The Lili Claire Foundation celebrated its 12th year yesterday by throwing their annual event at a beautiful estate in Brentwood honoring director/producer McG (Charlie’s Angels, Terminator Salvation, Supernatural (TV), Chuck (TV), a remake of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea in pre-production right now and in which McG acknowledged, “Even with all we know, so little is charted about the sea so we can have a lot of fun with it.” ) and hosted by long time spokesperson for the foundation, Matthew Perry. Special performances by Sugar Ray (long time friends of McG) and All-4-One, who have a new album out called No Regrets, were also part of the day’s festivities. The foundation, started by Keith Resnick and his wife Emmy Award winning casting director Leslie Litt-Resnick after their own daughter Lili Claire who suffered from Williams Syndrome tragically passed away at 5 1/2 months old after open heart surgery to correct a heart condition associated with the disease, provides help to children suffering from neurogenetic diseases like Down Syndrome, Williams Syndrome, Autism, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and hope and resources to their families. What amazed me at the luncheon yesterday was not only the love and support that the Hollywood community has for these special kids, but also how they have personally been touched by these types of diseases.
Rules of Engagement’s Megyn Price revealed to me that she has an uncle with Down’s Syndrome, while honoree McG could relate to the mission of the foundation as his good friend, Peter Roth (President of Warner Bros. Television) has a child with special needs. Also, comedian Hal Sparks, who has been on a stand-up tour for the last 1 1/2 years and isn’t normally involved with charities in which he has a personal connection, shared with me that he has an older sister who was born with a series of nervous disorders and is learning disabled. Actors Jonathan Silverman and Jennifer Finnegan (who are a real life couple introduced by none other than the afternoon’s emcee Matthew Perry) relayed the story of their best friend’s son who has Williams Syndrome calling him a “genius” and Silverman adding, “The children who suffer from these diseases are trapped searching for an opportunity to get their brilliance out.”
Perrey Reeves from Entourage and a recent guest star on The Ghost Whisperer revered the work of the Lili Claire Foundation stating, “Lili Claire cuts through the bureaucracy and gives the money raised straight to the families.” Matthew Perry, who has hosted the event consistently for the past 12 years and denied rumors of a Friends reunion, summed it up well when he emphasized, “The kids are the stars of the show.”
Click here to learn more about the Lili Claire Foundation and how you can help.