Smash Mouth Rocks The White Light White Night Fundraising Gala

By Vanessa Bisetti

Being charitable has never been more enjoyable than at the sixth annual White Light White Night event put on by the Walk with Sally foundation. Walk with Sally, founded by Nick Arquette, provides mentoring support programs for children whose parents or siblings currently have or have died of cancer.  Every year hundreds attend the dress-to-impress event all with the mindset of contributing to the amazing cause, and having fun while doing so.

A red carpet led guests into the event where the mood was set for a good time with Patron as the main sponsor.  The all white affair had the “Taste of South Bay” with samplings from local restaurants to provide decadent food for the evening.  While an opening band played, people enjoyed cocktails, food and great company before gathering near the stage for the live auction.  Luxury trips, meals with the finest chefs, and a variety of other offerings were auctioned off raising record amounts of money for the foundation.

The fun had only just begun; after the successful auction, guests came to their feet and surrounded the stage for the live concert from Smash Mouth.  Catching up with lead singer Steve Harwell proved to be far from boring as the witty, charming and very personable celeb dished on his rock star life.  Starting in a rap group Harwell made the switch to rock, as the rap business had lost his interest.  That switch that he describes as the best thing he ever did changed his world.  The band that began in 1994 has changed, with Harwell and Paul de Lisle being the only two original members, yet it has not affected the dynamics of the band.  Smash Mouth is releasing a new album in September that according to Harwell is “fucking amazing…the best record we’ve made in seven years.”  Harwell continued to say that fans could expect this album to be more mature, but still be very fun.

Harwell himself has always had a hand in contributing to others.  At home he always helped out especially around the holiday, such as going to food banks and homeless shelters.  Last year, a bet of $20 was offered to Harwell if he ate twenty-four eggs; this turned into a fundraiser for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, raising over $10,000.  Good friend and Food Network star, Guy Fieri, stepped in to cook the eggs for Harwell to eat.  “I almost threw up two seconds into it,” laughs Harwell, “Guy put everything I didn’t want in it.”  Playing at the White Light, White Night event was no question for Harwell stating, “Everything they’re talking about, I’ve been through.  So yeah, it’s special.”  Though he showed a soft side interviewing, the rocker’s wild side came out on stage with “I NEED A SHOT!” being Harwell’s quote of the night during Smash Mouth’s rocking concert.  A wild end to an amazing night benefiting the Walk with Sally foundation.

Photo by Kurt Steinmetz