The Stars Come Out For Second 'Shake It Till We Make It' Gala



BY SARAH HECHT

Glitz and glam, humor and humility. Uniting to fight Parkinson’s disease. The second annual Brian Grant Shake It Till We Make It! Celebrity Gala took place at the Rose Garden Sunday night. The home of the Portland Trail Blazers was transformed into a spectacular ball room to host the hundreds of guests in attendance, all committed to raising money for an important cause, the battle against Parkinson’s.

A star-studded event, the celebrity Red Carpet was graced by the likes of former Trail Blazers Bill Walton, Geoff Petrie, and Darnell Valentine. The inimitable Charles Barkley and comedian Sinbad were among the countless celebrities who unanimously agreed that coming to Portland to support their friend Brian Grant was a weekend well spent. Many will also participate in the Celebrity Golf Challenge at Pumpkin Ridge to raise even more money. There seemed to be no limit to the magnitude of love and generosity for Brian and his cause.

Sinbad launched the program with his signature brand of sarcastic humor. Portland culture, bike lanes, rescue dogs and public transportation were given a comedic twist as the crowd roared with laughter. Barkley wasn’t safe from the clever funny-man either, as Sinbad chided the former all-star and current TNT commentator from top to bottom.

The entertaining warm-up preceded the true treat of the evening. Keynote speaker Rasheda Ali, daughter of Muhammad Ali, educated and inspired guests with her passion for moving forward with Parkinson’s research. Anecdotal stories about her father’s battle and the journey of their family tugged at the hearts of the enthralled audience. To say there wasn’t a dry eye in the house would be an understatement.

Ali’s speech culminated with a powerful thank you to Brian Grant and the reveal of his new project, a comprehensive, educational and community-based website for the millions suffering with Parkinson’s disease and their families. Poweringforward.org launched simultaneously with the gala and is now available to support the Parkinson’s community all over the world. The site is billed as a place for those dealing with Parkinson's to "share stories and advice, ask questions and get the answers to live life to the fullest."

With emotion and inspiration thick in the air, attendees of the gala didn’t disappoint during the auction. Over $500,000 dollars was raised to benefit the Brian Grant Foundation. The top auction item, a four-day Alaskan fishing trip with Grant and fellow NBA superstar Karl Malone fetched $36,000 for the cause.

Robert Randolph and the Family Band closed the evening with a smashing musical performance. Attendees danced the night away to celebrate the success of a wonderful night and the power of community to make a difference in the world of families affected by Parkinson’s disease.

Click here to view photos from the Shake It Till We Make It Celebrity Gala