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Fund-Raiser Honors Stars of the Valley

May 16, 1999|By a TIMES STAFF WRITER

UNIVERSAL CITY — Stars from entertainment, business, politics and education sparkled Saturday night at the second annual Valley of the Stars Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony.

More than 500 guests attended the black-tie dinner held at the Universal Studios back lot on a hill overlooking the Valley.

The fund-raising event, organized by the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley, honored three well-known Valley leaders: comedian and Toluca Lake resident Bob Hope, TV entertainer and Valley resident Steve Allen and biomedical entrepreneur and owner of MiniMed Inc. Alfred Mann.

Also honored were the six 1999 Advanced Placement Scholars from North Hollywood High School: Benjamin "Benji" Kwak, Michael Saji, James "Greg" Marsden, Michael Shulman, Emily Wang and Robin Stein.

North Hollywood High had the national distinction of being home to both the No. 1 Advanced Placement scholar in the country, and six of the top 10 Advanced Placement scholars.

"Our honorees have brought national and international recognition to this valley," said David Fleming, chairman of the Economic Alliance.

By honoring the group of entertainers, entrepreneurs and young scholars, Fleming said "we signal that the American dream is alive and well in the Valley of the Stars."

The dinner was attended by both established leaders such as Supervisor Michael Antonovich and Los Angeles Dist. Atty. Gil Garcetti, as well as Valley newcomers like Darroch "Rocky" Young, Pierce College's recently named president.

Guests were shuttled up a hill to the banquet area in Universal Studio tour trams, passing by some entertainment industry landmarks, including Alfred Hitchcock's bungalow.

Dick Clark served as master of ceremonies at the outdoor event.

The dinner raised $180,000 for the alliance, proceeds which will be used to promote the San Fernando Valley as a center of business and tourism.

Formed after the 1994 Northridge earthquake, the Economic Alliance is a nonprofit, public-private partnership of business, education and government.

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