Palm Springs, CA (The Hollywood Times) 2/11/19 – It was standing room only, by the time the Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards were finally underway; both the awards and the VIP Party were sold out. But that’s no major surprise. The Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards have become a mainstay of Palm Springs social life. And they only get bigger, year after year.
Two days of celebration kicked off Friday, when the awards, now a quarter of a century in the running, dedicated the 427th star on the Palm Spring Walk of Stars to Chase himself.
David Brinkman, CEO of Desert AIDS Project, Allen Monroe, CEO of The Living Desert, and Katherine Hough, Chief Curator at the Palm Springs Art Museum each paid homage to the man who impacted the work of their organizations. Board Chair of the Desert AIDS Project Steve Kaufer also spoke at the dedication. Kaufer was a close friend of Chase.
By Saturday, the festivities had ramped into full gear. The Steve Case Fashion Experience began early in the evening, and featured Ethylina Canne, Fashion Stylist Neil Cohen, Palm Springs Fashion Director Susan Stein, and Entertainment Reporter Sandie Newton. Dignitaries, stars, community leaders, and activists all appeared on the carpet, dressed to the nines.
If you missed this premiere fashion red carpet event, don’t panic. A one-hour NBC special about the 25th annual Steve Chase Awards will air on KPSE on Valentine’s Day.
Simultaneous to the fashion event, the evening’s cocktail reception featured 250 wow-worthy silent auction items. The best in travel, dining, fashion, and experiences were auctioned off in benefit of the cause.
The ceremony itself featured a performance by pop icon Barry Manilow, who wowed the crowd with a performance in an un-subtle, embellished red jacket. Steve Chase, the founder of the eponymous awards, was posthumously honored with the Humanitarian Award.
Geoff Kors and James Williamson were honored with the Partners for Life Award for their community service and impact on the communities of LGBTQ rights, education, and healthcare. Gunilla Carlsson, Deputy Director of UNAIDS received the Science and Medicine Award.
The VIP Party featured live entertainment, a special exhibit of Steve Chase’s Plein Air collection on loan from The Living Desert, and small bites by LuLu California Bistro. Celebrity photography Tim Courtney was there to capture the action.
The Hollywood Times was among the high profile media sponsors, as well. Senior Editor Valerie Milano, a longtime supporter of the Desert AIDS Project, praised the event and the tradition.
“It is one of my favorite charities that I support and definitely the most classy gala,” she said.