By Brandi Fowler
Updated Apr 16, 2016 @ 10:15 am
Jeffrey Mayer

Not even the start of Coachella weekend could keep stars from heading to the Race to Erase MS Gala in Beverly Hills, Calif. Friday evening. And for good reason: The annual event, held at the Beverly Hilton this year, raises funds to provide treatment and find a cure for multiple sclerosis, which many of the attendees were personally affected by.

Maze Runner star Katherine McNamara, who sported a cut-out black dress to the event, told InStyle how MS hit home for her, saying, “Someone who is very near and dear to my heart, who has had a huge effect on my life, has MS. So, it’s very personal for me to be able to come out and support an organization that has made such progress in this field.”

Longtime Race to Erase MS supporters, Carmen Electra and Garcelle Beauvais, were also on hand, with Electra telling us she has attended the gala for over a decade to support the cause. “I know a couple of people who have it and [Race to Erase Founder] Nancy Davis is an amazing strong woman who is saying they’re very close to finding a cure,” the actress, who stunned in a gold-belted green Ina dress, said. “She knows the best doctors. She’s been influential in my friends’ lives by helping connect them with those doctors and she knows how to put on a real charity event.”

Jeffrey Mayer

As stars like Ashley Tisdale, Naya Rivera, Camilla Luddington, Dove Cameron and more headed inside the International Ballroom, co-host LL Cool J hit the stage and introduced Davis, who received a standing ovation. Jaime Pressly also took the stage in a pink gown to kick off the live auction, but before she did, she paid tribute to her friend Jamie Lynn-Sigler who revealed her MS diagnosis earlier this year.

The Mom star said Sigler was absent because of work and is “just as good as she’s ever been,” adding, “It’s a tough thing when you’re in the limelight—to tell people what’s wrong. So, kudos to her for telling us what’s right about MS and the fight and the race to erase.”

As for the auction items, several trips to destinations around the world sold for thousands, but a tiny Pomeranian puppy stole the show as he cuddled up in Cameron’s arms and sold for $9,000. There were also several performances throughout the night, including Eric Benet singing Nat King Cole’s “Unforgettable” in a tribute to longtime Race to Erase supporter Natalie Cole, who passed away last year.

Tisdale, who was on hand with her husband, introduced Jordan Smith, who sang “Stand in the Light” and “Somebody to Love.” But, it was KISS who brought everyone to their feet as they rocked the gala with a mini concert, singing their hits, including, “Calling Dr. Love.” It was not only a night of charity, but a celebratory evening of entertainment and fellowship for attendees who came to make a difference and did just that.