The Mark in Los Angeles was full of elegant guests, beautiful artwork and a feeling of celebration. This was exactly what the founders of Drawing Hope International wished for their Masquerade Gala.
Drawing Hope supporters chat with Compassion with Fashion reporter, Michelle Abraham.
Drawing Hope’s goal is to “change the global dialog about rape and abuse from one of brokenness to one that helps people connect with strength, beauty and freedom.”
Celebrities joined together to discuss their personal connections to the cause and what it means to them to give back to the community.
Hollywood host, Amy Paffrath, emceed the event, beginning with the encouragement for all attendees to have fun and enjoy the music. She set the stage for everyone to celebrate life and hope.
Three awards were given out at the event. Ariel Winter presented the Heart of Hope Award to friend and colleague, AnnaLynne McCord. Ariel expressed her love and admiration for AnnaLynne’s exceptional contributions to the cause, most notably, her work with the Somaly Mam Foundation.
Rakefet Abergel presented the Point of Courage Award to Laura Slade Wiggins. Rakefet, a sexual abuse survivor and actress, worked with Laura on the show, Shameless, where Laura plays Karen Jackson, a sexual abuse survivor who challenges the idea of a survivor, encouraging other survivors to embrace their stories in a unique fashion. Laura accepted the award and hoped to motivate others to stand up in their own skin.
Shantel VanSanten gave the most emotional presentation of the night as she presented the Point of Faith Award to one of Drawing Hope’s members, Pranaadhika Sinha Devburman. Shantel is the Ambassador of Team True Beauty, an organization that supports those struggling with self-esteem and body image. She gave a moving speech, including sharing Pranaadhika’s personal story of years of sexual abuse.
At 11-years-old, Pranaadhika started her own support group, Elaan, in India where an event like the Masquerade Gala would be illegal. Elaan now includes 122 members throughout India, and has spread to include over 60,000 people online.
The Gala included a delicious meal, a live and silent auction, and musical performances celebrating survivors and supporters.
It takes a village to create such an amazing event like the Masquerade Gala, and that village included: Drawing Hope International Co-Founders, David Ilan and Michelle Easter, Jolson Creative Image PR, led by Nadine Jolson, and GBK Productions, led by CEO Gavin Keilly.