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John Varvatos held what was undoubtedly the biggest block party of the weekend in Southern California, shutting down Melrose Avenue outside his West Hollywood boutique on Sunday for the 10th annual Stuart House Benefit. With 1,800 people in attendance, including honorary cochairs Jennifer Garner and husband Ben Affleck, Rachel Zoe, Louise Roe, Molly Sims, Rande Gerber and Cindy Crawford, and Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts, the designer set a goal to reach $1 million for the program created by the Rape Treatment Center at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center to serve the needs of sexually abused children.
Affleck was happy to help out.
This story first appeared in the March 12, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“I choose to be at events like this that have some benefit other than just trying to go after something for a movie or what have you,” he said. “Nothing is wrong with that, but it’s also important to balance it with this kind of activity too. It just feels good.”
It was that sentiment that attracted Garner, who was clad in Fendi, to the cause. “There can’t be shame for children who’ve been sexually abused. It happens to way too many kids,” she said. “The Stuart House is an international model for treating and dealing with children who have been sexually abused.”
In addition to family activities and live auctions, Aerosmith vets Steven Tyler and Joe Perry provided some extra entertainment. “Welcome to the show!” Tyler shouted. “Excuse us while we rock your world. I want to see you guys shake your wallets.” He and Perry performed “Sweet Emotion,” “Dream On” and “Walk This Way” with surprise jam-session guitar guest Slash, as Gerber and Crawford grooved from their standing-room-only seats.
“This extraordinary treatment [at Stuart House] is so important particularly in light of how we’ve seen institutions that are supposed to be protecting our children, like Boy Scouts, Penn State and the church, having failed our children,” Affleck said while addressing the crowd. “And it’s important that we take responsibility for being vigilant and supporting our children, our communities and organizations that are doing this work. It’s all of our jobs and we’re really lucky we have these folks leading the way.”
Chrysler and Hasbro served as sponsors of the event.