From left to right: James Keach, Maria D'Angelo, Lee Woodruff, Hannah Storm, Jane Seymour, Marie Tillman. Photo credit: Angela Weiss
In the wake of the recent horrific violence in Boston, it is natural to focus on what is broken in the world and wonder if we will ever find a way to truly uplift and heal the human condition. Jimmy Dean once said, "I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination," and this weekend, Jane Seymour and husband James Keach hosted the 3rd Annual Open Hearts Foundation Gala at their home in Malibu and did just that.
To say that I am a fan of Jane's would be an understatement. As Dr Quinn, she put MacGyver to shame by single handedly taming the Wild West from the ravages of disease, vermin and an occasional sexy cowboy desperately in need of a bath.
Therefore, it was both an honor and a pleasure to be a part of the evening and enjoy Jane and James as they reminded all who attended that with an open heart anything is possible.
This year's honorees included ESPN's Hannah Storm, who shared her story and her devotion to removing the stigma attached to disfiguring vascular birthmarks unlocking the power and beauty of the human spirit, Bob & Lee Woodruff, who know all too well how life can change without warning as Bob suffered a traumatic brain injury in Iraq in 2006, Marie Tillman, widow soldier and NFL star Pat Tillman, who was joined by her husband, Joe Shenton, as well as Maria D'Angelo, whose own childhood gave her unprecedented insight into the pandemic that exists as we race to meet the needs of underprivileged families and children.
Then there was Jane. Dressed in a flowing blue dress, she literally floated through the crowd with an ease and grace that proved an open-heart can and will change the world. As humble as she is gorgeous, she took the time to meet, greet and make the hundreds of guests feel special in a way that only she can. So, when we found a quiet moment together, it was joyful noise as she spoke of the power of raw feelings and a sense of personal dignity and responsibility that her mother instilled in her and is the spark she hopes to ignite in others:
Communication is key and in the wake of all the human suffering we see each day I understand the instinct is to close off, but when we close off we are neither able to give nor receive love. Illness, death and disappointments are all part of life, but collectively we need to decide to remain open and allow space for hope, love and healing. When you think about it, what other choice do we have?
It was an evening that was as enchanting as the couple that hosted it. The hills of Malibu were truly alive with the sounds of love, laughter and hundreds of open hearts.
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