You have not experienced a truly breathtaking gala until you have participated in a Brent Shapiro Foundation gala, where the creme de la creme of the upper crust of Southern California rub shoulders. The guests, beautifully dressed and bejeweled, show up to show off, attending to honor the memory of the young, vibrant Brent Shapiro who lost his life to drugs; they donate to the foundation in his memory so it can continue doing its job, to conquer alcohol and drug dependency and addiction, so Brent’s loss of life case can, one day, become unique.
Each year, the ‘Summer Spectacular for Drugs and Alcohol Awareness’ Gala is held in a magnificent estate, and this year it was at the Vicki Walters’ estate in Beverly Hills. The guests were seated on the horse meadow, turned huge dining area where they enjoyed a dinner served by Wolfgand Puck under a fabulous full moon skies.
The evening began with a moment of silence in the name of Brent Shapiro, and all other addicts who are still struggling every single day with their addiction.
The foundation employs only one person and everyone else is a volunteer. Talk show host Shaun Robinson emceed the evening. Sharon Stone impressively conducted the auction; recording artist Brenna Whitaker entertained the guests; Natalie Cole performed one song, for which several thousand dollars were donated; TV reality show ‘Dancing With The Stars’ dance instructors, Karina Smirnoff and Maksim Chmerkovsiy danced and the Spirit of Sobriety Award was given to Jack Osbourne, the son of Sharon and Ozzy for his sobriety. Many other familiar faces were spotted among the 1000 guests who attended.
The Foundation has expanded its activities and is now also working extensively with children to teach them how to avoid entering the forbidden path of drugs and alcohol.
Brent was clean, he made the USC Dean’s List but one evening he went to a party and forgot himself for one fatal moment; he drank an alcoholic beverage and took some Ecstasy and his body reacted badly. The misfortune was that the person who accompanied Brent did not call 911, nor take him to the hospital, instead she took him to her home. By morning, with no oxygen flow to the brain, Brent was in a coma and could not be saved.
Addiction is a disease and it is believed that one is born with it; 100 addicts die every single day.
Brent’s parents, Linell and Robert Shapiro, and his brother, Grant, are working tirelessly to make sure that no other family goes through what they went through. They believe it takes a friend to save a friend.
Life can be bitter or better. The Brent Shapiro Foundation is there to make it better and year in and year out the support for this cause is growing with a studded sadness.