Robinson Gardens in Beverly Hills was the site of the second annual “Garden Gala” Sept. 24, where 350 supporters gathered for the El Nido Family Centers benefit. Founded in 1925, the organization is one of the city’s oldest and most respected social service agencies. At this year’s Gala, El Nido honored Luz Avila-Kyncl, Hancock Park, with the Rose Norton Volunteer of the Year Award. Jane Johnson received the Community Impact Award.
Avila-Kyncl was cheered on by attendees for her moving acceptance speech. “Let us all work together, let each of us do our part, and let’s collectively change lives.” Guests enjoyed Karma Tequila cocktails and warm wild mushrooms and brie. They then moved on to the Great Lawn for lush buffets of Za’atar roasted chicken, grilled salmon fillets with lemon sauce and a dessert station in the Pool Pavilion, all catered by the Kitchen for Exploring Foods.
Larchmontites in the crowd included Stacy Twilley and Michael Kong, Wendy and Davis Marcus, Cindy and James McPherson, Esther Lee, and Maria Harleston. Other glitterati there were YouTube’s Alex Carloss and wife Lisa Carloss, ESPN’s Kathy Perez, CBS2’s Leslie Keane, Google Play’s Jonathan Zepp with wife and event co-chair Lucy Zepp and Kyncl family members; Luz’s husband Robert and their daughters Isabella and Adriana.
• • •
The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra presented one of five “LACO à La Carte” fundraising evenings that paired international cuisine with intimate salon performances at the private homes of consuls general. “Mexico à la Carte” took place at the Fremont Place residence of the Consul General of Mexico Sept. 30. The Honorable Carlos Garcia de Alba and Ms. Fiona Roche hosted over 100 lovers of music that featured LACO music director Jeffrey Kahane and principal cello Andrew Shulman performing works by 20th century Mexican composer Manuel Ponce and Brahms’s Cello Sonata No. 1 in E-minor. Acclaimed recorder player Horacio Franco, visiting from Mexico, performed arrangements of J.S. Bach and traditional music from the indigenous people of Mexico. Following a breath-taking concert in the home’s living room, supporters retreated to the candle-lit garden for a selection of Mexican beers, tequila, mezcal and a delicious dinner of handmade tortillas, tamales, enchiladas, and beef tri-tip. There for a fiesta they won’t soon forget were Mahnaz and David Newman, Claudia and Roberto Apelfeld, Leslie Lassiter and Raulee Marcus, Linda and Michael Rosen, Anne-Marie and Alex Spataru, LACO Board president Dana Newman and husband Ned, and LACO executive director Scott Harrison. Proceeds will support the orchestra’s education and community engagement programs.
• • •
“Homage to Trees,” the debut reception of artist Ernie Marjoram’s newest collection of paintings, happened on Oct. 1 in the Tag Gallery at Bergamot Station. The prolific, but self-effacing, painter explained how he even used a toothbrush to achieve some of the effects of light on his subjects. The crowd included neighbors Masako and Jeff Carpenter, AFI’s Joe Garrety, Connie Moran and Jorge Romero, Ernie’s wife Silvia (the namesake of one of the featured works) and their son Matteo.
• • •
Italy-oriented events long have been supported by Larchmont locals, such as the late Joe Cerrell and the late John Ferraro. They certainly would have enjoyed this year’s Taste of Italy benefit dinner that took place at the Plaza de Los Angeles. Early-arriving guests also were able to experience the long anticipated and now open Italian American Museum of Los Angeles (IAMLA) in the historic Italian Hall on Olvera Street. Among the hundreds of Italophiles who were in attendance was Windsor Square resident and city planning director Vince Bertoni.
• • •
Hancock Park resident and former city planning director Gail Goldberg was among the many celebrants of the 31st anniversary of the Heidi Duckler Dance Theater. Taking place the same night as IAMLA’s dinner at the Plaza, but in Chinatown just across Main Street, the Duckler fundraiser featured cocktails followed by dinner in an open-air space on N. Spring St., just down from the 20-year dormant King Hing Theater where Duckler has been presenting her multi-discipline production titled “When I Am King” through Nov. 4. Info at heididuckler.org.
And that’s the chat!
By Patty Hill