Vanessa Bryant honors Kobe Bryant at the 2021 Baby2Baby Gala

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 13: Honoree Vanessa Bryant receives the Baby2Baby Giving Tree Award on stage at the Baby2Baby 10-Year Gala, presented by Paul Mitchell on November 13, 2021 in West Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Amy Sussman / Getty Images for Baby2Baby)
Image source: Getty / Amy Sussman

Vanessa Bryant was emotional about her late husband, Kobe Bryant, during her speech of thanks at the Baby2Baby 10-year-old gala on Saturday. Vanessa was a recipient of the rewarding Tree Award for her contribution to the organization. The last time she attended the gala in person was with Kobe in November 2019 shortly before his sudden death.

“I have to start by saying how much I miss my perfect date today. My husband Kobe loved attending,” Vanessa began in the speech, per. Variety. “With his big smile he looked at me and said, ‘Babe, it’s wildly fat. Tonight I’m yours plus one … It’s the only event I’m not obligated to do anything about. I’m going to be your date, help families and enjoy good food. ‘”

Vanessa, who brought her eldest daughter Natalia Bryant as her plus one, added that Kobe had a special connection to Baby2Baby after seeing “the amount of homelessness” in LA and would give back to mothers in need. “It was eye-opening for us and we wanted to do something about it, so we started our own fund to help.” An emotional Vanessa ended her speech by saying, “I want to thank my husband Kobe and my daughters Natalia, Gianna, Bianka and Capri. Without your love and support, I would not have this strength to be here tonight. I love you . “

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