Charities for children, opera education, a Nobel Prize and more

| April 27, 2023 | 0 Comments

Exclusive bridal gown designer and Larchmont resident Cocoe Voci’s design studio on Robertson Boulevard in Beverly Hills was the spot for champagne, macarons, shopping and giving on March 29.

MAKE MARCH MATTER for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is the cause for Dawn Wilcox, left, and Jillian Green, who attended the benefit event in Beverly Hills at the design showroom of Cocoe Voci and Chloe Colette.

Voci shares half of her showroom with another designer brand, Chloe Colette, one of 111 local businesses that have partnered with Make March Matter (MMM), an annual fundraising event benefitting Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA).

Founder and creative director of the Paris-, Geneva-, and Los Angeles-based Chloe Colette, Jenny Rizzuto, recently opened her new showroom with head designer Victoria Zito and looks to make a splash with their bubblegum pink sweaters, tops, skirts and dresses, as well as other eye-popping spring colors that will make you say “au revoir!” to all of that winter rain.

Champagne servers wore Chloe Colette hot pink fuchsia tracksuits to dole out the bubbly as guests opened their

CHLA SUPPORTERS at the March 29 benefit included, from left: Michelle Lucas, Cocoe Voci, Elizabeth Beristain and Jenny Rizzuto.

wallets for a good cause. CHLA took in 10 percent of sales at the shopping event.

“Make March Matter is a way for community and businesses to come together to support the mission for the hospital,” said MMM official Dawn Wilcox. Also enjoying the event from MMM was Jillian Green.

• • •

The early part of April included a special treat for music lovers in the area. In the exquisite lounge of the 1927 Ebell Club, a full house experienced the 1994 work, “Impressions of Pelléas for Voices and Two Pianos” arranged by Marius Constant. “Impressions” is based upon the 1898 opera by Claude Debussy (his only opera), “Pelléas et Mélisande,” which is a musical rendition of the 1892 five-act play of the same name by Maurice Maeterlinck.

IMPRESSIONS DE PELLÉAS for Voices and Two Pianos in The Ebell’s lounge featured, from left, conductor James Conlon, mezzo-soprano Madeleine Lyon (Genevieve), bass Alan Williams (Arkel, seated), soprano Deepa Johnny (Mélisande), baritone Ryan Wolfe (Golaud), and baritone Anthony León (Pelléas, seated. The four pianists who accompanied the singers were Yanfeng Tony Bai, Vijay Venkatesh, Hyejin Park and Ryota Yamazaki.

First performed in 1902 in Paris, the opera is often overlooked in repertoires, according to LA Opera Music Director (and Windsor Square resident) James Conlon. To remedy that, local opera goers had six opportunities to attend LA Opera’s first presentation since 1995 of what LA Opera describes as “Debussy’s enigmatic operatic masterpiece [that] captures an exquisitely nuanced dream world where forbidden love blossoms.”

Those performances at The Music Center were in addition to a citywide celebration — “Discovering

MAESTRO JAMES CONLON gave The Ebell audience a pre-performance talk about Debussy and the opera.

Debussy” — curated and directed by Conlon in March and April, of which “Impressions of Pelléas” at The Ebell was the concluding event.

Spotted at The Ebell on April 4 were locals Patty Lombard and Bill Simon, Donna Russell, Janet Ciriello, Robert Ronus and many more. Some of Maestro Conlon’s thoughts on Debussy are included in the LA Opera’s printed program at:

AFTER THE PERFORMANCE, locals discussing Debussy included, from left, Robert Ronus, Janet Ciriello, Jennifer Ringo and Ms. Ringo’s husband, conductor James Conlon.

• • •

It was a real achievement, just up on Vine Street, across from Vine Street Elementary School — in the kitchen of Project Angel Food (PAF) — when the sixteen millionth medically tailored meal was prepared and delivered on April 10th.

Equipped with a hair net, apron, and gloves, Mayor Karen Bass joined the assembly line for that day’s meal of stir-fry chicken and fresh vegetables. Next, as the meal containers emerged from the sealing machine and were labeled, the mayor took the one with label “16,000,000,” and handed it to a grateful PAF client, Leon Williams.

MEAL SIXTEEN MILLION is delivered by Mayor Karen Bass to Project Angel Food (PAF) client Leon Williams in the PAF kitchen as PAF CEO Richard Ayoub applauds for the local media.

As longtime PAF CEO Richard Ayoub watched approvingly, Mayor Bass said, “It is my honor and pleasure to present this 16 millionth meal to a member of our community, Leon Williams. He told me he’s a heart patient. A lot of times when people think of health care they think of doctors and medicine, but they don’t necessarily think of food, which is so important. That is why Project Angel Food is so important.”

Project Angel Food was founded in 1989, and it feeds 2,500 seriously ill people each day, providing more than 1.5 million meals per year.

SOFI STADIUM was the venue for Spike Booth (second from left) to celebrate his birthday with two-dozen friends, including locals, from left, Dick Lowry and Bob Baker from Hancock Park and Peter Ziegler and Bill Fain from Windsor Square.

• • •

What to do for a big birthday? Spike Booth (Franklin Otis Booth III, to be precise) chose to give a gift to several dozen of his good friends.

On April 13, he provided them a VIP lunch and a guided tour of the many levels of the fantastic new Sofi Stadium, a two-team football, concert and event venue unparalleled anywhere in the world (for the time being, at least). Joining the Booth party were a half-dozen men from this neighborhood, including Hancock Park’s Dick Lowry and Bob Baker and Windsor Square‘s Peter Ziegler, John Welborne and Bill Fain.

• • •

One of the older institutions in Los Angeles is the downtown Jonathan Club. Its opulent main dining room was a fitting setting to be talking about the age of the universe and the discovery of black holes that exist within it. Andrea Ghez, professor of physics and astronomy at UCLA (with multiple other titles and a 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics, to boot) was celebrated as the Woman of the Year by THE MUSES of the California Science Center Foundation. THE MUSES, founded more than 60 years ago to support the California Science Center and its predecessor, the California Museum of Science and Industry, has recognized a Woman of the Year annually (recent Covid-19 years excepted) since 1965.

More than 200 members of THE MUSES and their guests enjoyed the April 17 luncheon and raffle —

THE MUSES support the California Science Center Foundation, this time at an April 17 luncheon at the Jonathan Club.

and, especially, the experience of listening to Professor Ghez explain her work studying black holes in space. At the luncheon, it also was fascinating to hear her recount her upbringing and the personal discoveries that led her down the path towards science and discovery.

PROF. ANDREA GHEZ, Woman of the Year 2023, gathered with eighth and ninth graders from St. Mary’s Academy after her talk.

“The moon landing inspired me as a kid to pursue astronomy, but I also wanted to be a ballerina,” Ghez recounted to the rapt audience. Ghez is a big advocate for inspiring young girls to pursue science and math.

Locals enjoying the luncheon included Margo O’Connell, Mary O’Connell and Melanie Guise of Hancock Park and Judith Miller of Windsor Square. The event was sponsored at the Jonathan Club by Gloria and Richard Pink.

• • •

Volunteers and supporters strutted their merry ways across the Wilshire Country Club’s Hancock Ballroom carpet “runway” for “A Chic Affaire” — a “friend raiser” to help create awareness and recruit new members for one of Los Angeles’ oldest charitable organizations, the Assistance League of Los Angeles (ALLA).

ASSISTANCE LEAGUE local supporters (in no particular seating order) include Donna Econn, Dina Phillips, Nancy Gale, Michelle McMullin, Patty McKenna, Karla Ahmanson, Amza Bossom, Kelley Nelson, Amanda Holdsworth and one unnamed.

The League, which started here in 1919, currently supports 24,000 disadvantaged youth in the Los Angeles area through its many programs, including the Foster Children’s Resource Center, Operation School Bell, the League Scholarship Program, the Preschool Learning Center, the Theatre for Children and the Court Referred Volunteer Center.

The April 19 fashion show and luncheon was organized by two of the ALLA’s auxiliary support organizations, the Mannequins and the College Alumni Auxiliary (CAA). The luncheon’s volunteer runway models wore Jonathan Simkhai designs as guests enjoyed salmon, mixed salad, roasted vegetables, steamed rice, chocolate éclairs, chocolate chip cookies and fresh berries. In addition to 10 percent of all fashion purchases going toward the charity, 20 percent of all proceeds from a boutique set up just outside the ballroom also helped achieve fundraising goals.

JAN DALEY struts her stuff at ALLA fashion show luncheon at Wilshire Country Club.

CAA Chair June Bilgore emphasized that the Assistance League is the only local organization that gives clothing and other items to disadvantaged Los Angeles children and teens on a consistent basis.

Among those enjoying the runway fashion show were Donna Econn, Dina Phillips, Michelle McMullin, Nancy Gale, Patty McKenna, Nan Wallan, Karla Ahmanson, Amanda Holdsworth, Angelique Campen, Amza Bossom, Kelley Nelson and model / attendee Jan Daley.

And now you’re in the Larchmont know!

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Category: People

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