When Jennifer Aniston is the guest of honor, you’ve gotta pull out all the stops. That’s exactly why each guest that entered L.A.’s W Hollywood rooftop Tuesday night reacted with audible gasps the moment they arrived at the gorgeous, all-white venue, where smartwater sparkling honored Aniston for her continuing work with St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. The entire space had been transformed with seemingly never-ending white and clear balloons, along with white tulips and calla lilies that floated in glass bubbles above the all-white dinner table.
“Look what they did. I don't even understand where we are,” the former Friends beauty said in amazement. But as the evening progressed, even the décor played second fiddle to the night’s true miracle. As a former St. Jude’s patient shared her brave story of fighting brain cancer as a small child, Aniston wiped away tears before jokingly asking the young girl, now in full remission, to do splits for her, which she did to rapturous applause.
“I’m so happy you’re here!” a touched Aniston told her guests, which included Courteney Cox, Emma Roberts (below, right) and Jamie-Lynn Sigler, as she encouraged them to enjoy the amazing food. Indeed, there was nothing but joy once the intimate party dug into celebrity chef Mike Voltaggio’s three-course meal of reimagined peas and carrots, a main dish of branzino or short rib, and a passion fruit dessert accompanied by a smartwater sparkling and strawberry mocktail.
Conversation ranged from plans for Oscar week to pregnancy chatter. “I was like, I think I should probably tell people I'm pregnant, before I make my way out,” laughed the baby-bump rocking Joanna Garcia Swisher (above, left), who earlier in the day had announced that she was expecting another baby.
But above all, there was a sense of appreciation in the room for how good things were, right in this moment. “We are very fortunate,” Aniston told InStyle of the importance of philanthropy in her life. “We live an extremely beautiful, fortunate life being able to do what we get to do for a living. And so it's a way of being able to be in a position to do something for people who are less able. It’s something that makes my heart smile.”