Festivities raise funds; photographer and architect honored

| October 26, 2023 | 0 Comments

El Cholo Restaurant and Children’s Chain of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles came together to celebrate a 100th birthday at a festive and colorful fundraiser Oct. 2 at none other than the original El Cholo on Western Avenue. Children’s Chain member and longtime denizen of Hancock Park, Carlotta Brant Keely, described by others in the group as a “spark plug” who gets things done, welcomed celebrants and thanked the guests for the years of support they have given the organization, one of 24 Associate & Affiliates groups that support the hospital. Attendee and past Children’s Chain president Neville Anderson has been a part of the group for 15 years. “I love that this organization is women from all over Los Angeles who get to give back to a wonderful organization that does so much for the community.”

CHLA SUPPORTERS at the El Cholo event include (from left) Betsy Anderson, Dr. Neville Anderson and Bonnie McClure.

RON SALISBURY, third generation family member of the El Cholo owners, welcomes guests of Children’s Chain of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. At right is Chain member Carlotta Keely. In the background is a photograph of Salisbury‘s father, George.

That giving includes staging children’s fashion shows, hosting small fundraisers, cooking demonstrations and luncheons to help raise money for their beloved cause. Keely was especially grateful to her committee that helped organize the event, which included every woman in the room wearing a traditional Mexican flower corona. When El Cholo owner and host Ron Salisbury decided to raise funds for pediatric cancer research at local charities Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and Children’s Hospital of Orange County (where he lives) — in honor of his family’s restaurant’s century mark —  Children’s Chain became a perfect partner. Salisbury’s wife Darlene was a former member of Children’s Chain, so the stars aligned.

MARIACHIS pose with El Cholo’s Ron Salisbury and Alma Corona.

SALUTING CENTENARIAN institutions CHLA (founded in 1901) and El Cholo are, clockwise from left: Lilly Boyd, Cindy MacPherson, Mimi Techentin, Meg Jenkins, Jennifer Fain, Evan Jenkins, Bill Fain, Elizabeth LaBombard, Warren Techentin and John LaBombard.







   “For our 100th anniversary, I looked at my son and said, “let’s raise $1 million for children’s charities in Los Angeles,” recalled Salisbury. “We’re still working on it, but we know over our next hundred years, we want to keep raising money for charities.”

LOCALS (from left) Sloan Fowkes, Connie McCreight and Flo Fowkes enjoy the festive party atmosphere on the patio at El Cholo.





Salisbury also told an emotional story about his grandparents, Alejandro and Rosa Borquez, the founders of El Cholo (originally called Sonora Cafe in 1923), who came to Los Angeles from Arizona Territory (yes, it wasn’t even a state yet). “This is the result of the American dream and I can’t describe the life it’s given me.”

The guests were treated to several of the restaurant’s 100-year-old recipes, including their famous green corn tamales, plus chicken fajitas, enchiladas, rice, beans and margaritas. A five-piece mariachi band provided the lively background music. Donors to the event included Thomas Blumenthal, the Davi Family, the Fowkes Family, Lisa Prince, Kelly and Rick Rielly, the Hasbrouck Family and Caroline Keck.

• • •

THE CENTER in Hollywood is transitioning its leadership from Nathan Sheets (right), to Alex Sato (left).

The sweet sounds of a three-piece jazz band floated through the night air during The Center in Hollywood “Jazzed for Community” annual fundraiser on Oct. 12. Billed as “Wine, Cheese & Jazz Under the Stars,” the courtyard was transformed into an oasis of twinkling lights, music and finger foods that warmed the tummies of the community supporters. Guests nibbled on an endless table of cheeses, dips, charcuterie, breads and fruits, while others chose to indulge in barbecue chicken and gouda sandwiches, chili-rubbed chicken, spicy curried couscous and basil pesto pasta.

JAZZED FOR COMMUNITY was the theme of the fundraising event on the patio of The Center in Hollywood.

The fundraiser, which raised nearly $40,000, benefited The Center’s Community Wellness Program, which offers hospitality, wellness and a safe space for the unhoused neighbors of Hollywood. During the daytime, unhoused members of the community can visit the Center for a free cup of coffee (provided by Go Get ’Em Tiger), get their mail (more than 500 unhoused people receive mail at The Center), receive mental, physical and substance abuse services, or even join their neighbors in karaoke.

“Our small organization gives the unhoused a place to go in the day,” said departing Executive Director Nathan Sheets. “It gives people a sense of belonging and purpose while they are waiting for housing. People can come and just ‘be.’ As simple as that sounds, it’s a hard thing for unhoused people to find in Los Angeles.” Alex Sato, who is serving as interim director, summed it up in five words: “Our goal is ending isolation.”

• • •

JANE GILMAN entertained some former and current Larchmont Chronicle staff for lunch. Left to right: Libby Motika, Diana Rosen, Amy Ulmer, Lucy Roman, Pam Rudy, Suzan Filipek with Jane Gilman, seated center.

Larchmont Chronicle founder Jane Gilman talked about old and new times with former and current staff from the newspaper last month at a small lunch she hosted at the Wilshire Country Club. Her guests were Libby Motika, Diana Rosen, Amy Ulmer, Lucy Roman, Pam Rudy and Suzan Filipek.

• • •


What a great gathering took place Oct. 11 in the Crystal Ballroom of the landmark Beverly Hills Hotel. There, more than 250 guests gathered to celebrate the legacy of legendary architect Paul R. Williams, FAIA, and the official launch of the Paul R. Williams Scholarship and Education Fund.

PAUL R. WILLIAMS, FAIA, architectural legacy is celebrated in the Crystal Ballroom of the Beverly Hills Hotel by, from left: Angela Bassett, Karen Hudson, Gabrielle Bullock, Paul Hudson and Amy Forbes.

Locals attending included Windsor Square’s Amy Forbes and John and Martha Welborne, FAIA, honoree Gabrielle Bullock, FAIA (also of Windsor Square) and other locals including actor Angela Bassett and banker Paul C. Hudson. Hudson and his sister, Karen E. Hudson — the executive director of the new fund — are grandchildren of the legendary architect, among whose many works was the renovation, beginning in the late 1940s, of the Beverly Hills Hotel, including the iconic signage and other memorable design elements throughout the property. The event was hosted in partnership with the hotel.The theme of the evening was “Strollin’ on the Avenue,” and the party celebrated Los Angeles’ historic Central Avenue, which served as the cultural, social, and commercial hub of the city’s Black community from the 1920s through the 1950s. Wren T. Brown, actor, director and founder and producing artistic director of the Ebony Repertory Theatre, served as an amazing master of ceremonies and also as a glib and informed narrator for fascinating large-screen images of Central Avenue.

The evening also featured a vocal performance by Emmy and Tony Award-winning performer Keith David, accompanied by a live jazz quartet.

The menu also was a celebration of familiar cuisine, including fried okra on the heirloom tomato salad, a main course of southern fried chicken breasts with sweet potato gratin, braised collard greens and, of course, cornbread. The brown butter peach cobbler sundae was topped with brown sugar cotton candy!

The gala celebration included presentation of the first-ever Paul R. Williams Awards. Architect Philip G. Freelon, FAIA, was honored with The Torchbearer Award posthumously for his contributions to architecture, including designing the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History & Culture. Nnenna Freelon, the Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist, accepted the award on her late husband’s behalf. Karen Hudson also announced the creation of a new award in Philip G. Freelon’s name, which will be presented next year.

Architect, diversity champion and Windsor Square resident (and recent Larchmont Chronicle Woman of Larchmont) Gabrielle Bullock, FAIA, received the One Who Dares Award for her decades of social impact while breaking new ground for Black women in architecture. Bullock serves as principal and director of global diversity for the architecture firm Perkins & Will.

A final tribute was to real estate broker and architectural historian Jeffrey Hyland, who posthumously was honored with The Advocate Award for his unwavering efforts to preserve historic Los Angeles residences. Lori Hyland, chair of Hilton & Hyland, accepted the award on her late husband’s behalf.

BOOM BOOM ROOM celebrants in New York from Los Angeles included Kate and Odom Stamps, he the granduncle of bat mitzvah honoree Frederica Brodsky.

Proceeds of the event will support the Paul R. Williams Scholarship and Education Fund, launched earlier this year to inspire, support, and celebrate young people pursuing careers in architecture. Learn more at: thepaulrwilliamscollection.com.

• • •

Lots of friends of the late Suzanne and Fred Rheinstein were in New York on Oct. 14 for the bat mitzvah of Frederica Brodsky, the middle daughter of Alexander and Kate Rheinstein Brodsky. Among Angelenos seen at Temple Emanuel on Fifth Avenue and later at a glittery party at the Boom Boom Room atop the Standard Hotel in the Meatpacking District were Suzanne’s brother Odom Stamps and his wife, Kate, Elizabeth Fain LaBombard, Evan and Meg Fain Jenkins and their three children and Ian and Elizabeth Parks Kibbey and their son, Turner. Also in New York for the weekend celebration were Jennifer and Bill Fain and Fred‘s other daughter, Linda Rheinstein.

• • •

SILVERLAKE Conservatory of Music golden key is held by honoree and occasional Larchmont Chronicle photographer Gary Leonard while certificate from Mayor Bass is held by Gary’s son, David.       Photo by Damian Dovarganes

Also on Oct. 14, a large crowd turned out to honor iconic Los Angeles photographer Gary Leonard at a benefit to support the Silverlake Conservatory of Music (SCM). The organization was founded in 2001 by longtime friends and musicians Michael “Flea” Balzary and Keith “Tree” Barry. Confronting cutbacks to arts education programming throughout Los Angeles public schools, the two enlisted the help of their friend Peter Weiss and founded SCM to fill that void and bring music education to the community.

GIANT CROWD supporting Silverlake Conservatory of Music salutes honoree Gary Leonard.               Photo by Gary Leonard

Gary Leonard is renowned as the unofficial photographer of Los Angeles. He has been photographing Los Angeles for 40 years. He first made a name for himself by recording images of the punk clubs and nightlife of Los Angeles. Daily, he ventures forth into the city, armed with cameras and his eye for the beautiful, ironic, and iconic. The native Angeleno’s work is featured in several books and, occasionally, in the Larchmont Chronicle. His photographs also appear in journals around the world.

RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS surround friend Gary Leonard with guitarist John Frusciante holding a 1991 photo (by David Leonard) of the same five men.   Photo by Damian Dovarganes

Not surprisingly, his friends include many musicians, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers were there to celebrate Gary and his fans at the fundraiser. Son David Leonard was there, too, helping with the presentation to his photographer father.

• • •

SUZANNE ISKEN, at left, accepts commendations from (left to right) Rody López, Corinna Cotsen and Wally Marks III.

Wilshire Boulevard’s Craft Contemporary Museum was packed on Saturday, October 21, as about 300 people made their way into the museum to honor departing executive director Suzanne Isken while simultaneously celebrating and fundraising for the museum. The benefit featured Mediterranean tapas, a stocked bar and plenty of handcrafted art pieces up for bids during the event’s silent auction. The museum was established in 1965.

Party guests were able to stroll throughout the museum’s three floors, discovering art pieces by both established and emerging artists. The mission of the museum is to “reveal the potential of craft to educate, captivate, provoke and empower.”

LARCHMONT LOCALS and Craft Contemporary Museum supporters Chava Danielson (left) and Christopher Tandon, who said that he loves “that this museum exists.”

On a stage, incoming executive director Rody Lopez was joined by museum trustees Corinna Cotsen and Wally Marks III in presenting commendations to Isken celebrating her 12 years of leading the museum.

Larchmont locals Chava Danielson and Christopher Tandon were there to support Christopher’s partner, artist Aubrey Longly-Cook, who donated a needlepoint piece to the silent auction. “I love that this museum exists,” said Tandon. “It reaches out to a young generation of textile and other artists and shows that craft is an art.”

And now you’re in the Larchmont know!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Category: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *