With its traditional annual fundraising gala out of the question due to the ongoing pandemic, a national organization dedicated to finding a cure for multiple sclerosis is teaming with the Rose Bowl to host a drive-in concert, fashion show and auction on Friday evening to benefit MS research.
The concert, hosted by Race to Erase MS, will include performances by Eric Benét, Andy Grammer and Siedah Garrett, organizers said. It’s scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m., with gates opening at 6 p.m.
Guests will also see “a virtual look at the Fall 2020 Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive Collection,” Race to Erase MS said in a written statement. Both a live auction and an online silent auction are also planned, and dinner and gift bags will be provided. The silent auction can be accessed online at charitybuzz.com/search?
Race to Erase MS founder Nancy Davis said she was looking forward to a ight of good fun for a good cause.
“We are thrilled and excited to be hosting our reimagined Race to Erase MS gala as a drive-in concept, providing a safe and fun evening in your car. We couldn’t imagine not putting on this
legendary event, which raises life-saving funds and awareness as we continue to work towards
finding a cure for MS,”she said. “We are incredibly grateful to Tommy and our fabulous
performers Andy, Eric and Siedah who will make this another gala to remember!”
The event will include a special tribute to Davis’ son, actor Jason Davis, who died earlier this year.
“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,” the Race to Erase MS statement said.
The unique event will be smaller than the traditional gala, Race to Erase MS spokesman Andy Gelb said.
The gala generally attracts about 1000 guests, he said. Last year’s event took place at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills.
“For the Drive-In to Erase MS, the layout was produced to fit 200 cars,” Gelb said. Organizers were anticipating an average of two guests per car.
The collaboration highlights ways in which both charity organizations, as well as the Rose Bowl, have altered operations during the pandemic in order to keep moving forward in a time of social distancing, according to Rose Bowl General Manager Darryl Dunn.
“It’s unfortunate that the event couldn’t have gone as it originally was planned,” he said. “However, given the situation, we’re glad that we’re able to host this event.”
While sports and traditional massive concerts have been off the table in recent months due to COVID-19 safety precautions, the Rose Bowl has been busy finding other avenues to make use of the iconic stadium.
“We’re doing a lot,” he said. The events tend to be smaller than the tens of thousands of people the Rose Bowl normally accommodates. The stadium has been hosting drive-in movies throughout the summer.
Ru Paul’s Drive ‘N Drag event early this month was a big draw.
“The drive-ins are the best example,” Dunn said. “We are doing filmings again. We did a graduation… and we’re looking at other opportunities. We’re doing what we can, as long as it’s consistent with the health guidelines that were all existing within today.”
The stadium is currently screening the film “The New Mutants” through Sept. 13. More information is available on the Rose Bowl website at rosebowlstadium.com/events/
The Rose Bowl also announced on Tuesday a special drive-in screening of the Pixar movie, “Cars,” at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, representatives said. More information on that show is available online at rosebowlstadium.com/news/66/
Ticket prices for Friday’s Drive-In to Erase MS start at $1,000 per vehicle, with the funds going to Race to Erase MS’s Center Without Walls research network, according to the organization. They must be purchased on the event website prior to noon on Friday. The dress code was described as “dress snazzy.”
Oversize vehicles such limousines or RVs cannot be accommodated at Friday’s event.
More information, and a link to purchase tickets, is available online at driveintoerasems.org.