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A Star-Studded Night At La Dolce Vita Gala

Caitlyn Jenner, Ne-Yo, AnnaLynne McCord, Lana Parrilla, Young Jeezy, Willa Amai, Areva Martin

September 22, 2018, Beverly Hills, CA

On Saturday September 22nd Face Forward presented their annual charity gala in Beverly Hills on Rodeo Drive. The star-studded event was in the theme “La Dolce Vita” or a night in Rome this year and all the guests came dressed in beautiful Italian inspired clothing. The founder of Face Forward, Debra Alessi set the stage with an amazing red gown by Symone Prince couture. She spoke about her organization which helps provide counseling and reconstructive surgery to victims of domestic violence saying that she was so inspired by the survivors being honored tonight. There were several famous faces that came out to support the cause including Lana Parrilla of ABC’s Once Upon a Time, rapper Young Jeezy, and Real Housewives of Orange County star Gretchen Rossi. The night was full of amazing performers who came out to support the cause including rising singer/songwriter Willa Amai who is only 14! She gave an exclusive interview to Hollywood Glam magazine. She performed an original song to kick off the festivities. She told Hollywood Glam, “I originally wrote this song for a documentary about female veterans but at its core it’s really about strength for the people who’ve been affected by violence. I’m really excited to sing it tonight because I think it’s such an important message”.

She also shared what she was wearing saying, “this dress is actually from free people!”

The night was all about raising awareness for victims and several other celebs who came out to support as well including AnnaLynne McCord of Beverly Hills 90210 who talked to Hollywood Glam about why tonight was a cause close to her heart. She said, “I’m the president of Together with Heart, an anti-human trafficking organization. We fight human trafficking and sexualized violence in Cambodia, we’re raising awareness around the world; this is a global issue, it’s in every single country in the world. We have to show up for each other, you know, we’re all doing different versions of the same thing. It’s about rescue rehabilitation reintegration. It’s about empowerment, it’s about inspiration that’s what tonight is about. It’s about all of these amazing people showing up.” She opened up about her own experiences sharing her story saying, “I’m a survivor of sexual abuse since I was a child, and people have shown up for me in my life and if they hadn’t, I probably wouldn’t be here talking to you right now because I didn’t wanna live for a long part of my life and my life makes sense now. So, every opportunity I have to know that my story is worth something heals a part of me that was broken and I’m just so honored to be here tonight.”

She also shared the details of her fabulous look for the gala saying, “Lindy Corley is my amazing stylist, the designer is from Dallas. I’m a southern girl, so I love a southern belle look. And gotta throw a little Bvlgari in there.”

Another celebrity who appeared was Caitlyn Jenner who was presented with the Achievement award by Areva Martin who also gave Hollywood Glam an exclusive interview.

She said, “It’s an amazing cause especially in this era of me too to have an organization that highlights the importance of keeping women safe and protected, I can’t think of a better thing to do.”

Caitlyn Jenner spoke about her latest work with her own foundation and praised Face Forward for inspiring her to start her own work.

Lanna Parrilla continued the presentation giving a speech to the crowd saying, “there are so many important messages being shared tonight.”

The gala was decorated in beautiful rose bouquets and soon everyone sat down to enjoy dinner and the top-notch entertainment. There was everything from big band music with a chorus line to a tango dance performance. The night culminated in a performance from the famous singer Ne-Yo who got the crowd going with a great performance.

Photo by: Brandon Davis

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