The lovely La Villa Paradiso in Beverly Hills, was the perfect setting for the unveiling of the Peace One Earth Medallion, designed by hostess Patricia Kennedy. She is the founder of Step Up 4 Vets - a non-profit organization that aids returning veterans. A highlight of the evening was an aviation presentation from the Condor Squad of seven vintage World War II planes, flying over her estate, in the lost man formation.
|TV personalities (who are also philanthropists) Vanna White & Shelly Long|
Wayne Newton jetted in from Vegas to receive the first Medallion on behalf of his outstanding support of the troops and veterans. Did you know that Newton was the first performer to go to Afghanistan to entertain the troops? There was also A Salute to the Hollywood Women of the USO, with Connie Stevens, Stefanie Powers and Kate Linder receiving their award from USO Brigadier General Michael R.S. Teilman.
|Mr. &Mrs. Wayne Newton with Hostess, Patricia Kennedy|
Special presentations were made to the many veterans in attendance, including four who recently returned from Iraq. A sad note of the evening was the announcement that WWII Veteran Warren Cowan, who was the leader of the PR team for the event, passed away.
|BritWeek Creator Nigel Lythgoe (center) surrounded by the 2008 Breakthrough Brits|
Others enjoying the seafood salad and braised short ribs, catered by Helen An (Crustacean's Restaurant) included Astronaut and World War II Vet, Buzz Aldrin, and actor Hugh O'Brien, (Wyatt Earp) who at age 17 was the youngest Drill Sergeant in Marine Corps history.
If you would like further info on this worthwhile cause, check out their website at
|Tom Bergeron (Dancing with the Stars), Producer, Ava Fries and actress Michelle Lee|
British television director/producer and choreographer and BritWeek Creator Nigel Lythgoe (So You Think You Can Dance, American Idol) hosted the 2008 Breakthrough Brits reception, held at The London, West Hollywood on June 5, in association with the Hollywood Black Film Festival. The reception honored this year's Breakthrough Brits: Actor/Playwright Kwame Kwei-Armah, Actor/Director/Writer Noel Clarke, Producer Esther Douglas, Director John Giwa-Amu, Director/Writer Kara Miller, Producer Rita Osei, Producer Karlene Page, Producer Barrington Robinson, Producer Zoe Stewart, Co-Producers/Directors Sunandan Walia and Yugesh Walia, and Documentary Writer/Director Florence Ayisi. Additional celebrity guests included Matt Grant (The Bachelor) and Sendhil Ramamurthy (Heroes). The Breakthrough Brits program gives the filmmakers an inside track on film financing, new distribution models, international co-production, sales, marketing and script development.
|Astronaut Buzz Aldrin and his wife, Lois|
At another fundraiser, more than three million dollars has been raised for children cared for by the Westside Children's Center, since Ava Fries established their annual Big Heart Luncheon, in honor of her late daughter, Cami Ostern Markman. Ava, along with her producer hubby, Chuck Fries (Troop Beverly Hills, Screamers), honored Dancing With the Stars host Tom Bergeron. Tom is one busy boy. Along with his myriad of hosting chores, including America's Funniest Home Videos, he often spends time playing in the sandbox with the kids at the Center. What a guy!
TV producer Vin Di Bona presented the humanitarian award to Bergeron, in a program that included such personalities as Vanna White, Michele Lee, Donna Mills, and Shelly Long (Cheers).
|Patricia Kennedy, USO Brigadier General Michael Teilman, Stefanie Powers at Step Up 4 Vets|
Hollywood Producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron were honored when the Pediatric IBD Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center presented the sixth annual A Celebration of Fashion, Beauty & Entertainment, featuring its Pamper Me Pink Fashion Show & Spa and The Blue Room Lounge. Actress Brooke Burns, HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm star Jeff Garlin, FX's Nip/Tuck star Julian McMahon, Hairspray motion picture star Elijah Kelly attended the fundraiser which was held poolside at L.A.'s newest hotel, The London West Hollywood. Guests spent the afternoon enjoying gourmet food, spa treatments, music and a fashion show as they honored the children who suffer from IBD and the families who provide them with constant care and support. The event raised over $200,000 to directly benefit the self-funded, day-to-day operations of the IBD Center as well as the ongoing research of the disease (Crohn's Disease and ulcerative colitis). TV personalities and philanthropy go hand on hand on the Hollywood Beat.
|Actress Brooke Burns (right) at the Pamper Me Pink Fashion Show to benefit the IBD Center|