No kid is a throwaway kid. That’s the motto of Covenant House California, which has the noble mission to protect and safeguard all children of the street “with absolute respect and unconditional love,” says George Lozano, CHC’s executive director. So why was a man known as “Nasty Nigel” being honored by the organization? Because Nigel Lythgoe is an amazing role model, according to Lozano. Lythgoe is co-creator, producer and judge on the current Fox TV hit “So You Think You Can Dance.” Plus he’s one of the forces behind “American Idol,” and also produced the “Idol Gives Back” phenomenal charity fund-raiser telecast. Not bad for a guy who started out as “hoofer,” dancer/choreographer in England.
British transplant Lythgoe told me he welcomed being part of the tenth annual Covenant House California Awards gala, “because I care for this city. For all the times we raise money for people around the world, it’s really important to do something for the less fortunate at home, in Los Angeles. To be recognized by Covenant House tonight, for the small amount of work I’ve done, means a great deal to me.”
Lythgoe was honored along with long-time CHC supporter and president of Serco Mold, Patricia Serio, a gracious woman who seemed as if she was auditioning for “American Idol,” as she started singing “Amazing Grace” upon accepting her award. At the gorgeous Beverly Hilton Hotel event, entertainment was provided by Michael Johns, an ’08 “American Idol” finalist (with his new “Hold Back My Heart” out this week). Dan Cortese (soon to be seen on ABC’s “Superstars”) emceed with help from former Miss Universe Dayanara Torres. Among the other notables: actress/dancer Debbie Allen, Nestor Carbonell (“Lost”) and Natasha Henstridge (the “Eli Stone” stunner who stars in the upcoming ABC movie “Impact”). Also a knock-out was actress Tere Morris, a steel-magnolia southern-belle who took over the microphone for the live auction, and was very adept at getting generous contributions from the big-hearted crowd.
Tea with PSJMC Guild
Her Irish eyes were smiling when Sister Rose Byrne gave a heartfelt invocation before the Providence St. Joseph Medical Center guild’s “tea party” at the Lakeside Golf Club. Sister Rose mentioned all the good deeds done, and how much work is ahead for the dedicated PSJMC ladies. The outgoing and incoming board members were feted in a fun way by the creative Julie McArdle, who handed new president Kathleen Marsden an inflatable “lifesaver.” But the biggest laugh came when Grace Patz, 95, got a Speedo-swimsuit because she has always taken the plunge to help out as a past president and in many other roles. The big news at the installation tea was the guild’s $150,000 check given to PSJMC, which went towards their lofty goal of raising $1 million for the new Roy and Patricia Disney Family Cancer Center. You go girls!
Beyond The Secret
Self-help is important too. The “law of attraction to get what we want” philosophy put forth by “The Secret” (which Oprah Winfrey embraced), is the topic of the new instructional DVD “Beyond The Secret.” Created by Holli Walker, it was launched last week with the renowned Bob Proctor (“The Secret”), Emmy-winning Les Brown and other motivational visionaries Marcia Wieder, Paul Martinelli, Steve Siebold, Mark Moffitt and Mary Morrissey featured in the DVD. A red carpet premiere was expertly organized by LJAM PR’s dynamo Lisa Jammal. Among the celebrities were Kate Linder from “The Young & the Restless,” supermodel Kahshanna Evans and even Nickelodeon’s young Jansen Panettiere. All were saying “Beyond The Secret” took the idea of what “The Secret” taught, and will help put it into practice in everyday life.