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Social Circuits

Vision Awards 2002

June 30, 2002|Patt Diroll; Ann Conway

There were 600 guests and a sweeping list of honorees -- 25 individuals, nine films and New York City's firefighters--at the Vision Awards benefit for Retinitis Pigmentosa International.

The list of honorees was so long that most of the self-extinguishing candles had self-extinguished before the last thank-you speech was delivered.

"These people are the artists, dream-makers, teachers and mentors," said host Army Archerd when introducing the honorees.

Among those singled out were Dr. Mark Humayan, Dr. Vincent Chow and Alan Chow, three pioneers in seeking a cure for retinal blindness. The event, "Hollywood Cures Blindness," raised $450,000.

Established in 1973 by artist Helen Harris to fund research and treatment for degenerative eye diseases, the awards recognize individuals and companies who have demonstrated significant "sight, foresight and insight" in the creative arts, technology and medical research.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday July 02, 2002 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 11 inches; 408 words Type of Material: Correction
Social Circuits--An item in the Social Circuits column in Southern California Living on Sunday incorrectly reported Elizabeth and Donald Rothman would be honored posthumously at a July 9 fund-raiser for the Los Angeles Jewish Home for the Aging. In fact, the couple lives in Baltimore and it is their son, Tom Rothman, chairman of Fox Filmed Entertainment, who will be among the night's honorees.

Representing the NYFD was firefighter Dan Rowan, who received a standing ovation. Last fall, Rowan and fellow firefighters from Engine Company 33, Ladder 9, took a cross-country bike ride in honor of their 10 comrades who died Sept. 11. Harris presented him with an original painting--which was reproduced on the evening's program--to be hung in the firehouse.

John Beard chaired the June 22 event at Regent Beverly Wilshire, which included silent and live auctions. Among items on the block was a Shaquille O'Neal autographed game shoe, which sold for $7,000.

Among guests were Muhammad Ali, Don Knotts, Bonnie Bedelia, Robin Tunney, Hayden Christensen and Ed O'Ross.

Leslie Mills, David Pomerantz and Kelli and Camille Rudisill headlined the entertainment along with Les Brown's Band of Renown.

Among those who turned out to accept their plaudits in person were Ahmet Ertegun, Howard Bingham, Hans Zimmer, Joel Gallen, Graham King, Nina Jacobson, Karen Kehela, Josh Lieberman, Robin Cook, Dawn Tarnofsky-Ostroff, Mindy Herman, Akiva Goldsman, J.T. Battenburg III.

Presenters included Burt Bacharach, Colin Farrell, Jon Voight, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Kevin James, Nancy Josephson, Mario Machado, Steve Kmetko, Joanne Horowitz and Gary Valentine.

--Patt Diroll

Music Academy

Opera legend Marilyn Horne, the durable diva Opera News once named "the greatest singer in the world," is still going strong as director of vocal music at one of her alma maters, the Music Academy of the West.

When she's not teaching at the Santa Barbara summer school and festival, where she occupies the 2002 Flora L. Thornton Chair in Voice, she's barnstorming concert halls and music festivals across the country singing the works of Berlin, Porter and Gershwin. In late July, she's slated for the Ravinia festival in Chicago and the Brevard festival in North Carolina.

"I abandoned the classics two years ago because I can't do them the way I used to," said Horne, 68, who was guest of honor at a musical evening at Amanda and Nick Stonnington's San Marino home last week. "Coming to the academy was kismet," she said.

"It brought me back home to California and to my family. I had done very little teaching and I didn't trust myself quite yet as a teacher, but I fell in love with it, and next week, 134 of the most talented musicians in the world will arrive and they will leave sounding a whole lot better. It's an exciting process for all of us."

No one was asked to break out a checkbook at this affair, which featured an elegant "Taste of Santa Barbara" candlelight dinner served on the Stonnington's terrace and a performance by academy alums Guang Yang and Marcus DeLoach, accompanied by pianist John Churchwell.

The raison d'etre was simply to encourage Angelenos to spread the word about the Academy festival, a series of picnic concerts, one-act operas and daily master classes (open to the public) continuing through Aug. 17.

In the party mix were academy president David L. Kuehn and his wife, Susan, Carole and Steve Halsted, Betty and Richard Koshalek, Anne and Peter Hunt, British consul general in Los Angeles; Andrea Van de Kamp, Helen and Jerry Stathatos, Viscount Paul Ridley-Tree and his wife, Leslie; Jenijoy LaBelle and Warren Dennis, Noelle Richardson, Alice Coulombe, Madeleine and Edward Landry, Angela Houle, Luci and Rich Janssen, Joanne Horne, Linda and David Frankel, Lee and Eli Luria, Alyce Williamson and Marc Selwyn.


Easy Money

Roaring through Orange County, 550 bikers participated in the annual "Ride the Coast & Concert" benefit for the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Ana. Led by members of the Santa Ana Police Department, the easy riders traversed 90 miles of bustling coastal highways and peaceful canyon roads before parking their hogs at the Galaxy Theatre, where they joined club supporters for a barbecue and a pounding performance by veteran rocker Eddie Money.

"This is great--we get to help kids while we enjoy the freedom of the open road," said Bob Moschorak of Orange, owner of a 2001 Electric Glide Classic Harley.

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