Bygone days were brought back with the Toluca Guild’s annual summer soiree benefitting the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA). The “Prohibition Party” theme of the big event on July 14 made the evening extra fun.
Guests entered the ballroom at the Lakeside Golf Club which took on the atmosphere of a speakeasy supper club during the Roaring ‘20s. Many of the ladies were decked out in vintage flapper dresses with headbands, beads, rhinestones and feathers that were bedazzling. The guys also got into the spirit of the era by sporting fedoras, and a few went “gangster” wearing pinstriped suits.
The Toluca Guild presented the benefit event co-sponsored by Ramsey Shilling Associates Real Estate, and all in attendance enjoyed a friendly evening of dinner and dancing that would have turned Elliot Ness and Al Capone into best buddies.
Yes, it was a glitzy, glamorous and fabulous affair that had the champagne flowing, but everyone there knew it was all about helping the kids at Children’s Hospital. A team of Guild volunteers helped make that happen. Paula Carpenter, a superstar to all who know how hard she worked to organize the event, is among the Toluca Guild CHLA’s most dedicated supporters. She said, “Helping the kids get the best care and making their lives better, that’s the Toluca Guild’s main goal with our fundraising and supporting Children’s Hospital. Their motto is ‘We treat kids better.’ That’s what it’s all about.”
The support of Michael Alley, CEO of Ramsey Shilling Real Estate, could not be overstated. Ramsey Shilling had their tables with great folks enjoying the evening, and it is no surprise that Paula Carpenter is a Ramsey Shilling real estate dynamo.
Tom Hilt, former president of the Toluca Guild, noted the fundraising event was made possible with the help of Ramsey Shilling and US Bank, which was also a sponsor, “and all the Toluca Guild members, thank you so much. Thanks to everyone for about the 20th year in a row, CHLA has been named in the Top 10 pediatrics hospitals in the United States. We’re very happy about that. You know that no one is ever charged for services at CHLA and no child is turned away. Kids who would never have a chance, end up having a big chance. Also, life-saving new procedures and techniques are developed at CHLA and we share that knowledge with other hospitals at no charge. They help make miracles happen for everyone.”
A leader in pediatric and adolescent care, Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles has been treating seriously ill children for more than a century. Carrying on to help that legacy is the new president of the Toluca Guild CHLA, Eilish Zebrasky, a vibrant Irish lady who also thanked Tom Hilt, “the unbelievable and great Paula Carpenter,” and the Lakeside staff.
The entertainment for the Roaring ‘20s evening was launched by someone who could rival the Great Caruso of that era—Maximo Marcuso, known as the “Tenor of the Americas.” Maximo started with “Some Enchanted Evening,” and it was. Showcasing his powerful voice, he offered familiar opera and Italian love songs for everyone’s delight.
Among those enjoying the exquisite affair were the British Panto theatre producers Kris Lythgoe and singer-wife Becky Baeling Lythgoe. Becky was in an Erté-inspired flapper ensemble, and Kris in white-tie and tails, channeling his inner Great Gatsby. Another lovely lady, actress/singer Kassandra Carroll, was a knockout and looked like the perfect “It Girl” of the ‘20s era. Also on hand was singer Tom Culver who just did a cabaret show at Vitello’s featuring the music of Duke Ellington.
A big part of creating the atmosphere for the Prohibition Party was the Phil Jeffrey’s Musique Noir Big Band that entertained throughout the night and got the crowd up on the dance floor for fast and slow numbers dancing cheek to cheek.
Margie Barron is a member of the Television Critics Association and has written for a variety of top publications for more than 35 years and was half of the husband and wife writing team of Margie and Frank Barron.