June 8, 2006
Full House of Hope
City of Hope is one of the largest BMT programs in the world and patients everywhere benefit from the transplant expertise and research conducted at its campus in Duarte.
Philanthropist Laurie Konheim, a member of City of Hope's board of regents and the organization's Cancer Immunotherapy & Stem Cell Research Committee, co-chaired the event. Honorary Faces of Hope committee members include actor Brad Garrett, supermodel Cindy Crawford, Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
Also at the event were Howard and Susan Gordon, owners of the Cheesecake Factory; Neil Portnow, CEO of the Recording Academy; Jordan Scott, daughter of director Ridley Scott; Val Zavala, KCET newscaster and member of the Faces of Hope honorary committee, and members of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
United in Charity
A fashion show featuring the extraordinary designs of Fe Zandi and the skinny models with legs up to their necks, (oh, why did I eat so much at lunch) rounded out the day.
Movies in Focus
Hollywood luminaries were honored at the Anti-Defamation League's (ADL) Entertainment Industry Awards, with Focus Features feted at the Beverly Hills Hotel event for distributing tolerance-themed films, such as the gay cowboy saga, "Brokeback Mountain."
Thespians William H. Macy and his wife, Felicity Huffman, emceed the evening, with remarks from Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and ADL Pacific Southwest Region Director Amanda Susskind.
"I can't think of an industry that has more reach and power to make a difference than the entertainment industry," Susskind said at the April 5 event. "When we see movies like 'Brokeback Mountain' and 'The Pianist,' we are reminded of this."
Focus Features co-presidents David Linde and James Schamus received the ADL's Distinguished Entertainment Industry Award. Schamus told the audience of more than 300 that given the number of films about oppressed minorities distributed by Universal Pictures-owned Focus, "If you're hated for who you are, you probably have a first-look deal with us."
"Lord of the Rings" executive producer Mark Ordesky, one of the dinner's co-chairs, said that he was fortunate when he grew up because he "never had to experience anything that ADL has combated. The [charity] work I do for ADL truly is the most gratifying." -- David Finnigan, Contributing Writer
The General Speaks
"Unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon was perceived by the Hezbollah as a victory and now it is perceived by Hamas as a victory as well," Ya'alon said. "This encourages and entices Islamic radicalism and they feel like they are winning".
Ya'alon also spoke about the threat Israel faces from Islamic fundamentalist regimes like Iran that have promoted and funded suicide bombings through out the Middle East. -- Karmel Melamed, Contributing Writer
Lauding the Literati
Throughout the summer, Gobuty, a 5-foot-7 high school junior point guard, who now lives in Israel and plays for Israel's National Basketball Team, will be playing for the Southern California-based Finest Basketball Club (FBC), and compete in tournaments across the United States.
Six years ago, she and her family moved to Israel for a short two-year stint. They have lived there ever since. But like in Encino, Gobuty's love and passion for basketball led her back on to the courts around Tel Aviv, eventually landing a spot on the Israel National team at age 15. She is now one of only 12 team members on Israel's Segel Zahav, which means Gold Team. It is comprised of the top players in the 16-24 age bracket.
"Living in Israel has been a great learning experience culturally and emotionally," Gobuty said. "By playing basketball there I've also gotten to compete against some of the best in the world playing in European FIBA Championships, as well as having the opportunity to learn about different cultures. But some of my most rewarding moments have been talking to other high school age-teenagers about what it's like to grow up in a country that is constantly on alert in a war time like state and being able to share my experiences."
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