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Habitat at 10

November 04, 2001

Habitat for Humanity celebrated its 10th year in Los Angeles at an anniversary celebration, "Lights! Camera! Habitat!," held at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Oct. 25 with Millard Fuller, founder and president of Habitat for Humanity International, as the guest of honor.

It's been 25 years since the grass-roots organization dedicated to eliminating poverty housing built its first house at Koinonia Christian community near Americus, Ga.

The work of Habitat volunteers, whose ranks include Jimmy Carter, has spread to more than 2,700 cities in 79 nations, 52 of them in California. The 100,000th house was completed in Harlem in September, and the "More Than Houses" campaign, led by Jack Kemp, anticipates funding 100,000 more by 2005.

About 370 guests and volunteers attended the event; music was by the House of Blues Gospel Singers and Graham Nash, who sang "Our House."

Several Habitat stalwarts were on hand: Bo Derek, who spent five days on a Wilmington house last year; Melanie G. Lee, benefit chairman; Ed Begley Jr.; Randall Wallace; L.A. City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo; Patricia Arquette; Thora Birch; Elizabeth Alexander; L.A. City Council member Janice Hahn; the Rev. Steven Barrie; artists Eva Makk, Barbara Carrera and Csaba Markus; and a slew of local volunteers in hard hats who greeted arrivals. Among them were Robert Dolphin, who's hammered away on a dozen projects, and Michael Ford, an investment consultant who's new to L.A. and has already worked on two houses. "It's a lot of fun and a great way to make new friends," he said.

Organizers estimate the event raised about $200,000. Fuller said financial support for Habitat has been affected by the World Trade Center attack.

"People have sent over $1 billion for relief, which is wonderful, but it has negatively affected nonprofits like us," he said. "The reality is that the needs we address are still there. When tonight's event was organized, we thought it would raise $1 million .... We have half the people here we would have had without the events of Sept. 11. But that tragedy has stirred a charitable spirit in more people, and I think it will go higher and come back to us. For every Habitat employee, there are 1,000 volunteers. We call it the 'theology of the hammer."'

Patt Diroll

Facing Hunger

The 500 luncheon guests gathered to raise money and awareness for the hungry. As soon as they finished their meal, they watched a video about hunger. Scenes included a young mother helping herself to free packets of cream and ketchup at a fast-food restaurant in order to feed her children. Another sobering image: a young student gazing wistfully at snacks being eaten by classmates.

The video presentation was a first for the Harvesters, sponsors of the annual luncheon on behalf of the Second Harvest Food Bank in Orange County. "We wanted to put a face on hunger," event chairwoman Jeri McKenna said.

Net proceeds of about $300,000 from the Oct. 24 benefit at the Four Seasons Hotel in Newport Beach were earmarked for programs to collect and distribute food to 370 nonprofit agencies.

Ann Conway

Art Center

Four distinguished--and distinctive--architects were honored at Art Center College of Design's Four Masters Dinner at the California Club on Oct. 26 hosted by Alyce and Spud Williamson, longtime benefactors of the center. Each architect has been involved in developing the expansion of the center's Pasadena campus.

Honored were Craig Hodgetts and Hsin-Ming Fung of Los Angeles, known for their sophisticated sense of humor in design, who planned the college's recently completed Sinclaire Pavilion, a student lounge with movable walls and windows; Alvaro Siza, one of Europe's leading architects, whose work incorporates the historic traditions of his native Portugal; and Frank Gehry, creator of Disney Concert Hall and the Guggenheim museums in New York and Bilbao.

All have been or are involved in designing buildings at the Art Center, which includes expansion of the existing campus overlooking the Rose Bowl and new facilities in downtown Pasadena.

Richard Weinstein, former dean of UCLA's Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Planning, gave the keynote address. "Between them, these architects comprehend the past, the present and the future," he said. "Their buildings, even more so now and in the future, will constitute an education in themselves."

More than 140 Art Center supporters and Pasadena pols turned out for the dinner including Betty and Richard Koshalek, Art Center president; Mayor Bill Bogaard; Bud Knapp, chairman of the Art Center board of trustees; Judy Webb; Adelaide Hixon; James Kossler; Peggy Phelps and Nelson Leonard; Fred Nicholas; Joni and Clark Smith; Betsy and Harry Hathaway; Elizabeth Manville; Phyllis and Don Epstein; Dorothy and Norman Parker; Phoebe and Lawrence Wilson; Michael Reese; and the Rev. Ed Bacon.


Ghoulish Gala

Scenes from horror flicks provided the backdrop for the Masquerade Ball for the Arts.

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