Around the Town: Galas, concert and scholarships toast the season

| May 30, 2019 | 0 Comments
CHRISTY MCAVOY and former governor Jerry Brown.

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO) rolled out the red carpet for Music Director Designate Jaime Martin, welcoming him prior to the launch of his tenure next fall, and honored Margaret Batjer on her 20 years as LACO concertmaster at its annual concert gala May 2 at the downtown InterContinental Hotel. The evening’s musical centerpiece, led by Martin, featured Los Angeles Opera mezzo-soprano Suzanna Guzman and celebrated violinist Cho-Liang Lin.

A grateful Margaret Batjer said, “I guess timing is everything; 20 years ago, I had just moved here with my husband from New York. This job opening had just come up; I was so pregnant, I couldn’t fit into my shoes. I auditioned barefoot; I was wracked with morning sickness. I’m still here, with this incredible orchestra that ranks among the world’s top musical ensembles.”

LACO honorees Margaret Batjer and Jaime Martin.

Among the festive features of the gala were a curated silent auction, crafted cocktails and a sumptuous dinner prepared by Chef Igor Krichmar. There to feast on butter poached lobster were Daryl and Jim Twerdahl, Ann and Robert Ronus, Louise and Brad Edgerton, Trish and Bill Flumenbaum and gala co-chairs Carol Henry with husband Warner and Anne-Marie Spataru.

Proceeds fund the ensemble’s educational outreach.

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The John Wayne Cancer Institute Auxiliary honored neurologist and neuro-oncologist Dr. Santosh Kesari, and Dan Hay, president of Premier Girls Fastpitch, at the 34th Odyssey Ball May 4 at the Montage Beverly Hills. Following the awards presentation, auctioneer Rick Werner led a spirited live appeal session bringing in close to $500,000 for cancer research. Joining members of the Wayne family for a champagne toast were Gloria and John Gebbia and philanthropist Ruth Weil.

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CHILDREN’S CHAIN of Children’s Hospital supporters at Dior on Rodeo Drive included (from left) Anne Ziegler Manson, Annette Tapert Allen, Georgia Tapert Howe, and Georgia’s daughter, Byrdie.

Hospital support also is the mission of Children’s Chain of Children’s Hospital. A special event for members and guests was a classy reception and book talk held at the Dior boutique on Rodeo Drive May 18. “Dior and his Decorators” is a brand-new book by designer and design historian, Maureen Footer. The author, elegantly modeling an exquisite Dior dress, came from New York to support the event. She was interviewed by author and lecturer, Annette Tapert Allen, who also came west for the event. For Allen, the trip was a “two-fer” because she got to visit with her daughter, Windsor Square’s Georgia Tapert Howe, and granddaughter Byrdie. Georgia’s friend and Windsor Square neighbor, Anne Ziegler Manson, helped organize the event, along with Hancock Park’s indefatigable Carlotta Keely.

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CINDY CHVATAL welcomes Councilmember Davd Ryu to Hancock Park block captains’ dinner in Wilshire Country Club’s Windsor Room.

Wilshire Country Club was the scene for multiple local lunch and dinner gatherings in mid-May. The Hancock Park Homeowners Association ’48 assembled its block captains for a dinner in the clubhouse’s Windsor Room May 15. Committee chairs reported on all their hard work on behalf of residents in recent months, all under the capable presiding of longtime president Cynthia Chvatal Keene.

WAYNE RATKOVITCH addresses Good Samaritan Auxiliary luncheon in Windsor Room at Wilshire Country Club.

The next day, May 16, the same lovely room was the scene of the annual luncheon meeting of the Good Samaritan Hospital Auxiliary, with the call to order coming from president Mahlon Lawton. Officers were elected for the coming year, and committee reports were presented. The day’s highlight was the talk by Auxiliary member JoAnn Ratkovitch’s spouse, Wayne.

PRINCIPALS at Good Samaritan Auxiliary luncheon are (from left) Daryl Twerdahl, JoAnn and Wayne Ratkovitch, Grace Fritzinger and Mahlon Lawton.

Auxiliary members Daryl Twerdahl and Grace Fritzinger organized the luncheon and program. Wayne, the internationally recognized real estate developer, was introduced by Twerdahl, who spoke of the Windsor Square resident as a “treasure of Los Angeles and also a dear friend.” His talk then touched on decades of recent Los Angeles history involving landmark buildings like The Wiltern and landmark residents like Howard Hughes. The applause was long and enthusiastic.

And, that same day, on one of the other patios of the clubhouse, Los Angeles Police Reserve Foundation president Karla Ahmanson, Hancock Park, and co-president Michael Sellars assembled their board for a luncheon meeting. Among the fifteen stalwarts gathered for the meeting was fellow foundation director Mark Hutchins, Windsor Square.

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Annual meetings seem to be a big part of May, and one of the most fabulous is the yearly convening of the ladies of The Blue Ribbon in the Grand Hall of The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilon. The building is, of course, named for the organization’s founder.

THE BLUE RIBBON Annual Meeting in the Grand Hall of The Music Center included members (standing, left to right) Kathleen Scheinfeld, Donna Wolff, Pamela Clyne and Sheila Weisman. Seated are members Annette O’Malley and Jackie Rosenberg.

At this year’s luncheon, May 22, the nearly 140 Blue Ribbon members in attendance welcomed its new president, Terri Kohl, and Diane Morton was named the 2019 “Woman of the Year.” Founding Blue Ribbon member and past Music Center president Joanne Kozberg presented Mrs. Morton with the blue Baccarat Crystal “Woman of the Year” award. Music Center officials and senior representatives of the five resident companies were present to received donation checks from the organization, whose members have contributed more than $77 million in financial support for the Music Center’s programming and its numerous youth education activities.

Among locals present was Annette O’Malley, who has been a Blue Ribbon member almost as long as Mrs. Kozberg and Jackie Rosenberg, all three of whom were recognized by outgoing Blue Ribbon president Jill Baldauf.

Other locals attending were Pamela Clyne (a new Blue Ribbon board member), Kathleen Scheinfeld and Donna Wolff. Blue Ribbon veteran Sheila Weisman pointed out that she’s almost local because she has children and grandchildren living in the Larchmont area!

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Los Angelenos get out and about. Larchmont Chronicle columnist Christy McAvoy headed off to San Francisco May 9 in her capacity as secretary of the board of trustees of the California Historical Society (CHS). There, in the City by the Bay and at the historic Old U.S. Mint, McAvoy and others celebrated the 40th anniversary of legislation (signed by then-Gov. Jerry Brown) authorizing CHS to be the state’s official historical society. The former governor was featured in a conversation with historian and professor Bill Deverell and author Miriam Pawel.

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Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles (BBBSLA) hosted the annual “Accessories for Success” Scholarship Luncheon May 5 at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel. The afternoon fundraiser honored producer-songwriter Mike Daly and Chuck Lorre Foundation president Trisha Cardoso. The highlight of the event included the annual fashion show that featured “Bigs” with their “Littles” modeling outfits for success down the catwalk. Prior to the luncheon, the matches spent a day together selecting outfits and accessories from the Nordstrom RackFIGat7th store that were inspired by a moment or activity that Bigs and Littles share.

NBC4 reporter and Big Sister of the Year Kim Baldonado served as master of ceremonies. Cheering on the mentors and mentees were Hollywood Reporter executive editor Stephen Galloway, Nordstrom Rack president Geevy S.K. Thomas, Suzanne Yankovic with daughter Nina, journalist and author Cal Fussman, and BBBSLA Board President Brock Moseley.

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It was all about the boys and girls again May 9. Boys and Girls Clubs of America honored one of their celebrated alumni, two-time Emmy award winning host of “Extra” Mario Lopez. Some 800 supporters and friends packed the Beverly Hilton Ballroom. Sabrina McFarland won the Pacific Youth of the Year Award and the Princeton Prize. She is headed to Barnard College in the fall. Event co-chairs John Lynch, Eric Shanks, Steve Layton and Byron Roth proudly applauded the determination of these young people to overcome their challenges.

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HOSTS Emmanuel and Rebecca Doessant join Jennifer and Bill Fain, Phyllis Cannom, Hannah Cannom Moore and Aaron Moore.

And further east at the Arden Boulevard home of Rebecca Cannom Doessant and her husband Emmanuel, a reception was held for the Gayle Miller Leaders of Change Scholarship Fund that grants awards to students from the Alliance for College Ready Public Schools. A whopping $175,000 was distributed. The very generous group raised $90,000 for future scholarships. Guests included Hannah Cannom Moore and husband Aaron, Jennifer and Bill Fain and Phyllis Cannom.

“Young people will have the seeds you bury in their minds, and when they grow up, they will change the world.”
Jack Ma (executive chair,
Alibaba Group)
And that’s the chat!

By Patty Hill

Last note: Revue celebrates League’s legacy

Join the Assistance League of Los Angeles at a musical journey celebrating its 100-year legacy at The Diamond Revue Sat., June 29 at 7:30 p.m. at the Assistance League Theatre, 1367 North Saint Andrews Pl.

The time capsule of story and song features Hollywood and Broadway stars.

A Heritage Circle High Tea is planned for Sun., Sept. 22 at 3 p.m. at a private residence.

The Diamond Anniversary Gala will take place Sat., Oct. 12 at 6 p.m. at Paramount Pictures. The League’s numerous programs work to improve the lives of impoverished children in our community.


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