This past Saturday at the “Baby2Baby 10 Year Gala Presented by Paul Mitchell,” Vanessa Bryant was honored with the “Giving Tree Award” for her dedication to children in need. The event celebrated the 10th anniversary of Baby2Baby, a nonprofit that provides basic essentials to children living in poverty, and raised more than $8.5 million to support the organization’s critical COVID-19 and disaster relief efforts to support families and communities disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
The event was hosted by James Corden and featured a special presentation and performance by Bryant’s good friend Ciara. Event attendees included longtime Baby2Baby supporters such as Jennifer Garner, Jessica Alba, Kerry Washington, Kate Hudson, Nicole Richie and Mindy Kaling, as well as Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo, Jeff Bezos, Mandy Moore, Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann, and Baby2Baby Co-Presidents Kelly Sawyer Patricof and Norah Weinstein.
LOS ANGELES (November 14, 2021) – Last night, Hollywood A-listers, business leaders and philanthropists united at “The Baby2Baby 10 Year Gala Presented by Paul Mitchell” at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood. Hosted by James Corden, the evening honored Vanessa Bryant with the “Giving Tree Award,” celebrated the organization’s 10th anniversary and milestone achievements, and raised funds for their critical work. The event raised over a record-breaking $8.5 million to support Baby2Baby’s critical COVID-19 and disaster relief efforts to provide children in poverty with basic necessities that every child deserves.
The gala kicked off with a hilarious monologue from Corden, who congratulated the organization on a decade of work and introduced past “Giving Tree Award” honorees Jennifer Garner, Kerry Washington, Jessica Alba and Kate Hudson. The four honorees reminisced about the first Baby2Baby Gala, celebrated the organization’s growth, thanked the evening’s generous sponsors and welcomed Baby2Baby Co-CEOs Norah Weinstein and Kelly Sawyer Patricof. Of Weinstein and Sawyer Patricof, Jennifer Garner said, “They made tonight happen, but I see them behind-the-scenes the other 364 days of the year… [they] have figured out the logistics of getting 200 million items to children all over the country.”
Weinstein and Sawyer Patricof reflected on the trajectory of the organization, emphasizing the critical work to support families and communities disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past decade, Baby2Baby has distributed 200 million items to children living in poverty – over 100 million of those items have been provided since March of 2020. “In this last year alone, Baby2Baby received requests for 731 million diapers – six-times more than pre-COVID numbers,” said Sawyer Patricof. Deemed an essential business, the Baby2Baby team made deliveries every weekday and most weekends for the last 600 days. Weinstein added, “We also want to recognize our very own frontline workers on our staff, especially our warehouse team and couriers who couldn’t work from home and risked their health since day one to serve our community in LA and beyond packing orders, loading trucks and delivering critical items into the hands of the families who needed them the most.”
Kerry Washington shared a personal story and applauded the work of Baby2Baby, saying, “I come to you not just as a Baby2Baby Angel, but as a kid from the Bronx who knows too well that were it not for the grace of God in my life, things could have been very different for me…Our country’s systems do not do enough to support [families living in poverty], so we must come together to ensure that every family and child has access to the basic necessities they deserve. Without the essentials that Baby2Baby provides, families are unable to care for their children while keeping a roof over their heads. They are stuck in a vicious cycle and without support, it is almost impossible to break.”
Nicole Richie and Mindy Kaling got the room fired up for the fundraising portion of the evening, interacting with the crowd to help raise more money for Baby2Baby than ever before, allowing the organization to reach millions more children in need.
Vanessa Bryant, a Baby2Baby Angel who has been involved with the organization for the last seven years, was honored with the “Giving Tree Award.” The award was presented to Bryant by her friend Ciara. Bryant started her acceptance speech with an emotional look back, “I have to start by saying how much I miss my perfect date tonight. My husband Kobe loved attending Baby2Baby Galas. With his big smile, he would look at me and say, ‘Babe, this is freaking awesome. Tonight I’m your +1!’”. He would say It’s the one event I’m not obligated to do anything. I get to be your date, help families and enjoy great food!’” Bryant went on to say, “As parents, all we want is for our children to be safe, healthy and give them opportunities we didn’t have…As challenging as the past 20 months have been for everyone, they have been even harder for these low- income or homeless families in need who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, losing jobs, homes and family members at very high rates. It’s these families and their children that need us the most, ever more so now and even tomorrow and the next day. We, as a team, can come together to continue to help Baby2Baby supply them with the essentials they need.”
DNice took the stage for a DJ set before a surprise performance from Ciara. The Grammy Award-winning artist brought the crowd to their feet performing some of her iconic chart-topping hits including “Lose Control,” “Goodies,” and “1,2 Step.”
The night also featured a new ten-year logo designed by Los Angeles-based multimedia artist Alex Israel.
Additional guests at the gala included Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo, Adam Sandler, Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sánchez, Alexandra Daddario, Camila Morrone, Hilary Duff, Jenna Dewan, Jason Derulo, Jordana Brewster, Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann, Julie Bowen, Lauren Conrad, Mandy Moore, Max Greenfield, Mindy Kaling, Miranda Kerr and Evan Spiegel, Molly Sims and Scott Stuber, Monique Lhuillier, Rachel Zoe, Reid Scott, Shay Mitchell, Zooey Deschanel, and many more.
The Gala’s menu was curated and led by chef duo Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo of Animal, Son of a Gun and Jon & Vinny’s, who invite Los Angeles’ best chefs and culinary talent in creating the night’s dinner including Antico Nuovo, Badmaash, Burritos La Palma, Craig’s, Felix, Guelaguetza, Helen’s Wines, Jitlada, Konbi, Little Fish, Micah Wexler x Roe Caviar, Nobu, Pearl River Deli, Wexler’s Deli, McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams, The Apple Pan, Sherry Yard Desserts, Tacos 1986, Jon & Vinny’s and more as well as cocktails by The Spare Room.
“The Baby2Baby 10 Year Gala” was presented by title sponsor Paul Mitchell. Additional sponsors included Tiffany & Co., City National Bank, Volvo Car USA and Prada.