Byron Allen’s Oscar Gala a festive celebration and fundraiser on Hollywood’s biggest night

Audience members wined, dined and cheered as they watched the Academy Awards at a fundraising event for the Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

Byron Allen knows how to throw a party.

His 2023 Oscar Gala, which took place on Sunday night at the fabulous Beverly Wilshire was a night to remember. 

As previously reported by theGrio, the gala returned for the first time since 2020 and is a benefit for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, “one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers devoted to children and the No. 1 provider of pediatric medical care in Los Angeles County (the most populous in the nation),” with a reach that “extends even further.”

Allen, CEO of theGrio’s parent company Allen Media Group, has hosted the gala since 2017 and has raised millions for the hospital. Throughout the evening, a special QR code was shown on the many screens alongside the Oscars broadcast, and guests could use the code to make donations to the hospital right from their seats. 

Celebrity guests and others were treated to a night of fancy hors d’oeuvres (lamb chops! mushroom and truffle mini quiches, and the biggest shrimp you have seen in your life) and endless champagne. 

Among those present for the event were Jackée Harry, celebrity hairstylist Elgin Charles, “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Garcelle Beauvais, actresses Yvette Nicole Brown, Vivica Fox, and Holly Robinson Peete as well as Peete’s husband, former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete. 

Cheryl Boone Isaacs, former president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, was also in attendance, and she captivated the room in a shimmering pantsuit that made her stand out amongst everyone else. 

“This is Byron Allen’s best event of the year for the Allen Media Group, and it helps support a worthy cause — the L.A. Children’s Hospital,” Harry told theGrio. “Regardless of color and age, they take any kid and help them get well.”

Harry added that she supports this event each time it happens. 

Her guest, Elgin Charles, said he loves the Academy Awards, and he enjoyed all the movies that have been nominated. 

“I love Angela Bassett,” he said. “I think she deserves every accolade that she gets because she is so wonderful and works so hard, and she has been such a role model, and she is a client of mine as well, so I’m rooting for her.”

Beauvais said it plainly. 

“I am rooting for everybody Black,” she quipped, taking a note from actress Issa Rae. 

“I am here because Byron throws an amazing party, and the fact that he has partnered with Children’s Hospital of L.A. is everything to me,” she added. “Also, hello, Diana Ross!” The Motown legend was set to perform after the Oscars broadcast.

Beauvais said when her own children were younger, they would go every year and deliver presents to the children in the hospital. 

When the cocktail hour ended and the ceremony began, guests were seated at lavish tables throughout the ballroom at the Beverly Wilshire and treated to a dinner that included a “duet” main entree of rosemary-lemon chicken supreme and Chilean sea bass. 

The atmosphere was festive, and everyone’s attention was turned to the giant screens around the room showing the Oscars. 

Reactions to the award winners seemed mild until Ruth Carter won an Oscar for costume design for her work on “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” She also made history, becoming the first Black woman to win two Oscars. When her name was announced, the room erupted in loud cheers and applause, drowning out everything else that was being said on the telecast until Carter herself took the stage to give her acceptance speech. 

Of course, watching the awards show together was just the tip of the iceberg, because everyone, like Beauvais, was waiting to see the fabulous Diana Ross perform at the end of the night.

Monique Judge is a storyteller, content creator and writer living in Los Angeles. She is a word nerd who is a fan of the Oxford comma, spends way too much time on Twitter, and has more graphic t-shirts than you. Follow her on Twitter @thejournalista or check her out at

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