Take a legendary musician. Double up on Hollywood actors and household television personalities. Sprinkle in a few hilarious comedians. And youíve got The Michael J. Fox Foundationís annual New York City gala ďA Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Cure Parkinsonís.Ē
The star-studded bash was held on Saturday, November 22, at the Waldorf Astoria New York, and raised over $5.4 million for Parkinsonís research. A crowd of more than 1,000 guests were brought to their feet by a rousing performance from icon Paul Simon. The cheers only grew louder when Michael J. Fox joined him on guitar for the classic ďMe and Julio Down by The Schoolyard.Ē
Comedian Colin Quinn hosted the benefit and was joined by fellow funny guys Tom Papa and J.B. Smoove. Board members Ryan Reynolds, Willie Geist and George Stephanopoulos were in the house, along with Katie Couric, John Slattery, Talia Balsam, Rachael Ray, Julianne Moore, Bart Freundlich and many more.
Introducing Michaelís mom to the stage, Reynolds quipped, ďIíve known Phyllis Fox for practically my entire evening. And I can say with confidence, sheís every bit the loose cannon sheís made out to be in the tabloids.Ē
In a night filled with heartwarming moments, one of the most touching was Michael and his mom sharing a long embrace on stage. Phyllis broke her hip a couple of weeks ago but that couldnít stop her from attending the bash and bringing out her son.
The eveningís dinner menu was inspired by recipes from ďThe Pollan Family Table,Ē a new cookbook written by Tracy Pollan, her sisters and their mother.
Thanks to the Foundationís Board of Directors, all costs related to the event are covered so that every penny raised goes straight to MJFFís high-impact research programs. To date, Funny Thing has raised more than $60 million to speed a cure for Parkinsonís.