The Young Musicians Foundation was Merv Griffin's favorite charity. He didn't just host their annual Gala at his own home (The Beverly Hilton Hotel, that is), but was involved in every aspect of the evening.. This year, unfortunately, Merv passed away a few months prior to the event; so appropriately the Gala paid tribute to their super star supporter.
|Ryan Seacrest, Katherine McPhee & Michael Feinstein performed|
Some of the many celebs at the black tie event included Ryan Seacrest (the host with the most) whose experience with classical music is admittedly limited (but he did try hard), and Clint Eastwood, a great friend of Merv, who shared his love of any type of music - particularly jazz. Clint presented the Honorary Lifetime Chairman Award to Merv's son, Tony Griffin, who related several heart-warming stories about growing up with his famous father.
|Tony Griffin and Clint Eastwood at YMF|
Gorgeous Katharine McPhee warbled her signature song , "Somewhere Over the Rainbow", and Singer/Pianist Michael Feinstein, also performed brilliantly. But the piece d'resistance, as usual, was the Young Musicians Debut Orchestra, who opened the program with Strauss's Overture to Die Fledermaus. Sean Newhouse, Music Director & Conductor , and his orchestra composed of 70 talent musicians - ages 15 -25 - would have made Merv most proud
|Donanne Kasikci, Chairperson with Sean Newhouse, Conductor|
Kudos to Edye Rugolo, Executive Director, Donanne Kasikci, Chairperson, and all the hard working members of the YMF for a magical musical tribute to Merv Griffin, whose musical legacy will live on forever
The world-famous European-style cobblestone street Two Rodeo in Beverly Hills, turned pink, for Susan G .Komen Fashion for the Cure annual fashion show & gala hosted by McCormick & Schmick. Mariel Hemingway, Academy Award winning actress and author of her second book, "Healthy Living from the Inside Out" - Every Woman's Guide to Beauty, Renewed Energy and Radiant Life - was mistress of ceremonies for this event, which brought awareness of the relationship between the environment and cancer.
|Jose Eber with Mariel Hemingway at Fashion for the Cure|
The evening was highlighted by a fashion show featuring Uber's models, and the new couture collection of celebrity eco designer, Deborah Lindquist. There was even a "Think Thin Pink Wrapper" dress designed by her, made from natural nutrition bar wrappers. Celebrity Stylist, Jose Eber, with whom we worked on the mega infomercial, "Secret Hair", provided a makeover for 12 breast cancer survivors who made their debut on the runway. These gorgeous gals modeled attire from such designers as Sash, Eco Centric and Not your Daughter's Jeans (don't you love this brand?)
|"America's Most Smartest Models" with Fashion Goddess, Judy Tenuta|
We were pleased to be seated with several young models from the VH1 - TV hit, America's Most Smartest Models - Daniel Shuman, Rachel Murphy, Rachel Myers and Lisa Byrnes. We interviewed them the next day for our new "Hollywood Marci" TV show. Can't reveal who was the winner of the contest - but can tell you that it is possible to combine beauty & brains in one pretty package on the Hollywood Beat.