Wilshire Rotary 90th, Larchmont Charter fundraiser, teepee, more

| March 2, 2023 | 0 Comments

Ninety years ago, the average cost of lunch was 75 cents and a movie ticket just 35 cents. The year 1932 also was when the Wilshire Rotary Club gained its charter and began serving our neighborhood through its charitable works and other support for our community.

90TH ANNIVERSARY celebrants, left to right, Amy Cuomo, Joyce Kleifield, Dan Yukelson, Wendy Clifford, Janice Prior and John Miron.

Meetings took place at the Wilshire Country Club and then moved to the Cocoanut Grove at the Ambassador Hotel, where lunches got a bit more expensive ($1 — the horror!!!). On Jan. 28, 2023, the exquisite Jonathan Club downtown played host to a jubilant 90-year luncheon celebration where 75 members enjoyed canapés and tables overflowing with cheeses, meats, breads, vegetables and other delights that quickly vanished. Some guests donned carnival glasses, silly hats and boas if they were feeling fancy enough to mug for the camera of the Snap Yourself photo booth donated by Rotary President Joyce Kleifield’s son, Adam.

Of course, this being Rotary, the event was also a fundraiser. More than $10,000 was raised through a silent auction and raffle. Although Rotary is mainly known locally for its annual Larchmont pumpkin patch and Christmas tree lot (and don’t forget the Larchmont clock!), longtime member John Miron recounted the international nature of Rotary’s mission, including the Japanese student exchange program and hosting educators from Berlin, doctors from Prague and Russian judges who came to see and explore Los Angeles.

Most recently, Rotary collaborated with the Bill Gates Foundation to raise funds to fight polio around the globe, and the World Health Organization tapped into Rotary’s worldwide web of networks to help distribute Covid-19 vaccinations to the most hard-to-reach places.

In her 90th celebration toast, President Kleifield added a sentiment that echoed with all in attendance. “I’ve found a home in Rotary, and I couldn’t ask for better friends. If there was an experience we were put on earth for, we were put on earth for Rotary.” Enjoying the 90th anniversary mid-afternoon were party organizers Amy Cuomo, Wendy Clifford and Elizabeth Watts-Russell, along with members Zabrina Schultz, Don Robertson, Elsa Gillham, John Miron, Peter Smyth, Tim Stoller and Pam Rudy.

Screening fundraiser

EXCITED GUESTS ready to watch “Knock at the Cabin” at Larchmont Charter School movie night fundraiser.

An ultra-private screening room on the edge of Beverly Hills was the scene Feb. 2 of food, film and fundraising for Larchmont Charter School. Twenty-five guests joined the evening of laughter and connection in support of the local Pre-K-12. The event was catered by former Larchmont Charter Edible Schoolyard Program’s own Kori Bernards of Ricca Kitchen, who presented an incredible visual spread of fresh cheeses, vegetables, charcuterie, olives, cookies, mini pastries and more. Guests drank and dined surrounded by framed movie posters to get them into the movie magic mood.

MANNING the popcorn machine is Danny Corwin.

Windsor Square’s Danny Corwin manned the popcorn machine as guests made their way to every adult’s inner-child fantasy come true: an endless snack bar of king-sized movie candy boxes. When the lights dimmed for the screening in the ultra-plush, 30-seat private movie theater, M. Night Shyamalan’s highly anticipated “Knock at the Cabin” was the big reveal. Enjoying an evening of traditional moviegoing bliss were  AJ and Julie Johnson, Zoe and Danny Corwin, Daphne Brogdon, Lisa O’Malley, Pete Sepenuk, Susan and Stephen Matloff, Kori Bernards and Tom Eisenhauer, Jennifer Enani and Hayley and Chris Stott.

Teepee time

ATTENDEES enjoy conversation, reflection and meditation in a teepee.

A private estate in Malibu, a gargantuan teepee, and several hours of meditation and reflection all added up to a much-needed afternoon of sisterhood, wellness and rejuvenation for several Larchmont women Jan. 29. Hancock Park area resident Irene Abbou, organizer and founder of the Happiness Within Reach Coaching Program, led the afternoon of thought and reflection. Guests were welcomed into an oversized teepee where they were surrounded by warm blankets, candles, incense and crystals. Facilitator Fiona Emley led an exercise used in Eastern medicine to unblock channels on the body’s meridian system points, getting rid of negative energy and inviting healing. The women then enjoyed a sound bath of singing bowls led by Body & Soul Creek Wellness founder Brooke Burke, which uses the bowls’ restorative sounds to fill the room, inviting therapeutic wellness and relief. Enjoying the relaxing mini-escape were Lisa O’Malley, Manon Abbou and Melissa Staum.

CHLA as beneficiary

CHLA FUNDRAISER at Jeni’s ice cream: Evan (12) and River (7) Listi.

Evan Listi, a Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) Junior Ambassador, partnered with Jeni’s Ice Cream to raise funds for CHLA last month. Jeni’s donated 25 percent of sales on Valentine’s Day from 4 to 7 p.m. to CHLA to help the Junior Ambassadors reach their goal of raising $1 million for CHLA this year.

And, speaking of CHLA, local favorite restaurant El Cholo — celebrating its centennial in 2023 — has just announced a program to benefit that pediatric hospital and another one to our southwest, CHOC (Children’s Hospital of Orange County). Donors of $100 can receive an El Cholo Nacho VIP Card and enjoy Carmen’s Nachos for free all this year — while helping fund El Cholo’s own $1 million pledge for funding pediatric cancer research at the two hospitals.

Chronicle fans

People out partying saluted our local paper a couple of times in recent weeks. On Sat., Jan. 21, former residents Sally and Van Dyke Parks proudly displayed the January Larchmont Chronicle at an art opening featuring a dozen of Sally’s latest paintings.

BACHELORS BALL partiers at the 118th Anniversary fancy dress event at The Beverly Hilton included a leprechaun (Bachelor Alex Lynn) and Wilma and Fred Flintstone (Susanna Kise and Bachelor Michael Kezirian), evidently all fans of the Larchmont Chronicle.

A few weeks later, the February issue got a shout-out from a leprechaun and Wilma and Fred Flintstone! Spotted at the 118th Anniversary Bachelors Ball on Fri., Feb. 10 — getting a head start on St. Patrick’s Day — was former president of The Bachelors, Alex Lynn. For dinner, he sat at the table of Michael Kezirian, temporarily back in town from Germany and Houston just for the Ball. Complementing his Fred Flintstone costume was vivacious redhead Wilma, Susanna Kise, also here from Houston for the party.

As was the case with the approximately 800 people in the Beverly Hilton International Ballroom that night, the costumes of Kezirian’s other guests ran the gamut.

VAN DYKE PARKS and his wife, Sally, saluted their beloved former neighborhood newspaper at the recent opening of a show of her latest paintings.

For the club’s first seven years preceding 1912, “The Bachelor Cotillions” were white tie. As always, since 1912, when the party evolved to “fancy dress” (costume), the decorating theme for the Ball is kept secret until the ballroom doors open. This year, guests arrived to find themselves at a “Night at the Museum.” Two Bachelors who did know the theme were current president Michael Christopher Kristoff and vice president and ball chairman Tyler Alexander Bibbins. Both were in Museum of Natural History security guard uniforms.

As is traditional at the annual party given by these unmarried men, not to exceed 75 in number, several gracious ladies welcomed all the guests as Patronesses of the Ball. The ladies honored as Patronesses this year were Mrs. Sam Bakhshandepour, Ms. Mari Snyder Johnson, Mrs. Charles Stuart Nelson and Mrs. Andrew Elmore Witt. As also is tradition, there was dancing until 4 a.m.

Society annual tea

HISTORICAL SOCIETY TEA attracted a crowd at the Wilshire Country Club on a cloudy Sunday afternoon.

A sold-out gathering of fans of local history gathered at the Wilshire Country Club on Sun., Feb 26, for the Annual Tea arranged by the venerable Windsor Square Hancock Park Historical Society. As a guest speaker, photographer and author Tom Zimmerman, who specializes in recording history with his camera, shared fascinating tales with Society members and their guests.

And now you’re in the Larchmont know!

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Category: People

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