The evening was a family affair for actor Chris Evans who was there to support his openly gay brother and brought along his mom as his date and co-presenter. The two posed for photos before heading over to the bar to sip Ketel One cocktails. Chis wasn’t the only actor who had mom on his mind, The New Normal’s Andrew Rannells also told us his mom is what gives him courage. Rannells was the life of the party in the Ketel One VIP suite and was even greeted by friend Darren Criss with a kiss on the cheek, before Criss headed upstairs to prep for the beginning of the show, which he was opening. Rannells continued to mingle in the Ketel One VIP suite with Rumer Willis and beau Jayson Blair. Willis stunned in a floor length backless black gown and showed off her new long blonde locks. Willis wasn’t the only new blonde in town, singer and actress Kat Graham shocked everyone when she showed up with new platinum blonde hair.
Before the ceremony began, an exhausted Sara Ramirez sat in the Ketel One VIP suite to rest her feet and cool off after walking the long red carpet. On the other hand, White Collar’s Matt Bomer, one of the evening’s presenters, didn’t have time to rest as he was rushed through the suite to prep for the beginning of the show, though he later returned to mingle with friends. Also spotted hanging out in the VIP area was 90210’s Trevor Donovan who claimed he’s a huge fan of Ketel One vodka. Donovan was joined in the suite by MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts, who when asked what gives him courage wittily responded truth and good lighting! Fellow TV co-host, Maria Menounos, also posed for photos and had on-site help to touch up her hair before she smiled pretty for the cameras.
During the beginning of the show GLAAD spokesperson Wilson Cruz called upon the audience to donate to GLAAD’s cause. After audience member Boe Trumbull, Vice President of SBE Entertainment, gladly stood up and donated $25,000.00, Ketel One’s 11th generation distiller Carl Nolet Jr. was the first to match the generous donation and was quickly followed by both Leonardo DiCaprio and Harvey Weinstein. Following Leo’s donation, Cruz then joked that Leo would need a Ketel One cocktail and of course this one would be on the house. The evening’s theme of raising money for a great cause didn’t end there, later on in the evening Betty White and Magic Mike’s Alex Pettyfer each auctioned off a kiss. Always the comedian, White joked that she would say “she’s glad to be here, but that would be corny.” Fellow veteran entertainer, Cloris Leachman, made a bid on her pal Betty White and went up on the stage to give her a smooch.
During the show, Boston native Maria Menounos took time to honor those who were affected by the nation’s most recent tragedy saying she is Boston strong. Menounos stood onstage alongside Ketel One’s 11th generation distiller Carl Nolet Jr. and MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts to raise their glasses to honor GLAAD co-founder Dean Hansell, who received the Founders Awards for his 27 years of dedication and service to GLAAD. The night wasn’t complete until the evening’s most anticipated honoree, President Bill Clinton was awarded with the Advocate for Change Award. In his acceptance speech President Clinton praised his daughter Chelsea and her husband saying they’ve forced him to confront the fact that people who oppose change are acting out of concerns of their own identity and was later surprised onstage by Chelsea herself, who presented him with an award. The evening of fundraising for GLAAD’s cause lasted well into the night and concluded with a special performance by Kelly Rowland.