“Bloom where you are planted.” That’s the motto of Thyonne Gordon, an inspiring woman who is the executive director of A Place Called Home (APCH), a youth center that provides a positive environment for at-risk kids. It is an oasis in L.A. where kids can cultivate their education and creative goals. A great place to “bloom” thanks to Gordon and the other great gals (and guys), who nurture a new crop of kids each year.
Some of those youngsters were on hand to entertain and enlighten at the “Girlz in the Hood, Women of Achievement Awards” luncheon. Emceed by CBS2 news anchor Suzanne Rico, the event featured the jazzy APCH band, made up of talented high school students who furthered their love of music at the center (happily all are headed to college). The APCH dancers also entertained with some high-energy dance routines. And if that wasn’t enough, a fashion show at the Beverly Hills Hotel was also part of the afternoon festivities, with the APCH group “Be Girlz” modeling dresses donated by the Cinderella Project. All looked lovely and ready for the prom.
All the kids expressed how APCH has changed their lives. That would not have been possible without the help from the
“Women of Achievement” honorees, which included Gordon who received the Inaugural Legacy Award for her accomplishments and dedication to APCH and the children they serve. Gordon said everyone’s legacy should be “sending youth to the next level.” Also recognized with “Girl Power Awards” were “TheShoeGoddess.com” founder Florence Azria, Twentieth Century Fox Animation president Vanessa Morrison and Coldwell Banker Beverly Hills real estate broker Beth Styne. All are amazing women who have taken the time to contribute in many ways.
“A Place Called Home is so fortunate to have such extraordinary and dedicated supporters,” said Kenneth Karmin, APCH CEO. “Each of our honorees has demonstrated a longstanding commitment as a role model, and inspires young girls to embrace their potential and direct their lives in a positive and rewarding direction.” The event was co-chaired by Bob Israel and Louise Hamagami Shmuger. Actresses Shondrella Avery (“The Secret Life of Bees”) and Holly Robinson-Peete, along with her mother and showbiz manager, Dolores Robinson, were also there and have served as mentors at the center. Shondrella told me, “Nothing I do is more rewarding.” Amen.
Tribute to the Human Spirit Gala
Another great event was the Wellness Community West L.A. “Tribute to the Human Spirit” gala, which also has accomplished women and men connected with the organization. “The Wellness Community is dedicated to providing support, education and hope to people affected by cancer and their loved ones. No one should have to go through it alone. The Wellness Community West Los Angeles is here to help, right now. And we’re thankful to everyone who make it possible for us to help people, right now,” explained executive director Ellen Silver with gusto.
Gathering at the Beverly Hills Hotel were the dedicated Wellness Community supporters who have been a tremendous help, especially the gala’s honorees— Hella and Chuck Hershson, retailer Elyse Walker and her husband, real estate investor David Walker, plus co-creator of “American Idol,” Nigel Lythgoe, who’s acclaimed “Idol Gives Back” helped benefit the Wellness Community. Choreographer and judge (with Lythgoe) on “So You Think You Can Dance,” Mary Murphy, made a heartfelt presentation to her buddy Nigel. And Myleene Klass, winner of Lythogoe’s “Popstars” in Great Britain, performed. The gala’s gorgeous emcee, Marilu Henner, loves the Wellness Community and the support they give. She said, “They are a tribute to the human spirit. In your darkest moment, they can be that friend you reach out to.” It is a good place that offers hugs and help. Bless them.