Celebs Support Animals, Children,
and the Arts in 2007

Enjoy a little adventure this season by dashing to a far-flung destination

Giving Hope to Kids

Even though the Malibu home of actress/author/entrepreneur Suzanne Somers was destroyed, nothing can keep her down! She recently received the Spirit of Compassion Award at Aviva Family and Children's Services' annual Triumph of the Spirit Awards Gala for her humanitarian efforts, and for being a role model for children at risk.

Others honored at the gala include noted real estate agent Jade Mills and attorney Michael Sherman. Cynthia Garrett introduced a scintillating show featuring Frenchie Davis, who got her start on American Idol. Frenchie, who has starred on Broadway in Rent, is preparing for the role of the legendary gospel great Mahalia Jackson. She literally shook the house with her rendition of "And I Am Telling You, I'm Not Going," from Dreamgirls. As famed plastic surgeon Dr. Steven Hoefflin stated, "Helping troubled children diminishes a troubled world."

From Left: Honorees Jade Mills, Suzanne Somers, and
Michael Sherman
Aviva President Andy Diamond with Barbara Lazaroff (Spago)

Helping Creatures Great and Small

The real stars of the Beastly Ball, held at the Los Angeles Zoo, were firefighters from the Los Angeles Fire Department, who in the spring fought a horrendous fire and saved Griffith Park. Acting Fire Chief Douglas Barry and Los Angeles Police Department Chief William Bratton graciously acknowledged a standing ovation. The event, chaired by animal activist Betty White, honored children�s television station Nickelodeon and Chris Gifford and Valerie Walsh, the creators of its top-rated preschool show, Go, Diego, Go!

Featured were animal "walkabouts" and animal feedings, and they weren't the only ones who filled their tummies. Fare from top restaurants, including Campanile, Celestino, Yamashiro, and Il Fornaio, was offered, along with liberal libations, to the more than 1,000 safari-clad guests. Entertainment was provided by steel drum bands and calypso musicians. Seen enjoying the festivities were Prison Break star Dominic Purcell, actor-couple Bradley Whitford and Jane Kaczmarek, and actor-comedian Albert Brooks and his wife, Kimberly, whose painting was featured in the evening�s live auction. The best news was that over $1.2 million was raised to support the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA). Let's put our hands, paws, claws, hoofs, fins, flippers, and wings together and applaud the Los Angeles Zoo for a most enjoyable event.

Betty White and friend at Beastly Ball
Actor-comedian Albert Brooks and wife, Kimberly
Actor-couple Bradley Whitford and Jane Kaczmarek Animal lovers Cheryl Reventlow Post and Karen Michaels

Playboy Mansion Goes to the Dogs

Doggies, not bunnies, were the honored guests at the Playboy Mansion, when MuchLove.org and Dog.com presented their annual Bow Wow Wow fund-raiser. Among the pet-friendly celebs were Haylie and Hilary Duff, Grey�s Anatomy star Sara Ramirez, William Petersen (CSI), and an assortment of Playmates, including Christine Smith, who is fostering a litter of kittens for the cause. Even Hef's favorite squeeze, Holly Madison (The Girls Next Door), got into the act. One of the lucky doggies even found a home with Miss August. Who said it was a dog's life?

The highest winning bid at the live auction was for the Cesar Millan (The Dog Whisperer) private training, which went for $12,000. The excitement was so great that Cesar generously offered three sessions, raising $36,000 for animal rescue. Alex Tabibi, CEO of Pets United, announced that over $250,000 was raised at this event, commenting: "Involvement in this cause will save the lives of our canine friends."

William Petersen (CSI) and his lovely wife, Gina Cirone Haylie and Hilary Duff

Hispanics for Los Angeles Opera Awards

From Left: Maria Antonio Horne, Plàcido Domingo, Consul of Spain's wife, Mrs. Arias and Consul General of Spain, Mr. Aria

Hispanics for Los Angeles Opera celebrated its 10th Annual Plàcido Domingo Awards following the zarzuela Luisa Fernando, in which Plàcido Domingo starred as Vidal Hernando.

Because Plàcido's parents were zarzuela performers, this music is close to his heart. The event offered an array of Spanish food, wines, and entertainment. Among the guests were Edward and Alicia Clark (Hispanics for Los Angeles Opera founders); Consul General of Spain Inocencio Arias; Consul General of Mexico Ruben Beltran; Mexican actress Angelica Maria; and renowned actor Hector Elizondo.
Others enjoying the strolling Spanish guitarist and the Los Angeles Harp Ensemble included Los Angeles Opera Chairman of the Board Marc Stern and his wife Eva, President Carol Henry and husband, Warner, and Carlos and Haydee Mollura, who received the Corporate Award for their contributions to the cause. Proceeds from this event support the L.A. Opera community and education programs that reach over 155,000 children in the Los Angeles area.

Thanks to Hispanics for Los Angeles Opera Chairman Orlando Ortega and President Dolores Elena Richardson as well as Dan Guerrero, who produced the event. It was truly an evening of elegance and grace.

Edward and Alicia Clark (Founders) Dolores Elena Richardson, President, Director Dan Guerrero, Patricia Barajas Tavera, Co-Chair, and Val Zavala, KCET, Honorary Chair, HLAO
Orlando Ortega, Chairman, with actor Hector Elizondo Mexican star Angelica Maria with Plàcido Domingo

Dressing for Fund-raising Success

PetSmart Charities hosted a "Party for the Pets" at the Hancock Park estate of swimwear designer Carol Wior. The event was hosted by Carol Connors, who recorded her first hit, "To Know Him is to Love Him," as a member of the Teddy Bears and dressed appropriately (in full cat suit) for the occasion. Many "Top Dogs" and "Cat's Meow" celebs were in attendance, including Charlene Tilton (Dallas), Fred Willard (Best in Show) and Leyla Milani and five of NBC's Deal or No Deal briefcase beauties.

Also in attendance was Dominick Dunne, who was in town covering the Phil Spector trial.

Barbara Lazaroff (Spago restaurant), dressed as a dainty dalmatian, caught the eye of Mr. Blackwell, and no doubt will receive a nomination on his list! Others enjoying the sumptuous buffet and listening to Connors' singing included stockbroker September Sarno, Dr. Danne King, and music producer Eddie Reasoner, who jetted in from Nashville for the occasion. The best news is that PetSmart is donating $14 million, the largest philanthropic gift ever made to any community, for pet over-population programs.

From Left: Songwriter Carol Connors, author Dominick Dunne, and Court TV anchor Beth Karas Linda Thompson (Elvis Presley's last love) and Elvis impersonator
September Sarno and Suzanne Hughes at PetSmart fund-raiser Dr. Danne Montague King with Mary Ellen Bloomingdale, who breeds standard poodles