Supporters turned out in droves for the 2022 Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles Gala on Saturday night. Celebrities from Chris Pine to Jimmy Kimmel turned out to honor the hospital’s life-saving work, dance the night away and, of course, enjoy a one-night-only performance from Justin Timberlake.
Held at the Barker Hanger in Santa Monica and hosted by Pine and his father Robert Pine, the celebration was the hospital’s first in-person gala since 2018, after the 2020 event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. CHLA CEO Paul S. Viviano told reporters on the red carpet that it was the biggest night the hospital has ever had.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to have it,” Viviano said of the annual celebration. “Here we are back in full force and it’s going to be the biggest crowd we’ve ever had and we’re going to raise more money tonight than we ever have.”
The evening ultimately raised more than $5.5 million for the hospital, whose mission is close to the hearts of many who attended, including the actor. Nikki DeLoachwho is chairman of the foundation’s board.
“My son had three surgeries at Children’s Hospital — his life was saved not once, but three times,” DeLoach said. “No mother and no father should ever have to choose between serving and saving their child. Because of fundraisers like tonight … we are able to financially ensure that these children’s lives are saved.”
DeLoach was also the force behind Timberlake’s performance. The two have been friends for more than three decades; they met at casting camp before joining “The Mickey Mouse Club” together. To convince him to perform, DeLoach said all she had to do was call him.
After dinner, attendees were served and speeches from honorees and special guests – including the Governor of California Gavin Newsom and Jamie Lee Curtis — concluded, it was time for the show. After an introduction from DeLoach, Timberlake sang his way to the stage and strolled through the audience singing Frank Sinatra’s “The Way You Look Tonight,” accompanied by a full band and three backup singers.
During a packed 40-minute set, Timberlake performed some of his biggest hits, including “Suit and Tie” and “Señorita,” but made the tracklist feel unique by layering different covers — from Al Green’s “Love and Happiness ” to Smokey Robinson’s “Cruisin’”—flowing seamlessly in and out of his own songs.
At the singer’s request, the crowd rose almost immediately as many rushed to the front of the flight hanger to get a better view of the performance. Taking a short break from the song and dance routine, Timberlake shared his own connection to CHLA through his brother-in-law Justin Bielwho was present with Timberlake’s actress wife Jessica Biel.
“My niece, Zaya, had life-saving heart surgery at CHLA,” Timberlake told the audience. “I’m humbled and I’m honored to be here tonight, and if you ever want me back to sing at my dinner, you know how to get me.”
Others in the star-studded gathering shared their connections to the hospital, including longtime CHLA supporters Kimmel, who attended with his wife Molly McNearney.
“Our son Billy had two open heart surgeries here … so we’re really grateful,” Kimmel told reporters. “We never imagined that this organization we supported would be a place we would go.”
For hosts Chris and Robert Pine, the connection to CHLA may not be immediate for their own family, but it is just as meaningful.
“Chris and I have been going in and reading to the kids, which we really love to do,” Robert Pine told reporters. “To see the smiles on these kids’ faces … they’re under incredible hardships and to be able to step in and create some joy with them, why wouldn’t you?”