More than a dozen Hallmark stars attended the sixth annual Dance Party to End ALZ in Nashville on November 12, 2023. But some were nearly unrecognizable, dressed up as pop culture icons from the early 2000s, from Britney Spears to Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain, as they raised money for Alzheimer’s research.
The Alzheimer’s Association fundraiser founded by Hallmark actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley was hosted this year by her sister, actress Ashley Williams, and their Hallmark colleague Nikki DeLoach. They rallied a large group of Hallmark stars to attend — with some even singing and dancing onstage — including Andrew Walker, Erin Cahill, Benjamin Ayres, Alicia Witt, Kristoffer Polaha, Ginna Claire Mason, Brooke D’Orsay, Cindy Busby and Sarah Drew.
The Hallmark crew partied late into the night, including gathering after the event at Williams-Paisley’s home and having a sing-along with her husband, country music star Brad Paisley.
Here’s what you need to know:
Hallmark Stars Wore Costumes Paying Homage to Pop Culture Icons From the Early 2000s
In a video captured by actress Jen Lilley that she shared to her Instagram Stories, Williams — dressed alongside DeLoach as the clown fish from “Finding Nemo” — told the audience of stars and fans how much their support meant, having lost her own mom to a form of Alzheimer’s in 2016, per Southern Living.
“I don’t know how to thank you,” Williams told the crowd. “I love each of you forever and always. I will never forget this.”
Among the throwback outfits worn in honor the event’s theme, celebrating music of the early 2000s, three Hallmark stars paid homage to pop star Spears.
Busby crimped her hair and wore a crop top emblazoned with Spears’ image, Witt performed Spears’ hit “Lucky” while wearing a red crop top and a blond wig, and Drew went all-out in the schoolgirl outfit and pigtails from Spears’ “Baby One More Time” video.
“Christmas Island” star Walker had multiple costume changes during the night, starting with a blond wig and striped shirt reminiscent of Nirvana’s lead singer Cobain. Later in the evening, he changed into a blue track suit to serve as a backup dancer with DeLoach, Williams and Cahill while Mason, who is a well-known Broadway star, performed Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats.”
Walker was photographed with Hallmark pals including actor and musician Paul Greene, director Ryan Murphy, and Ayres, who wore a tank top featuring a throwback photo of the “Mickey Mouse Club” that included DeLoach, who was part of the cast in the 90s.
Though the Alzheimer’s Association has not yet shared official figures from the evening, Walker, who was part of the planning committee with Williams and DeLoach, told Heavy before the event that they’d already far surpassed their original $100,000 fundraising goal.
Hallmark Stars Partied With Music Stars at the Dance to End ALZ & After the Show With Brad Paisley
After the fundraiser, a group of Hallmark stars gathered around the bar at the home of Williams-Paisley for a nightcap. Her Grammy-winning husband has a new album due out in early 2024, according to Variety, and led a singalong on one of the new tunes, as seen in an Instagram video posted by Ayres.
Ayres wrote, “Thank you @kimberlywilliamspaisley and @bradpaisley for welcoming us into your home very late at night and allowing us rowdy @hallmarkchannel folks the experience of singing back-up vocals for your awesome new song 🎤 🥃 🎶”
According to an Instagram Story shared by the Alzheimer’s Association, Thompson told the crowd, “I have friends who’ve had to deal with Alzheimer’s and it’s a horrible thing. I’m just grateful to be a part of this night.”
Another “American Idol” alum, Melinda Doolittle, performed Beyonce’s hit single “Crazy in Love.” Married country singers Kylie Morgan and Jay Allen, who are major supporters of the Alzheimer Association since Allen’s mom died of the disease, performed Third Eye Blind’s “Kryptonite.” And rising country star MaRynn Taylor sang an Avril Lavigne tune, according to the Alzheimer Association.
Meanwhile, in addition to Mason and Witt’s performances, others connected to the Hallmark crew sang onstage, too. Cahill’s musician husband Paul Freeman performed The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside” and Greene sang the White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army.”