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Glittering Event Makes $500,000 for Recovery

A foundation started by a family who lost their son to addiction draws a who's who of Hollywood heavyweights.

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The Shapiros with Pat O'Reilly and Chris
Lawford Orly Halevy

By Anna David

09/17/12

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On Saturday night, a glittering gathering of roughly 800—including Larry King, Nicole Richie, Kris Jenner, Buzz Aldrin and Robert Duvall—gathered at philanthropist Jeff Greene's palatial Beverly Hills estate to listen to X Factor finalist Chris Rene, dine on Wolfgang Puck's roasted chicken and red velvet cake and watch a Baracci of Beverly Hills fashion show. But they weren't doing this for nothing: $500,000 was raised for The Brent Shapiro Foundation, which was launched by the Shapiros (renowned defense attorney Robert Shapiro, his wife Linell and their son Grant) after they lost their beloved son and brother, Brent. He died in 2005 when he ingested half a hit of ecstasy with alcohol, having been sober for the previous 18 months. The completely dry event—which also featured a ferris wheel, photo booth and overflowing candy bowls—was MC'd by Pat O'Brien, who started things off by reciting the Serenity Prayer. "I didn't know I was a celebrity until Larry King did an hour on me," O'Brien joked, before praising the Shapiros for "turning a horrible tragedy into a positive." Robert, Linell and Grant also spoke movingly about the way this year's funds will be spent: plans include a pilot program in Boyle Heights called "Brent's Club," offering incentives to kids who stay clean and remain in school.

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