The fairytale monsters of NBC’s Grimm are scary. Not knowing how you’ll pay for lodging and travel when your child is sick is far scarier.
To aid families struggling to cover costs associated with their children’s illnesses, the NBC drama last year created the Grimmster Endowment, which benefits Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, Ore. — where the supernatural series shoots. This year’s charity gala, held Sunday and attended by the entire cast and several executive producers, raised $386,000 for the endowment.
“You created a sense of home for us, and we wanted to give back,” Sasha Roiz, Grimm‘s Capt. Renard, told the hometown crowd at the gala. Roiz spearheaded the initiative after visiting sick kids at the facility with his castmates, when the group was made aware of the “gaping hole” that can exist between costs covered by health insurance and those that are not.
The endowment helps parents like April Jeffs, who found it difficult to cover travel and transportation expenses when her son, Brenden Smith, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
“I am so grateful for all the care and support you have given us,” Jeffs tearfully told the crowd, as Smith — now in full remission — and his brother, Blaize Smith, stood on stage next to her.
Though the cause is a serious one, the tone of the evening was lighthearted and upbeat, thanks in part to Roiz, who served as emcee. Grammy winner Chris Thile, who is married to Grimm‘s Claire Coffee, provided musical entertainment. And even Doerbacher’s Dr. Dana A. Braner, interim chair of the hospital’s department of pediatrics, got in a few punchlines.
“As a doctor, I know that handsome is not contagious,” he said after hugging Roiz onstage. “But as a man, I can dream.”
Roiz also served as the evening’s emcee, presiding over an auction that included items from the series (such as Renard’s Jack the Ripper cap), fan experiences (including dinner with some of the actors, which went for $14,000) and special Grimm-themed items (like Nike Air Jordan 10s emblazoned with illustrations of Wesen and Michael Jordan’s autograph, donated by the Oregon-based sneaker company).
In addition to Roiz and Coffee, cast members in attendance included Bree Turner, Reggie Lee, Silas Weir Mitchell, David Giuntoli, Bitsie Tulloch, Russell Hornsby, Jacqueline Taboni and Danny Bruno. They were joined by series creators James Kouf and David Greenwalt, executive producer Noberto Barba, producer Lynn Kouf and more.