A Song for Ken
The annual dinner of the International Visitors Council of Los Angeles reached its touching climax when Israeli-born European singing sensation, Liel, called veteran music manager (and her own U.S. manager) Ken Kragen on stage to perform with her "We Are the World." The performance was only fitting since Kragen received the Robert D. Kleist International Citizen Award in part for his co-production of the 1985 hit video, "We Are the World," for which he used his connections in the music world to bring together some of the leading entertainers to fight starvation in Africa.
Harry Belafonte, who worked closely with Kragen on "We Are the World" and several other humanitarian projects, presented Kragen with the award at an event attended by council supporters, city officials and consuls general from Bangladesh, Brazil, Germany, Hungary, Romania and the Slovak Republic. The International Visitors Council of Los Angeles is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase international understanding and cooperation. Actress/comedian Suzanne Whang served as emcee and ventriloquist Ronn Lucas performed in honor of Kragen, who is also their manager. -- Orit Arfa, Contributing Writer
The Cole Thing
Helping Hand of Los Angeles celebrated its 77th anniversary by honoring entertainer Natalie Cole at its annual Mother's Day luncheon at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel. The group, which is Cedars-Sinai Medical Center's oldest active fundraising support group, supports the department of obstetrics and gynecology by funding endowments, research projects and capital expenditures. Its legacy is a commitment to women and children and it has contributed more than $17 million to the hospital during its tenure. The event featured an exciting fashion show and gifts for volunteers.
Just Make A Wish
Ever wish you could be at a charity event with a red carpet featuring a "Desperate Housewife"; an auction filled with beautiful art, jewels and collectibles; endless wines, liquors and yummy foods? Well your wish would've come true when Make-a-Wish Foundation held its Uncork-a-Wish Wine Tasting and auction to fulfill wishes for children in L.A. County with life-threatening medical conditions.
More than 2,000 guests filled the Pacific Design Center, making the evening, which raised, $290,000, the biggest in the event's history.
Upon arrival, guests were greeted with a glass of Veuve Clicquot Rosé Champagne and walked among row after row of silent auction packages, including an autographed Kobe Bryant jersey and shoes that sold for $2,950, a guitar signed by the band Chicago that sold for $1,500 and a plasma television from Norcent Technology that brought in $1,950.
For those desperate to get her photo, "Desperate Housewives" and "Burnt Toast" author Teri Hatcher posed with guests who made a $100 donation to the foundation -- in 30 minutes, she had raised more than $3,000!
Lots for Lane
Northridge resident Shirley Lane of Shirim ha Emek group, Hadassah Southern California, has been named a recipient of the 20th annual Hadassah National Leadership Award. The prestigious award pays tribute to members whose leadership accomplishments within Hadassah and civic, education and cultural organizations reflect Hadassah's dedication to the principles of the volunteer ethic. Recipients, who are selected by their peers, represent a wide range of accomplishments.
"Shirley's past achievements have led to this well-deserved honor, and we look forward to her continued good work for Shirim ha Emek and Hadassah," said Marcia Gould, president of Shirim ha Emek.