Women’s Cancer Research Fund’s annual fund-raiser — “An Unforgettable Evening” — raised more than $1.8 million at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills on Thursday night.
The event, hosted by Ken Jeong and featuring a performance by the Jonas Brothers, brought out Paris Hilton, who happily posed for selfies alongside sister Nicky Hilton Rothschild; Monique Lhuillier; Katie Couric; Danielle Lauder, and Richard Buckley with Tom Ford, a past honoree.
This year, the organization — a program of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation that funds women’s cancer research — recognized Oscar winner Renée Zellweger as their 2020 Courage Award recipient.
“I’m going to put this right here,” the actress said, setting the weighty trophy on the podium. “Is that all right? It’s beautiful…what a fun evening. Thank you, Rita. That was so generous.”
Rita Wilson, an honorary chair alongside Steven Spielberg and wife Kate Capshaw, had introduced Zellweger.
“Optimism is a revolutionary act,” shared Wilson, quoting Zellweger’s line in “Jerry Maguire,” Cameron Crowe’s 1996 romantic comedy-drama. “[The words] were true then and now.”
Wilson praised the actress’ “talent,” “charm” and charitable work, “particularly for breast cancer” research and awareness.
For her part, Zellweger thanked Wilson for sharing her personal story, revealing her breast cancer journey with the public in 2015. “You didn’t know what your future held with your diagnosis…you led with faith to do what was right anyway, and I admire you,” Zellweger told Wilson in her Southern drawl.
Zellweger then asked the women in the room who had been affected by the disease to stand.
“I want to acknowledge you,” she continued. “Because, as we know, courage is contagious.”