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Stars Celebrate Fairies, Fundraising and Fashion

13 Oct, 2008 By: Chris Tribbey

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — What do Cybill Shepherd, Dick Van Dyke, Natasha Henstridge and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa have in common?

They all once believed in fairies. And they all still believe in a great cause.

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment brought Hollywood’s elite together at the Beverly Hilton Oct. 11 for the fifth annual Runway for Life, where a fashion show celebrated Disney’s Oct. 28 release of Tinker Bell, and funds were raised for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

“A lot of what we do at Disney is great, but to take a property like Tinker Bell, and lend the Disney magic to something as wonderful as St. Jude, it’s really exciting,” said Bob Chapek, president of Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment.

Top models and celebrities took to the catwalk during a dinner gala where more than 1,000 attendees helped raise nearly $2 million for research and treatment for children with cancer and other diseases.

“I loved all those Disney shows. I believed in Tinker Bell and the Fairy Godmother when I was a boy,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. “This is a great cause, this hospital, treating children with cancer, whether or not they have insurance.

“The least we can do is lend our support.”

Shepherd, who said she has attended the event every year, reminisced about when St. Jude was founded in 1962 in her hometown of Memphis.

“It was such a huge deal,” she said. “Who would have thought it would become what it is today? Because of them, the chances for a child surviving cancer have gone up more than 70%. That is a miracle.”

As for Tinker Bell, Shepherd said, “I remember it wasn’t Tinker I wanted to be, it was Peter Pan!”

Henstridge called Tinker Bell “a sassy little character” and said she’d pick up the DVD when it was released.

“This is the most important event for children’s cancer research, and [St. Jude’s] shares its research with hospitals around the world,” she said.

Tinker Bell director Brad Raymond said the Blu-ray Disc version of the film provides a beautiful picture, and the bonus features will provide hours of added entertainment. He said that perhaps the hardest job that confronted him and his crew was choosing the first-ever voice for Tinker Bell (Mae Whitman from Independence Day and “Arrested Development”).

“We thought subtitles wouldn’t be a good idea,” Raymond joked, referring to Tinker Bell’s voice represented as ringing bells in the original Peter Pan.

“Everyone’s wondering what her voice will sound like,” Van Dyke mused. “It might be a baritone!”

William Shatner, Jennifer Love-Hewitt, Hilary Duff, Jason Alexander and Daisy Fuentes were among the other stars to attend the event.

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