HOLLYWOOD-Philanthropy is usually always at the heart of a Hollywood gifting suite. Whether it’s the Academy Awards or the just completed MTV Movie Awards, no one does it better than GBK. GBK, the premiere gifting suite for celebrities during awards season, is a longtime mainstay for charitable organizations to bring their causes to the land of Hollywood.
The GBK 2013 MTV Movie Awards Gifting Suite, hosted by the “W” Hotel in Hollywood, was no different. From puppy love to health causes, local and national charities made their home at the GBK MTV Movie Awards Gifting Suites, trying to persuade and convince stars to hopefully link their names with organizations.
Reality TV star Laura Govan (VH1’s Basketball Wives LA) stopped by to show her support for Lambda Legal. America’s Top Model Season one winner Eva Garcille made her way to Steps4Paws and Yes! Beat Liver Tumors booths. Tempestt Bledsoe (Cosby) and Tahara Barney (Real Housewives of Orange County) hooked up with the Cookie Connection, which donates money to support seven orphanages in Liberia.
Actress Lisa Raye McCoy (VH1’s Single Ladies) is a big fan of Hall of Fame boxer Sugar Ray Leonard, so she had no problem checking in at the Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation table to be there for her friend.
“There’s a bunch of foundations that I want to be part of like the Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation that juvenile diabetes,” McCoy said. “I think when you are a celebrity you do have a platform to be able to use to our celebrityship to be able change people’s opinion about things.
“So for me, it’s more about my humanitarian side. It’s more about supporting the vendors, even up and coming companies, and being able to come here and network. That’s what it’s all about. Sometimes you can’t get that inside the store. And when you come here and they want to give you things, the least I can do is tweet about it-whether I like it or not and be able to pass that word on.”
The charity thing was working all weekend as plenty of celebrities stopped and lent their support to the GuardaHeart Foundation as well as the Lopez Foundation, which is associated with comedian and actor George Lopez. Jason Ritter, the son late actor John Ritter, helped presented a check-along with Aviir-to the GuardaHeart Foundation, a nonprofit raising awareness about heart disease, for $100,000.
Of course, there was plenty of glam to the two-day vendor-celebrity mingling. Actor Robbie Jones (Temptation) looked like he was having a ball hanging out with the folks at bigtruck brand hats and Barbar Hair Care Products.
Govan looked like she was going to tear up when she saw Jada Toys, Inc.’s hot Cutie Pops Dolls, something of a must for young girls all around the country.
And since this was a high-glam event, it wouldn’t have been what is was without something close and personal for the ladies. That meant beauty accessories such as impress Press-on Manicure by Broadway Nails that got Lisa Raye McCoy’s attention.
Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger messed around and got her a pair of earphones from Sol Republic. Stanger said listening to music on her earphones is the perfect way to tune everything else out when she is on the road traveling.
“I look for comfort. I look for sound and I look for usability,” Stanger said. “There are a lot of bad headphones out on the market. I’ve always been a Boze girl. I know everbody loves the Beatz, but Beatz are heavy for a girl. I like to have a light thing when I travel. I travel all over the country on a regular basis, so my headphones are my go-to crabs because we like to block out people. It’s my quiet place. I like a very clean sound.”
While the buzz centered on a lot of the hot items for stars to pick up over the weekend, the charities that partnered with GBK, certainly benefited from the exposure. Many of them like Yes! Beat Liver Tumors just wanted to spread the word on how they are affecting lives through the work they are doing.
Suzanne Lindley, founder and executive director of Yes! Beat Liver Tumors, is a great example of how the networking exchange between celebrities and vendors can be a win-win situation for all involved.
Lindley was diagnosed with colon cancer at 31. The cancer spread into her liver. Lindley and her family believed there was little or close to no hope for survival and prepared for the inevitable, even going as far as picking a funeral home and casket for her. Needless to say, Lindley, today at 45, has become a living testimony on how to beat the odds.
She takes it one day at a time. A key to her survival has been her positive energy.
“Every day is a gift,” Lindley said. “It is a blessing. I got lucky and found treatment that helped brought me back from the edge. I’ve been able to have more treatments since then and decided that I would spend my time trying to make sure other people don’t feel as frightened and alone as I did.”