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Frances Allen’s Desert Roundup—Diane Deshong Celebrates Christmas In Style With Friends, Sunnylands Staff At The Peninsula

Diane Deshong and her daughter Leonore.

Posted: Friday, December 30, 2016 – 12:31 PM

Having been afraid to turn on the news the last several years and hear about the latest global atrocity, I can now understand Ginger Rogers’ secret for aging gracefully and without stress: “Don’t,” she told me, “watch the news on television and don’t read newspapers.” The value of that advice was elegantly in evidence as Diane Deshong gave a multi-plate Christmas dinner party for nearly 100 of her friends and staff of the Annenberg’s Sunnylands retreat in Rancho Mirage.

Deshong, who is constantly traveling between Beverly Hills and the Desert, chose the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills as the site of her annual Christmas family dinner and, like everything Deshong sets out to do, she did so impeccably, even producing costumed carolers and a pianist to provide a backdrop for the love, good cheer and genuine warmth that abounded throughout the ballroom.

But, what made the evening particularly noteworthy was when Deshong’s daughter and namesake grandmother, Leonore, spoke about her mother and ended by saying, “I wish everyone in the world could know how kind and caring my mother is.”

Well Leonore, everyone in the whole world of Beverly Hills knows it now.

• • • • •

And they keep coming, the awards that is. The Palm Springs International Film Festival has announced that it will present Andrew Garfield the  for his role in Hacksaw Ridge, a true story about Desmond Doss who, in World War II’s bloodiest battle, saved 75 men without carrying a gun. He was the only American soldier in WWII to fight on the front lines without a weapon.

As an Army medic, Doss single-handedly evacuated wounded men from behind enemy lines, braving fire while tending to soldiers. Wounded by a grenade and hit by enemy snipers, Doss was the first conscientious objector awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

• • • • •

January’s Film Festival will screen 190 films from 72 countries, including 58 premieres, (nine world, five international, 20 North American and 24 U.S.) over the period of Jan. 2-16, 2017.

Opening night features The Sense of an Ending, staring Jim Broadbent and Charlotte Rampling who team up in the adaptation of an acclaimed novel about time, memory, jealousy and the lies we tell ourselves to survive.

The Comedian garners closing night honors. It stars Robert De Niro as a bitter, angry insult comic who was once the popular star of a TV sitcom, and is now trying to claw hi way back … one joke at a time.

More information about these or other films screening at the festival is available at 760-322—2930.

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