Home #Hwoodtimes Lupus LA Bag Ladies Luncheon Continues a Tradition of Fashion and Philanthropy

Lupus LA Bag Ladies Luncheon Continues a Tradition of Fashion and Philanthropy

Gilles Marini, Rosanna Arquette, Kelly Stone, Tom Arnold and others on the orange carpet( Photo: Getty Images)

By Valerie Milano 

Beverly Hills, CA (The Hollywood Times) 11/23/19 – Lupus is a devastating condition. But activists in Los Angeles have a long history of attacking the problem with events as fabulous as they are helpful. Nonprofit Lupus LA’s Orange Ball and Bag Ladies Luncheon have become staples on the social scene, building awareness and raising funds, year after year, with unforgettable Hollywood events. 


November’s Bag Ladies Luncheon, held at the Beverly Hilton and hosted by Bill Harris, is a yearly treat featuring a silent auction with hundreds of vintage and new handbags donated by top designers and celebrities; boutiques & experiences from Theory, Lalique, Karen Lazar, & Blushington; grab bags with surprises including jewelry, skincare, beauty products, & airline miles; a delicious lunch, a vibrant live auction, and an awards presentation.  

Sheila with award

Dr. Sheila Barbarino, a board-certified surgeon with a distinguished fellowship in oculo-facial plastics and cosmetic plastic surgery, was presented with the Lupus LA 2019 Woman of Achievement Award. 


“There are over 5 million patients in the world who carry the lupus diagnosis, and that’s not including those who don’t even know they have it. Lupus LA is the biggest and strongest group of fighters of any autoimmune disease I’ve seen,” said Barbarino. “I am so proud to be a part of this group of talented, gifted and altruistic people. I am most hopeful that someday soon the fight will be won and there will be a cure.” 

Adam Selkowitz and others including Emcee Niles Fitch

The latest event raised over a quarter of a million dollars, all while highlighting fashion, friendship,and fun. “At the heart of Lupus LA is our collective ability to listen to patients and create the opportunities that help them thrive despite their disease,” said Adam Seklowitz, producer and Chairman of Lupus LA. “We are here to tell your story, and to remind the world that, collectively, this disease is our fight.” 

Other distinguished guests included Ali Hillis of Grey’s Anatomy, Donal Logue of Gotham, Gilles Marini of Days of our Lives, Nancy Utley Chairman of Fox Searchlight Pictures, Rosanna Arquette of Pulp Fiction, and Tom Arnold of 3 Days with Dad, among others.   

Funds raised at the event will go to support Lupus LA’s goals of finding the causes of and cure for Lupus, and providing support, services and more to those affected. Roughly 90% of people suffering from the disease are women; this year’s Luncheon focused on celebrating female patients, and presenting an environment of beauty, empowerment and strength to help combat the frustrating condition.  For more information, visit

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Valerie Milano is the well-connected Senior Editor and Entertainment Critic at, a website that aggregates showbiz news curated for, and written by, insiders of the entertainment industry. (@HwoodTimes @TheHollywood.Times) Milano, whose extraordinary talents for networking in the famously tight-clad enclave of Hollywood have placed her at the center of the industry’s top red carpets and events since 1984, heads daily operations of a uniquely accessible, yet carefully targeted publication. For years, Milano sat on the board and tour coordinator of the Television Critics Association’s press tours. She has written for Communications Daily, Discover Hollywood, Hollywood Today, Television International, and Video Age International, and contributed to countless other magazines and digests. Valerie works closely with the Human Rights Campaign as a distinguished Fed Club Council Member. She also works with GLSEN, GLAAD, Outfest, NCLR, LAMBDA Legal, and DAP Health, in addition to donating both time and finances to high-profile nonprofits. She has been a member of the Los Angeles Press Club for a couple of years and looks forward to the possibility of contributing to the future success of its endeavors. Milano’s passion for meeting people extends from Los Feliz to her favorite getaway, Palm Springs. There, she is a member of the Palm Springs Museum of Art and a prominent Old Las Palmas-area patron.