things can change and happen to one’s body and mind overnight with little warning–including tremors, difficulty swallowing, depression, anxiety, sleeplessness. Sadly, there’s ultimately nothing that can be done to “fix” the disease. Therapies and medications assist in abating some of the symptoms, but for the most part, a lot of mystery still surrounds to whom, the why, and how, Parkinson’t occurs. 60,000 people are diagnosed each year.
The night then progressed with an exciting live auction with some dazzling items up for bid including trips to Bali to a luxury spa, World Cup excursion to Brazil, and an exclusive outing with Brian for a day of golf. Last year over $500,000 was raised from the live auction. To learn more about Parkinson’s disease, and how you can help the Brian Grant Foundation, visit www.briangrant.org.