Out and about: Locals gather for good causes and good times

| June 2, 2022 | 0 Comments

AWARDEE Katie Buckland (left) and French Consul Julie Duhaut-Bedos.

Nonprofit and social organizations are feeling the freedom of gathering again in person, and more and more of that has been happening. For example, Larchmont local Katie Buckland was awarded the prestigious designation of Chevalier in L’Ordre National des Arts et des Lettres by French Consul General Julie Duhaut-Bedos on April 28 at the Résidence de France in Beverly Hills.

Buckland was honored for her accomplishments with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy office and for her work as executive director of the Writers Guild Foundation.

Buckland is a lawyer who, before joining the Writers Guild Foundation, worked at the California Women’s Law Center, as well as on Bill Clinton’s presidential campaigns and for the Democratic National Committee. She also created the Neighborhood Prosecutor Project for the city of Los Angeles

PRESIDENT OF THE 2023 Pasadena Tournament of Roses Amy Wainscott (left), with Sycamores president and CEO Debra Manners and board chair John Drinker.

A day later, friends and supporters of Sycamores and the Pasadena Tournament of Roses joined together in a tree planting ceremony to honor Sycamores’ 120th anniversary.

Hancock Park resident and Sycamores board chair John Drinker welcomed guests to the event on April 29, Arbor Day, at the Tournament House in Pasadena.

Sycamores president and CEO Debra Manners spoke of the two Southern California organizations’ shared history, dating back to the creation of Sycamores as Pasadena’s first orphanage in 1902.

The Pasadena Children’s Training Society, later named Sycamores, was established by Fannie Rowland, the wife of Dr. Francis F. Rowland, a founder of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses and the Grand Marshal of the first Rose Parade in 1890. More recently, Sycamores has partnered with the Tournament of Roses by providing wellness support to members of the 2022 Royal Court. According to Manners, “Planting a sycamore tree at the Tournament House symbolizes both our shared past and our new growth into the future.”

Today, Sycamores is a behavioral health and child welfare agency based in Pasadena. Learn more at Sycamores.org.

JEFFREY FOUNDATION Circle of Love chair Beverly Cohen (left) and foundation founder and CEO Alyce Morris Winston cut the 50-year anniversary cake.

May 4 marked the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Jeffrey Foundation by Alyce Morris Winston. A festive celebration was held, and participants included Beverly Cohen, chair of the Circle of Love support group, and Barbara Berg, Veronica Solano, David Kinnoin, Larry Covin, Niloo Bahadori and Winston’s husband, Edgar. Winston opened the doors of the Jeffrey Foundation in 1972 with the desire to give her son, Jeffrey, who had muscular dystrophy, a better life. After quitting her job as a model for Max Factor, Alyce began to develop a grassroots program to provide to special needs children activities and outings they could enjoy. These outings, which instill a sense of pride and accomplishment in the young people, also provide their families with much-needed companionship and support. Learn more at: thejeffreyfoundation.org

A few days later, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the Commission for Women gathered people at downtown’s Omni Hotel at a May 9 luncheon to honor Dr. Barbara Ferrer with the commission’s President’s Award. Ferrer heads the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

It was the commission’s 37th annual fundraiser, and it was themed “A Time of Reverence, Hope and Action.” The luncheon also recognized a host of other women who work to bring about social and economic change and promote equality.

Then, closer to home (at Raleigh Studios at the northeast corner of the Larchmont Village Neighborhood Association community), there was a mini film festival over the May 14-15 weekend. The inaugural Mexican-American Film and Television Festival & Awards showcased new films, short films and TV pilots produced and featuring Mexican-American filmmakers and actors. The award ceremony for best director, best film, actor and actress, and other categories featured Edward James Olmos presenting the Lifetime Achievement Award 2022 to producer Moctesuma Esparza.

RÉSIDENCE DE FRANCE ceremony attendees included Tina Pomerance (left) and Jill Bauman.

IMAGINE LA held a “spring salon” in the lovely Hancock Park garden of Kristen and Jeff Jaeger, where Sarah Dusseault (right) answered questions about homelessness policy from Imagine LA’s president Jill Bauman and board chair Teddy Kapur.

A few days later, under an amazing, historic oak tree in the beautiful backyard garden of Kristen and Jeff Jaeger in Hancock Park, Imagine LA gathered several score concerned and interested neighbors and others who are anxious about ending the homelessness crisis. The topic of what is and isn’t working, along with the best strategy for moving forward, was the subject of a compelling presentation by Sarah Dusseault. She is the co-chair of the Los Angeles County Blue Ribbon Commission on Homelessness, which just released a report on the current state of addressing the vexing problem. Dusseault’s presentation and other material about the event is on the Imagine LA website at:

Dusseault, former chair of the joint city-county Los Angeles Homelessness Services Authority (LAHSA) — and one-time chief of staff for Fourth Council District Councilmember David Ryu — was introduced, and later questioned, by event hosts Jill Bauman, Imagine LA president, and Teddy Kapur, the organization’s board chair. The local organization is focused on addressing family poverty and homelessness.

VAN NESS AVENUE home of Clare Sebenius (center), standing with Robert Fitch and Karlene Taylor, was the setting of a Windsor Square Hancock Park Historical Society gathering.
                        Photo by Richard Battaglia

As the month wrapped up, the Windsor Square Hancock Park Historical Society gathered together a crowd of interested neighbors on May 22. They came to hear veteran costume designer Daniel Orlandi (who started his career as assistant to Bob Mackie for eight years) talk about his costume work in numerous films with very familiar names. The event took place at a restored and rarely-seen 102-year-old home on Van Ness Avenue. The property’s owners, new Historical Society members Clare Sebenius and Kevin Cohen, were the gracious hosts.

It is so great to see people once again getting out and about — in support of good causes, community progress or even just to have fun together in the same place!

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Category: People

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