Well-heeled “Bag Ladies” compete for handbags to help Lupus LA

Dahn Ballard, Melissa Joan Hart, Taylor Spreitler, Kellie Martin (photo by Margie Barron)

Dahn Ballard, Melissa Joan Hart, Taylor Spreitler, Kellie Martin (photo by Margie Barron)

 Well-heeled ladies started a bidding war for handbags that would put the “Hunger Games” competition to shame. That was the crazy-fun scene at the 11th Annual Lupus LA Hollywood Bag Ladies Luncheon.

  The Lupus LA event is always a gathering place for Hollywood’s most charitable celebrities and socialites who flocked to the Beverly Wilshire Hotel to pick up pricey pocketbooks. The fundraiser features a silent auction where guests get very passionate about staking their claim on handbags donated from elite designers and stars. After the opening reception bidding frenzy, the ladies were treated to lunch and a dazzling “Parade Of Handbags” fashion show featuring bags from designers including Burberry, Jimmy Choo and Fendi.

 The record breaking luncheon raised almost half a million dollars for Lupus LA, making it the most successful Hollywood Bag Ladies Luncheon in its 11 year history. The four extraordinary women who were honored as Women of Achievement also made the event very special.

 Kelly Stone has been involved with Lupus LA from the beginning, and she and her famous sister Sharon Stone, were honored along with their mother Dorothy Stone. Sharon was on a flight overseas but send Snoopzilla (aka Snoop Dog) to pick up her trophy. And Janice Wallace has been devoted to the growth of Lupus LA, which goes beyond the fact that she is the wife of Dr. Daniel Wallace, founder of Lupus LA. All join in the fight against the devastating autoimmune disease.

 Joining the ladies was Noah Alexander who was honored with the new Adam Selkowitz Outstanding Volunteer Award. All deserve kudos, along with event chairs Carrie Brillstein, Dorothy Ellis and Marla Paxson.

 Melissa Joan Hart (Sabrina the Teenage Witch) was on hand as a Lupus LA Ambassador. A former Woman of Achievement honoree, she has supported the cause for years, and she was there with her mom, producer Paula Hart, and her Melissa & Joey TV daughter Taylor Spreitler, actress Dahn Ballard, and good friend Kellie Martin (who stars in the most wonderful Hallmark Channel holiday film The Christmas Ornament). It was a joy to see them all and their concern for all the women affected by the disease. Lupus is on the rise and it’s a mystery that needs more research and awareness—that is what the event was all about. Fighting for fancy handbags just made it more fun.

 The emcee was Louise Roe, the stylish host of NBC’s Fashion Star designer competition. Other celebrity attendees included Nikki Reed (Twilight), Angie Everhart, Kathy Hilton, Eden Sassoon, Brittny Gastineau, Lisa Gastineau, Jackie Cruz, and the Shahs of Sunset girls. All loved the Bag Ladies Luncheon turning it into “the Hunger Games for handbags.” #

Margie Barron has written for a wide variety of outlets including Gannett newspapers, Nickelodeon, Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine, Fresh!, Senior Life, Production Update, airline magazines, etc. Margie is also proud to have been half of the husband & wife writing team Frank & Margie Barron, who had written together for various entertainment and travel publications for more than 38 years.