The gala benefits breast and prostate cancer research at the John Wayne Cancer Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Center. Our ABCs president Gloria Gebbia was proud to announce that Major Scotty Smiley; author, Wounded Veteran and the Army Times “Soldier of the Year”, was honored with the Spirit of Hope Award. Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG award winning actor, Kelsey Grammer received the Spirit of Entertainment Award. Legendary performers The Jacksons provided entertainment and actor and comedian JB Smoove was the emcee. Sheri A. Rosenblum returned as gala chair. The gala included silent and live auctions.
About our Honorees:
Major (Retired) Scotty Smiley was honored with the Spirit of Hope Award. Smiley became the first blind active-duty officer in military history following a face-to-face confrontation with a suicide car bomber in Iraq in 2005. After his injury, Scotty’s faith led him to forgive his attacker and inspired him to rebuild his life while continuing to serve his country in the U.S. Army. After earning an MBA from Duke University, Major Smiley returned to West Point to teach. He was named the Army Times 2007 “Soldier of the Year” and won an ESPY award in 2008 for “Best Outdoor Athlete.” He is the recipient of a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart, and the Army’s prestigious MacArthur Leadership Award, and retired from the military in 2015. After the loss of his eyesight he has learned to surf, gone skydiving, climbed Mt. Denali, and became an Ironman. Smiley wrote his book Hope Unseen about his journey through overcoming adversity and now travels the country sharing his message of perseverance, courage, and hope. Currently, Smiley is an investment banker at Drexel Hamilton and is a regular guest on news networks such as NBC, CBS, and Fox.
Spirit of Entertainment Award honoree Kelsey Grammer is well known to a global audience as an actor, producer and director. A six-episode arc as the beloved Dr. Frasier Crane on “Cheers” became the cornerstone of the Juilliard-trained actor’s career. Grammer played the celebrated character in three different television series (“Cheers,” “Wings” and “Frasier”) over a span of 20 years. Grammer has won six Emmys, three Golden Globes and a SAG Award and has received an unparalleled 18 Emmy nominations, eight Golden Globe nominations, 16 SAG nominations and one Tony nomination. Grammer can currently be seen in the Netflix original film “Like Father,” and is shooting his next film “Grand Isle” at this moment. Grammer’s next project will be the timely and powerful new series “Proven Innocent” for FOX about a legal team that takes on cases involving wrongful convictions. On stage, Grammer was most recently seen at the Hollywood Bowl in “Beauty and the Beast” voicing Lumière alongside an all-star cast in a two-night limited run of a live performance of Alan Menken’s music that accompanied a screening of the classic, animated Disney film. He also joined the 2018 season of the L.A. Opera in a limited run of Leonard Bernstein’s operetta “Candide,” which ran January–February 2018, playing the dual role of Pangloss and Voltaire. Grammer is generous with his time, talent and capital. He is an advocate for domestic abuse survivors and provides support for the efforts of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the American Red Cross, the Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Oceana, the USO, and the Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation, and others.
Images © Orly Halvey