Jay Leno Hosts; Matthew Morrison Headlines

LOS ANGELES – (Oct. 20, 2016) – The Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors honored Adele and Beny Alagem with the Philanthropic Leadership Award and Sylvester Stallone with the Heart of Hollywood Award at their 2016 Gala, tonight (Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016) at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, Beverly Hills. The sold-out event again featured Jay Leno as host with a performance by Broadway and Glee singing sensation Matthew Morrison. Paul Guerin and Robert Barth chaired the Gala.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors Regenerative Medicine Institute. Under the leadership of Clive Svendsen, PhD, the Kerry and Simone Vickar Family Foundation Distinguished Chair in Regenerative Medicine, the world-renowned institute advances the field of regenerative medicine by translating laboratory discoveries into stem-cell-based treatments for skeletal disorders and diseases of the brain, eye, pancreas, liver and blood.

Nearly 900 guests enjoyed a performance by the UCLA United Voices Choir before being welcomed by the evening’s event chairs, Paul Guerin and Robert Barth. Quipped Guerin, “This gala has become such a hot event that someone tried to bribe me to get him in by offering me two tickets to ‘Hamilton!’” Noted Barth, “We’re about two and a half years into our challenge to raise $30 million to fund our spectacular new Regenerative Medicine Institute. We’re proud to say that thus far we’ve raised over $15 million and are ahead of schedule.”

Jay Leno’s topical humor kept the audience laughing, noting “I love late October in LA. It’s that time of year when we’re haunted by monsters, goblins and other terrifying creatures … but don’t worry, in 19 days the election will be over!”

Broadway and Glee sensation Matthew Morrison dazzled the audience with his renditions of “Uptown Funk,” “Happy” and “It’s All Right With Me.”

Guerin returned to the stage to introduce a dramatic video that showed the actual creation of a living organism created from stem cells. Calling the work of Dr. Robert Barrett and his team, under the direction of Dr. Clive Svendsen, “a window into our future,” he reinforced the goal of “using these cell models to find powerful new treatments for diseases including Crohn’s, lupus and colitis … specifically designed for every individual patient.” As a further testament to the work of the Institute, Guerin announced that Regenerative Medicine Institute researchers received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to test a combination stem cell-gene therapy they developed to stall the progression of ALS. Additional work in the David and Janet Polak Stem Cell Core at Cedars-Sinai has a goal of turning a diabetic patients’ own stem cells into their own healthy pancreas cells, eventually eliminating a patient’s need for insulin.

Leslie Spivak, Chair of the Board of Governors, recognized the 12-year partnership with the evening’s title sponsor, Lexus. Lexus donated a 2017 Lexus LX 450H hybrid drive luxury vehicle, which was raffled off with all proceeds benefitting the Board of Governors Regenerative Medicine Institute.  Lexus was honored for its years of support and commitment to the Board of Governors.

Robert Barth presented the 2016 Heart of Hollywood Award to Sylvester Stallone, calling him not only “the Italian Stallion, but also a thoroughbred, the one you’d always be wise to bet on.” A hero off-screen as well as on, Barth noted the support of Stallone and wife Jennifer to Cedars-Sinai including the COACH for Kids program.

Paul Guerin was joined by his wife, Chair of the Cedars-Sinai Board of Directors, Vera Guerin to present the 2016 Philanthropic Leadership Award to Adele and Beny Alagem, noting their legendary community and philanthropic efforts. “With Beny and Adele,” said Vera Guerin, “it’s never a question of standing up for a worthy cause. The question for them is always ‘how can we help?’” Beny Alagem is the Chairman and Chief Executive of Alagem Capital Group and Oasis West Realty, an asset management firm that owns The Beverly Hilton Hotel and The Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills.

Guests also enjoyed a spirited live auction featuring a private tour of Jay Leno’s garage housing his collection of rare automobiles; a Crystal Cruise to Alaska; tickets to the 2017 Golden Globe® Awards; and a vacation in Los Cabos.

About the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors

Established in 1971, the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors is a diverse community of donors and leaders committed to supporting Cedars-Sinai by providing financial resources, educational experiences for its members and volunteer opportunities. In the past decade alone, the group has committed almost $100 million to fund lifesaving research and patient care at Cedars-Sinai. For more information on how to get involved with the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors, please call 310-423-7471.