text by JENNY PETERS
What are friends for? If you’re Barbra Streisand, being a good pal means making the trip from your Malibu estate up the coast to Santa Barbara’s Bacara Resort, to be there when your best friend receives a special award from the Dream Foundation, at their 10th Annual Celebration of Dreams.
“I’ve always had a bit of stage fright,” Streisand admitted to the packed ballroom on November 18, 2011, “but I had to be here to honor my dear, dear friend Donna Karan.”
Karan had earlier sent her Spring 2012 collection down the catwalk with a fashion show sponsored by Saks Fifth Avenue, showing influences from Haiti where her Urban Zen Foundation has a strong presence. It’s her work as founder of that organization and other charitable entities that spurred the Dream Foundation to honor her at the gala.
“For 17 years, the Dream Foundation has granted the wishes of terminally ill people,” explained founder Thomas Rollerson to Yerevan Magazine earlier in the evening. “It’s about the quiet relief that we bring into the lives of families across the United States.”
But the bash was anything but quiet, as “American Idol” singer Pia Toscano hit the stage, followed by “Glee” stars Amber Riley and Naya Rivera, who belted out “I Am Beautiful.”
Then as deep-pocketed attendees like billionaire hair (and spirits) guru John Paul DeJoria and his wife Eloise, Priscilla Presley, Alan Thicke and Ivan Reitman got out their bidding paddles, funnymen Dan Aykroyd and Brad Garrett led a rousing live auction that included African safaris, a 12-person trip to the Amalfi coast and even a dinner at home with Morgan Freeman.
Once the auction was finally over, Streisand took the stage as her husband James Brolin looked on, to gush over Karan. “We are soul sisters, two nice Jewish girls from New York. She is a creative visionary, and I love her.”
What Streisand didn’t love, however, was the video cameraman who was filming the proceedings.
“That’s a very close-up shot!” the 69-year-old legendary perfectionist barked at him, when seeing herself magnified on the big screens that dotted the ballroom. “Could you move back, please?”
He complied quickly, and the show went on without another hitch, as Karan proudly accepted her prize and singer Macy Gray hit the stage. By the time she was finished, most of the Santa Barbara socialites were up on the catwalk, boogying down and happy to have raised more than half a million dollars to help make many dreams come true.