“Unforgettable,” just like the title to her dad’s famous song, can also be used to describe songbird Natalie Cole, daughter of Nat King Cole, who has established her own legacy in the music world. So it is fitting that Natalie will be presented the Ella Award at this year’s gala for the Society of Singers (SOS). Scheduled to be on hand June 1 at the Beverly Hilton to help salute Natalie will be Gladys Knight, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Macy Gray, James Ingram, Dave Koz, and Pattie Austin, among many others packing the place with star power.
This year’s SOS 25th anniversary event will also pay tribute to Doris Day, who is in a class by herself as one of show business’ much loved recording artists and film stars. Day will receive the organization’s inaugural Legend Award. Billie Barnum, a veteran backup singer, will also be honored with the Voice Award for her substantial body of work in the industry.
Jerry Sherrell, president of the SOS, headquartered in Sherman Oaks, reminded me about the special event when he was feting singer Keely Smith at the recent Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters luncheon. Sherrell noted that the SOS has the important job of helping professional singers in need.
SOS was co-founded in 1984 by philanthropists Ginny Mancini (a former big band singer and wife of legendary composer Henry Mancini) and Gilda Maiken Anderson. Ginny is an elegant and gracious lady I greatly admire, and I have talked with her in the past about the Society of Singers. I am in awe of her dedication and the SOS efforts as a lifeline for singers who have nowhere else to turn. They are there to offer emergency financial support for recipients. They also provide scholarships for education in the vocal arts.
In other words, the members of SOS have become angels for the songbirds.
Another worthwhile organization, the Everychild Foundation observed its 10th anniversary and it was an occasion to celebrate. It has been a decade of impact and philanthropic innovation, reports the organization’s founder Jacqueline Caster.
“The women of the Everychild Foundation have demonstrated a very effective alternative to the traditional charity model of fundraising. Instead of throwing galas to raise funding, we have simply pooled dues as an organization and devoted our energies toward finding the best ways to serve children in need,” explains Caster, a former attorney with a background in community redevelopment. She is a community leader and activist for a variety of children’s issues. The foundation she started is comprised of more than 200 prominent philanthropic women who care about helping the children in our community.
Monica Horan (Everybody Loves Raymond) and Lew Schneider (Men of a Certain Age) emceed the presentation event at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica. It was attended by Mayor Villaraigosa and other city officials. Actress Susan Bay Nimoy was there with her husband Leonard Nimoy, who lent his voice to a video for the Everychild Foundation.
This year the foundation awarded a $1 million grant to the at-risk youth jobs program at the South Bay Center for Counseling. It was the called a dream project by the philanthropic women.
Kudos for making a difference.