Wildest fundraiser ever; SVMOW enjoyed Paramount Studios

| June 27, 2024 | 0 Comments

ONLOOKERS watch the chimpanzees eating dinner.

The wildest fundraiser around, the Beastly Ball, took place June 1 at the Los Angeles Zoo. Attendees wandered the zoo after hours dressed in safari chic. The fundraiser has been hosted annually by the zoo and the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association since 1971. This year, it raised more than $1.25 million for the zoo’s conservation and education efforts.

The zoo-goers walked past the okapis (the closest relative to the giraffe) and wandered by chimpanzees, elephants and orangutans before finally landing at the gorillas, who share 98 percent of the same DNA as humans. Animal care specialists at each location enabled guests to learn more about the mammals, their idiosyncrasies and their habitats.

While guests strolled through the atmospheric surroundings, they were treated to beverages, passed appetizers and food stations from local restaurants (including Pink’s Hot Dogs and El Cholo). Silent auction items lined the walkways while live orchestral music filled the air. Acrobats performed flips, contortionists bent themselves into knots, and stilt-walking humans dressed as animals meandered through the crowd.
Guests joined emcee actor Joel McHale for the sit-down portion of the evening adjoining the elephant exhibit. Guests listened to a representative from the Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education Center (GRACE) explain its conservation work in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The zoo helps support GRACE with its work.

STILT-WALKING “ANIMALS” stroll through the event.

There is incredible biodiversity in the Congo, along with some of the rarest and most endangered species in the world. Its tropical forests are considered “the lungs of Africa.” With a paddle raise, additional dollars for this specific cause were donated — and then doubled through a matching gift from an anonymous donor.

BEASTLY BALL is enjoyed for the first time by
Councilmember Traci Park.

• • •

GALA for United in Harmony drew Nick Melvoin (left) of Larchmont Village and Adam Slutske.

United in Harmony (UNH), a nonprofit that sends children experiencing poverty to camp, hosted its first fundraising gala in early May.

The gala attracted more than 200 adults and students to a private home in Beverly Hills. The outdoor affair had a sushi station, tacos created on the spot by Tacos 1986, sliders and fries, and s’mores by S’moreolog­y — to capture that camp experience.

Local Larchmont Village resident and Los Angeles Unified School District Board Member, Nick Melvoin, along with Adam Slutske, executive camp director, successfully appealed to attendees to donate $25,000 during dinner. Learn more about UNH at unitedinharmony.org.

• • •

PARAMOUNT’S iconic Bronson Gate is the backdrop for the “Hollywood Under the Stars” June 22 fundraiser for St. Vincent Meals on Wheels.

The summer gods were smiling on the third annual “Hollywood Under the Stars” St. Vincent Meals on Wheels (SVMOW) fundraiser on the Paramount Studios lot on Sat., June 22. During one of the first warm nights that Los Angeles has seen in many-a-month, guests poured onto the lot in eager anticipation of food, drink, music and merriment. The night’s special honorees and longtime supporters, actor Ian McShane and wife Gwen Humble McShane, said, “We are in awe of the dedicated staff and selfless volunteers who not only deliver meals and birthday cakes to homebound individuals and seniors, but also conduct daily wellness checks and even provide meals for pets.”

Since its establishment by the Daughters of Charity in 1977, SVMOW has served millions of meals, including nearly one million meals this year alone. Nelly Llanos Kilroy, 94, one of the women who helped  found SVMOW, was in attendance, along with the evening’s Honorary Host, Rick Llanos, her son.

The first indication of something special happening at the sold-out event — that took place under a nearly full moon in front of the historic Bronson Gate — was when guests were greeted with Veuve Clicquot and an open bar during a VIP hour featuring Chef Bret Thompson and Pez Coastal Kitchen.

SISTERS of the Daughters of Charity gather with St. Vincent Meals on Wheels honorees Gwen Humble McShane and Ian McShane (in center).

Nearly a dozen top chefs from all over the city, including Chef Gino Angelini of nearby Angelini Osteria, were featured. Chef/Owner Nika Shoemaker-Machado of Georgia’s Restaurant, Chef Sam Marvin of Echo & Rig, Chef Gloria Chicas of Room Service Neighborhood, Chef Francesco Zimone of L’antica Pizzeria da Michele, Chef Keith Corbin of Alta Adam, and Chef Mohair Lad of Arth Bar + Kitchen also were on hand to wow the guests with their edible and unforgettable indulgences.

Desserts from Bertha Mae’s Brownie Co., Lark Cake Shop, Malibu Meringue, Uncle Tetsu and Läderach Chocolatier Suisse satisfied every taste.
Ten-piece band, de Bois All Stars, was back by popular demand, swinging and swaying and getting the crowd up on its feet. Co-hosts actor E-Kan Soong and newscaster Susan Hirasuna introduced guests and presented an audio compilation of thankful voicemails left by the senior and homebound clients of SVMOW.

And now you’re in the Larchmont know!

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Category: Entertainment

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