Around the Town: High Tea, Sheba gala, ‘Gutsy Women,’ history events and BBBS Big Bash

| December 4, 2019 | 0 Comments

STUNNED GUEST Jan Daly is greeted by hostess Margo O’Connell at the latter’s spooky High Tea.

CALMER MOMENT is shared by Chris Sion and Shell Amega at the very scary High Tea.

“Meow, my little pretties — come have a purr-fectly good time.” And, so, more than 70 ladies descended upon the most ‘terrifying’ and beautiful “fur-midable” Las Palmas home of Margo O’Connell for her haunted High Tea Oct. 19.

Her porcelain Buddhas were outfitted in black masks and skullcaps topped with kitty ears. The sculptures surrounding the pool were festooned with harlequin masks and spider webs. The guests obliged with their own regalia. There was Joyce Maddox Morandi as a bird with a collar of enormous feathers, ‘Sherlock’ Jane Gilman ‘Holmes’ as well as kitties Alexa O’Conner and Sarah Zepkowski and even Tinkerbelle.

The dining room table was covered with elegant trays of delicate sandwiches and artfully decorated iced cookies. The hardly recognizable hostess greeted the outfitted ladies, with her long cigarette holder, as Cruella De Vil. Other guests included Natural History Museum’s Shell Amega and Chris Sion, Evelyn Vodhandel, Nelly Kilroy and her daughter Bea Wallace, and songstress Jan Daley.


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FRIENDS OF SHEBA and Sheba Medical Center honored Michel and Ruth Steinberger. Photo by Curtis Dahl

ALSO HONORED was U.S. Ambassador to France Jamie D. McCourt, here with Maurice Marciano. Photo by Curtis Dahl

Ruth and Michel Steinberger, Rimpau Blvd., were honored for their 30-plus years of service to Friends of Sheba and Sheba Medical Center, Tel HaShomer, at a gala Nov. 3 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.

U.S. Ambassador to France, Jamie D. McCourt, was also honored for her humanitarian efforts at the event.

Guests in attendance included Israel’s Consul General in Los Angeles Dr. Hillel Newman and Maurice Marciano and Paul Marciano.

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AT “GUTSY WOMEN” book talk at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre were Janna Harris, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Ginger Barnard.
Photo by ABImages

It was quite an event when Hillary and Chelsea Clinton came to the Wilshire Ebell Theatre on Nov. 5. Their new tome, “The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience,” was discussed with mother and daughter by moderator, former California first lady Maria Shriver. Secretary Clinton recalled one of her favorite determined women, Florida Everglades environmentalist Marjory Stoneman Douglas, who said “nature and men’s interactions with it is an enormous battle between man’s intelligence and his stupidity, I am not at all sure that stupidity isn’t going to win out at the long run.”

Ms. Clinton (former First Daughter) pointed out an inspiring athlete who, despite her failed attempts to swim the waters to Havana, kept trying until she succeeded; and she, Diana Nyad, was in the audience!

Also there were Carolyn Layport, Laura Cohen, Jackie Kruse, Michaela Burschinger, Megan Derry, Ron Balue, Laurie Schechter, Julie Stromberg, Patty Lombard with daughter Grace and husband Bill Simon, Ebell of Los Angeles president Ginger Barnard and vice president Janna Harris. A portion of the book’s proceeds will be donated to the work and legacies of the 100-plus women spotlighted within.

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FIRST CENTURY FAMILIES luncheon was in the main dining room of The California Club. Photo by Suzan Filipek

The California Club was the setting for the 81st annual luncheon of First Century Families, descendants of Los Angeles pioneers who arrived here in 1881 or before. This year’s speaker was Diane Hoffman Dixon, who grew up in Windsor Square and spoke about her great-grandfather, Lynden Behymer, and the founding of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. [The Behymer family story and the family’s local houses are set out in Section 2, beginning on Page 4.]

At the Nov. 7 luncheon, local attendees included JoAnn Clark, Diane and Hank Hilty, James Inman, Carolyn Layport, Ynez O’Neill, Sarane Van Dyke and Evelyn Vodhanel. Luncheon Chair John Welborne was especially glad to see his former teacher from Third Street School (in 1958), Carol Thueson, attending as a guest of the Dixon family.

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JUDGE DEAN HANSELL welcomed Toby Horn and Harold Tomin at a Conservancy event.

HISTORY SALON attendees in the DTLA Chandler loft include Caroline and Frank Moser and Janna and Jim Harris.

Nov. 10 proved to be a busy Sunday for locals. In the morning, Carolyn Ramsay, Windsor Square, kicked off the all-day Griffith Park Festival. In the afternoon, Hancock Park’s Judge Dean Hansell and Eric Kugler opened their 1920s Tudor-style home to the Los Angeles Conservancy’s Cornerstone Members. Among those attending were Toby Horn and Harold Tomin, who have their own historic home, a Paul Williams design in Miracle Mile North. Later in the day, June Street’s former resident, Harry Chandler, and wife Ceci were hosts for a “History Salon” at their penthouse loft near Grand Central Market on Broadway. Fascinating speakers were Dr. William Estrada, who described the history of Exposition Park; Liz Goldwyn, who read from her fictional stories of 1890s Los Angeles ladies of the evening; and David Kipen, who read some of the missives from his recent book, “Dear Los Angeles: The City in Diaries and Letters, 1542 to 2018.” Among locals enjoying the salon were Caroline and Frank Moser and Janna and Jim Harris.

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BIG BROTHERS Big Sisters Bash welcomed Megan Colligan and son Jesse.

ALSO AT THE BBBS BASH were Susan and Brock Moseley.
Photos by Vince Bucci

Yet another wildly inspiring evening happened on Nov. 15 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. It was the 2019 Big Bash of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles (BBBS), a venerated group in its 40th year.

The lively crowd included the “Littles,” passionate supporters and their guests. They were all there to honor and applaud Nina Jacobson, founder and CEO of Color Force production group, and entrepreneur Michael Green for their devotion and generosity to the youth of our city. BBBS board chairman Brock Moseley spoke of his employees at Miracle Mile Advisors and how, despite loving their work, they felt a need to give back somehow. Being paired with a Little Brother or Little Sister was the perfect choice.

Ever the gracious host, Mr. Moseley greeted and shook every hand during dinner. “We are not saviors, we are allies,” he stated, re-enforcing that 82 percent of the young participants go on to college.

In attendance was one of the allies, Imax President Megan Colligan, whose “Little,” Brianna, has been successfully guided to university. Also there was one of Ms. Colligan’s and Stephen Galloway’s three sons, Jesse. Brock Moseley’s wife Susan, Joe Giunta, Steve Soboroff, Carlene and John Miller, Sarah Krupta and Jeff Rao, Elisabeth and Tim Ward, and Cindi and Neil Smith were among the other supporters in attendance.

The knowledge that there are 200 children on the organization’s waiting list encouraged the bidding at auction to exceed $500,000. The organization seeks more possible “Bigs” to volunteer to step up to the plate.

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TWO MUSEUMS were visible as the sun set at the Nov. 2 “Art + Film” gala at the County Art Museum. LACMA’s Resnick Pavilion is in the foreground, and the glass dome over the Academy Museum’s rooftop Dolby Terrace is beyond.

And that’s the chat!

By Patty Hill

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Category: People

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