Sisters Are Doing It for Themselves

BY Lesley Goldberg

May 03 2010 2:10 PM ET

One of the evening’s more poignant moments came when Perry’s assistant and fellow cochair Shannon Del shared her firsthand experience of how the center’s low-cost therapy assistance programs helped pull her through a dark period in her life after her family disowned her when she came out.

“It was there, in that room, that I started to take control of my life,” Del said. “There are so few places like this is the world. This is our chance to give back.”

Other highlights included Oscar winner Renée Zellweger speaking out for LGBT people and noting that “charity begins at home” and that the center helps thousands of homeless youths under the age of 25.

“We don’t have the ability to change laws, but we do have the ability to change lives,” she said, alluding to the evening’s fund-raising opportunities.

Saturday’s live auction alone raised $61,000, including $5,000 for a private in-home diner for six from chef Jamie Lauren (Top Chef), three daylong studio recording sessions with Perry ($15,000, and two at $12,000), a tattoo from L.A. Ink’s Kat Von D ($5,000), and a Vespa signed by Pink, which fetched $12,000.

Perry, who last year began taking tighter control of the event, continued to inject her signature style and sensibilities into the evening when she performed a stripped-down, acoustic interpretation of her 1990s hit “What’s Up.” She later coaxed Pink to join her on the stage for a special duet of the same song, which brought everyone in the room to their feet.

An Evening With Women headliners Heart closed out the night with a four-song set that included “Barracuda” and “Crazy on You” as well as material from their upcoming summer release, Red Velvet Car.

All told, the evening raised more than $370,000 for the center, which Gershon noted continues to be one of the nonprofits with the lowest overhead, as only 12 cents from every dollar raised goes toward administration.













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