"Dog eat dog" and "tough" might be the first words that come to mind when thinking of the men and women who negotiate real estate deals on the pricey Westside, but they can be charitable and cooperative, as an event planned Wednesday reveals.
Dubbed "a magical evening at Cirque du Soleil," the event--on the Santa Monica Pier--will feature jugglers, clowns, cyclists and other acrobats in that unusual circus team from Quebec, Canada. The event will be the first for a real estate foundation formed to raise funds for worthy causes, the first being AIDS Project Los Angeles.
Ron de Salvo, event chairman, said, "The circus is the catalyst to our credibility because the foundation hasn't even been announced yet to the public. It's something like putting the cart before the horse, but the event will be spectacular, and we're rallying a group of people never rallied before."
Besides individual sales, the foundation has generated 30 benefactors, including a couple of banks and major Westside brokers, who paid $2,500 each for 10 tickets. Tickets cost from $50 to $250. A $250 ticket also allows the holder to attend a post-circus party at the pier's Carousel Building.
The foundation is known as "One Voice," but that may be changed after Wednesday because another organization claims that name. The name was taken from a 1979 song written by Barry Manilow. Among the lyrics are: "All it takes is One Voice. Shout it out and let it ring. Just One Voice. It takes that One Voice. And everyone will sing."
The foundation consists, so far, of about a dozen Westside brokers or agents and a handful of honorary member realty firms, but a goal is to grow.
"We'll call on the entire real estate community, locally first, then statewide," said Victoria Lockwood, co-chairman of the group's executive committee. Stephen L. Moore, the other co-chair, added, "The potential is to involve the whole industry, including developers and people we consider affiliates. This just started on the Westside."
It started with AIDS Project Los Angeles, said Lockwood, and that's one reason all the proceeds from the Wednesday event will go to APLA, a nonprofit organization involved in the day-to-day care of AIDS patients in Los Angeles County.
A few months ago, a friend of Lockwood's who is in the fashion industry invited her to a luncheon where he asked some manufacturers to donate a penny to APLA for every garment made.
"Four industries were already involved in raising money to fight AIDS," she said, listing the fashion, record, entertainment and design fields, "and I was asked if I could get the real estate industry behind it.
"The next thing I knew, most of the executive committee members we have now were at my house in the pouring rain, and the outcome was to create our own foundation for the real estate industry at large to join forces for other worthy causes as well."
"APLA is our primary thrust for this year," Moore explained, "and we'll go from there."
No Officers Yet
The foundation is still so new that officers haven't been elected yet, Lockwood noted, but members of the executive committee are--besides her, Moore and de Salvo--John Aaroe, Juan Alvarez, Joyce Flaharty, Kevin Malone, Linda May, Bruce Nelson, Marge Oswald, David Perry, Joyce Rey, June Scott, Stephen Shapiro and Elaine Young.
On the organization's honorary board of directors are Alvarez, Hyland & Young, Caverhill & May, Jon Douglas Co., Merrill Lynch Realty, Fred Sands Realtors, June Scott Associates and Sotheby's International Realty.
"The beauty is that we are competitors," Lockwood said, "but we want the community to know that we can work together."
And with 1,750 seats in the blue and yellow tent on the pier, they're still working to sell tickets to the Wednesday fund-raiser. More details: Events Unlimited at 658-5765.