Actresses Gabrielle Union and Kate Hudson were honored by the Women’s Cancer Research Fund at its “An Unforgettable Evening” Gala on Thursday, per The Hollywood Reporter.
The gala was held at the Beverly Wilshire hotel in Los Angeles in a marble-lined ballroom and was filled with “breast cancer awareness pink” from room to room. Honorary chairs for the night included actress and breast cancer survivor Rita Wilson, Kate Capshaw and legendary director Steven Spielberg. Other attendees included Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth.
Union received the WCRF Unsung Hero Award for using her platform to spread the message of the importance of breast cancer screenings and prevention. The Being Mary Jane star also ran in The Global Race for the Cure in Washington, D.C., in honor of her friend, Kristen Martinez, who the actress lost to cancer in 2012. Union took time out to honor her friend during her acceptance speech and said she was accepting the award on her behalf.
“The last time I saw her, I asked her what do you want me to say? What do you want me to do? And she said, ‘Don’t let me die in vain,'” the Bring It On star said during her speech. “She also said, ‘Don’t let them bury me without waxing my mustache.’ But I promised her that I would carry on the work we started together and not stop until there is a cure.”
Hudson was honored with the WCRF Courage Award and was joined by her parents, Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. The Raising Helen star noted her acceptance speech as the “most challenging things” she’s had to do. She accepted the award on behalf of her godmother and aunt, who both died of cancer. The actress also honored her grandmother, who is a cancer survivor.
“Cancer makes me mad as hell. It’s taken too many lives. So many times we think of courage as the fight, and rightfully so,” the actress said during her speech. “I’ve seen many women who have also won that fight, and they are all heroes to me,” Hudson said. “I also want to highlight the courage it takes to let go.”
Cyrus performed her song, “The Climb,” to end the event. Cancer has recently hit the former Hannah Montana star on a personal level, as her grandfather lost his battle with cancer 10 years ago to the day of the gala. The Hollywood Reporter reported that Cyrus and Hemsworth donated $10,000 via text to honor her creative partner, Diamond, who recently began chemotherapy.
“It doesn’t matter what kind of cancer you have, they all suck,” Cyrus said during her performance, which she dedicated to her late grandfather.