Jennifer Beals honoured with Caritas Award

Jennifer was honoured last night with the Caritas Award, co-hosted by The Irene Dunne Guild in partnership with the Saint John’s Health Center Foundation board of trustees, the event took place at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, Beverly Hills. Jennifer wore a very elegant Roberto Cavalli dress.

The Caritas Gala honours individuals who exemplify dedication and commitment to the community and embody the philosophy and mission of Saint John’s Health Center Foundation.

Sheryl Ross, MD, presented the Caritas Award to “my patient and dear friend, Jennifer Beals, a fierce activist for social change and equality for the underdog. She sees the world as it is, but believes we have the power to make it better.”
As part of the presentation to Jennifer, John M. Robertson, MD, announced that the actress and activist has partnered with clothing designers and a number of Saint John’s physicians including Dr. Ross, Nicole Weinberg, MD, and himself to help research and develop a new type of bra that can be used in the everyday stress testing of women evaluated for cardiovascular disease and for women recovering from open heart surgery.

Net proceeds from the gala benefit vital programs and services at the Health Center. Since 1987, the guild has raised more than $13 million and has supported Saint John’s through a wide variety of innovative philanthropic, educational and volunteer programs and services. The guild was named for the late actress Irene Dunne, considered the “First Lady” of Saint John’s.

“The Caritas Gala celebrates those who demonstrate compassion for others through exceptional service to the community,” said Brenda McDonald, president of the Irene Dunne Guild. “Each of our honorees truly exemplify the spirit of caritas and we are extremely grateful for their generosity and many contributions.”

Other honourees last night were athlete Allyson Felix with the Hope & Inspiration Award and Kathleen McCarthy Kostlan, on behalf of the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation, with the Spirit of Saint John’s Award. The evening featured a special performance by singer/songwriter and actress Alisan Porter, recent winner of NBC’s The Voice, Season 10.

Past Caritas Gala honorees include Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, Warren Beatty and Annette Bening, Former First Lady Nancy Reagan, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver, Martin Sheen, Vin Scully, Robert Wagner, Angela Lansbury, Pierce Brosnan, Julie Andrews and Blake Edwards, Chris O’Donnell, Tonian Hohberg, Raylene and Bruce Meyer, Merle and Peter Mullin, and Jimmy Stewart.

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Updated October 28