Celebrations and Accomplishments by Some Extraordinary People

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Kate Linder.

“Soar on eagle’s wings to greater and greater heights.” That was the theme of the YWCA’s Black & White Benefactrix Ball celebration. It was the big fundraiser held at the Beverly Hills Hotel and showcased the things that can be accomplished with the power of extraordinary people. The force behind the event was Faye Washington. She is renowned for her achievements on behalf of the YWCA’s Job Corps program, which has a rich tradition of empowering women through job training and education.

Some exceptional people were honored, and Faye explained how appropriate they were for the event’s theme.

“When I think about the caliber of honorees we are saluting, it reminds me of the majestic eagle,” she said. “The eagle is noted for great vision and is so focused, it can fly in the direction of the sun and not be blinded. The eagle does not fear the storm. When the storm rages, the eagle spreads its wings and uses the wind to soar even higher.”

The honorees with those eagle-like qualities were Antonio Manning, of JP Morgan Chase & Co., getting the Corporate Champion Award; Congresswoman Diane Watson with the Silver Achievement Award; and producer Daphna Ziman (founder of Children Uniting Nations) with the Soromundi (Sisters of the World) Award. All have focused on helping the YWCA’s mission of helping girls, women and families cross over into a new day of possibilities and opportunity.

The lovely Adai Lamar from KJLH-FM was emcee for the night. Adding excitement as an auctioneer was comedian-actress Kym Whitley, currently seen on NBC’s feel-good reality series School Pride. The YWCA can thank Kym for helping their fundraising efforts for “soft goods,” the towels, sheets, blankets, etc. that local Job Corps students will need for the YWCA’s new downtown campus opening next year.

“Those are the things that make a house a home,” Kym said.

El DeBarge.

Another guest adding glamour was Bond girl Rachel Grant, from Die Another Day. A prince charming was also on hand, the sweet-voiced multi-platinum recording artist El DeBarge, who performed and made all the ladies swoon. He debuted his new single “Second Chance” (from his CD out Nov. 30).

“That’s what the evening is all about,” he said. “It’s for the women who turn to the YWCA for a second chance, with the hopes of soaring like an eagle, thanks to the love and support from the wonderful people here tonight.”

Last month the Television Academy Foundation hosted its 11th annual Celebrity Golf Classic in Toluca Lake. Super passionate about their golf game, Tim Allen and his Home Improvement costar Richard Karn (in loud plaid golf shorts) supported the fun fundraising event. Other enthusiastic players included Andy Richter (Conan), Dave Annabel (Brothers and Sisters), Carmine Giovinazzo (CSI: New York), Joel Murray (Mad Men), James Remar (Dexter), Bruce McGill (Rizzoli & Isles), Matt Craven (The Pacific), and Aimee Garcia (Trauma).

The always supportive Kate Linder was there. A dynamic petite actress, Kate is a mainstay at the best affairs and a joy to talk to because she is the go to person when I want to find out about an event. She told me the golf classic will help the TV Academy’s educational and archival programs, “to preserve and celebrate the history of television.” With 28 years on The Young and the Restless, Kate is certainly part of TV history.

Upcoming there’s an extraordinary show Vox Judaica: One Night Only, presented Nov. 13 at Zipper Hall at the Colburn School of Music (across from the Disney Concert Hall). Audiences will experience a wide span of Judaic music, with special guest Cantor Mark Saltzman and the spotlight on the influence that women have played in Jewish traditions.

Giving a voice to these remarkable women, the Vox concert is the latest from the Vox Femina Los Angeles (www.voxfeminala.org). It’s a women’s ensemble, dedicated to choral performance with emphasis on music by women composers. Dr. Iris Levine founded Vox in 1997, and in 13 years has helped the group establish itself as one of the preeminent women’s choruses in America. Kudos, ladies.

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