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Joan Mangum’s Society Scene —Colleagues Name Marlo Thomas A ‘Champion Of Children’

COLLEAGUES LUNCHEON–The 31st annual “Colleagues Spring Luncheon” at The Beverly Wilshire was its usual SRO classic. Above are (from left): Gayle Wilson, Mary Milner, Jenny Jones, President Cara Leonetti Esposito, Martine Singer, and Anne Johnson. Photo by Alex J. Berliner/ABImages
Honoree Marlo Thomas is greeted by actor Henry Winkler who presented her award. award. Photo by Alex J. Berliner/ABImages

Posted Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - 12:54 pm

Once again a fantastic time was the 31st annual “Colleagues Spring Luncheon” at The Beverly Wilshire where Beverly Hills’ native daughter Marlo Thomas received the group’s Champion of Children Award given to those who have made a lasting impact on the lives of children.

Marlo not only conceived, produced and starred in the hit TV series That Girl, but won four Emmys, the Peabody, a Golden Globe, and a Grammy, and was inducted into the Broadcasting Hall of Fame. She was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, is the author of seven books, and serves as national outreach director of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, founded in 1962 by her father, Danny Thomas.

Looking stunning in a red dress, actor Henry Winkler presented the award as her proud husband, Phil Donahue, looked on.

With Cristina Ferrare again hosting, the event included a fashion show from Oscar de la Renta’s Fall 2019 Collection designed by creative directors Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia, which was a crowd pleaser.

The committee included “Luncheon Angel” Carolyn Powers; Executive Chair Anne Johnson; Chair/Sponsor Suz-anne Kayne; Co-Chairs Jane Ackerman, Lynn Booth, Jany Davenport, Libby and Topsy Doheny, Jenny Jones, Bridget Gless Keller, Lauren King, Debbie Lanni, Mary Martin, Mary Milner, Wendy Stark Morrissey, Maty Novia, Marna Schnabel, Stephanie Booth Shafran, Ginny Sydorick, Barbera Thornhill; and Colleagues President Cara Leonetti Esposito.

Founded in 1950, The Colleagues is a group of 65 active women and 25+ sustaining members who volunteer their time and expertise to support and so far has raised more than $25 million for its sole beneficiary, the Children’s Institute, Inc.

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The invitation reads… Lupus LA… it’s time for “Orange Ball­–A Modern Supper Club” at The Beverly Wilshire on Saturday, May 4.  The event will be a dining and dancing extravaganza featuring a bistro-style dining experience and entertainment by West Coast Music’s ENCORE (Get your dancing shoes on)…

Songstress Toni Braxton will receive the Loop Award while GSK will be honored with the Medical Visionary Award.

Chairing the event are Paula Abdul and Nancy Utley with the ball committee being Lauren Shuler Donner, the Sheba family, Michele Kaye, Adam Selkowitz, Laurie Selkowitz, Stacey Uberstine and Janice Wallace.

To purchase tickets, visit: or call 310-657-5667.

Sounds like a fun-filled evening for a great cause.

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The “Los Angeles City College Foundation Gala” celebrating the 90th anniversary of LACC was held at The Beverly Wilshire.

Laugh Factory founder Jamie Masada received the Rodney Respect Award, presented to him by comic Tiffany Haddish. Masada who founded the iconic Laugh Factory has helped launch the careers of countless comedians including Kevin Hart, Ali Wong and Dave Chappelle.

The Rodney Dangerfield Institute (RDI) at LACC was established in honor of the late comedian in cooperation with his widow, Joan Dangerfield, who serves as honorary chair of the RDI Advisory Board. The RDI is the only comedy institute in the country housed within a community college and offers four classes including a stand-up workshop, improvisational comedy, joke writing, and an American film comedy genre class.

Famed sports agent Dennis Gilbert, CEO/founder of the Gilbert Group, and Harvey Englander, CEO/founder of Englander Knabe and Allen, one of the largest public affairs and government agencies in California, were honored with Outstanding Alumni awards.

The more than 700 guests enjoyed a special musical performance by legendary Herb Albert and singer Lani Hall, who as always, were truly fabulous.

Actor/comedian Robert Wulh hosted the event, which raised more than $700,000. The LACC Foundation provides students with the financial support they need to attend school, regardless of their ability to pay since many come from the most challenging areas of Los Angeles County where most households live below the poverty level.

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