Reality Rally to host ‘Survivor’ premiere party to benefit Michelle’s Place

Reality Rally creator and founder Gillian Larson, pictured here at the 2019 Reality Rally in Old Town Temecula, will host a “Survivor” premiere party benefiting Michelle’s Place Cancer Resource Center at Wilson Creek Winery Wednesday, Feb. 12. Valley News/Jeff Pack photo

Gillian Larson is at it again. The “Survivor: Gabon” star and founder of Reality Rally benefiting Michelle’s Place Cancer Resource Center is kicking off the 10th year of fundraising for fun with a new event, the “Survivor” season 40 premiere party at Wilson Creek Winery, Wednesday, Feb. 12.

Season 40 of the popular CBS reality show that strands castaways on a deserted island with nothing but the clothes on their backs and a small bag of rice for food as they compete for a million dollars will pit previous season’s winners against one another in what CBS is calling an “epic” showdown to earn the title of sole survivor.

The new season, “Survivor: Winners at War” unites the most memorable, heroic and celebrated champions from the past two decades in the biggest battle in the show’s history, as the series’ best strategists of all time fight to earn the title of “Sole Survivor” again, not to mention an increased prize of $2 million, the largest jackpot in reality show history, CBS said.

Larson, who is no stranger to life on the island, will offer unique insights into life on the island in a fun-packed evening spanning the entire two hours of the season’s premier episode, all to raise money for her favorite local charity, Michelle’s Place.

“There is so much more than you see on the couch,” Larson said. “I would encourage people to come and ask questions. I am happy to give them insight into the game.”

Larson who has met all but three players in the new season’s cast, will also share her thoughts on “Survivor” legends such as Season 33 winner Adam Klein and four-time player, “Survivor Queen” Reality Rally player and the only two-time winner, Sandra Diaz-Twine and Season 22 winner “Boston” Rob Mariano.

“You can imagine all those super competitive people that have won once, it’s going to be a crazy, crazy season,” Larson said. “Several of the players have been here for Reality Rally.”

In addition to Reality Rally players, Larson also knows Mariano and many others through various events the players attend.

“In Sandra’s case I have spent endless time with her and Rob because we go to the same sort of functions together,” she said.

Attendees to the premiere will have a chance to win some cold hard cash in the “Survivor” pool from 7-10:30 p.m. With a $10 donation, partygoers can put their name into an urn representing the player they want to win. If that player wins, then one name will be drawn at random from the winner’s urn and be rewarded with a percentage of the pool.

“In the words of ‘Survivor’ host Jeff Probst, want to know what you are playing for,” Larson asked. “The winner of the ‘Survivor’ pool will be rewarded with 10% of the total pool.”

Cost for the event is just a $5 donation for Michelle’s Place, and like “Survivor” there will be no food, Larson said.

“But unlike ‘Survivor,’ there will be a cash bar,” Larson said.

Doors open at 7 p.m. for the event. Wilson Creek Winery is located at 35960 Rancho California Road in Temecula Valley Wine Country.

Larson is also looking for volunteers to help take donations at the door and for the “Survivor” pool. For more information on volunteering, contact Larson by email at

For more information on Reality Rally, visit

For more information on Michelle’s Place Cancer Resource Center, visit

Kim Harris can be reached by email at