Reigning European monarchs don't come along every day, not even to Beverly Hills. So it was no surprise that event patrons and other guests at the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style Awards felt privileged to attend a private party at Cartier with Prince Albert II, who arrived from Monaco to represent his mother, the late Princess Grace of Monaco.
This year, the city of Beverly Hills and the Rodeo Drive Committee honored both Cartier and Princess Grace with plaques on the famed luxury street. The evening brought more than $140,000 into the Princess Grace Foundation-USA, which awards funds to emerging artists, and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, which is dedicated to protecting the environment.
"It's an honor to be here," Prince Albert said, prior to the Oct. 22 ceremony. "This is a great tribute to my mother."
Over cocktails, the prince mingled with guests, among them Pierre Rainero, Cartier's director of image; event co-chairs Peri Ellen Byrne and Susan Moseley; Wanda McDaniel; Monaco Consul General Maguy Maccario-Doyle; Bill Mundell with Ricki Noel Lander; Jennifer Gold with her son David Bren; Jennifer and Douglas Chrismas of the Ace Gallery; and actresses Debra Messing, Angie Harmon and Camilla Belle.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday, November 03, 2009 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 4 National Desk 1 inches; 29 words Type of Material: Correction
Scene & Heard: An item in Scene & Heard in Sunday's Image section referred to "Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory." JPL is part of NASA and is managed by Caltech.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday, November 08, 2009 Home Edition Image Part P Page 2 Features Desk 1 inches; 42 words Type of Material: Correction
Scene & Heard: In the Scene & Heard column in the Nov. 1 Image section, Dennis Tito was identified as a former rocket scientist at Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory is part of NASA and is managed by Caltech.
Stars 2009 benefit
More than 550 guests packed the Beverly Hills Hotel on Monday to honor Judd Apatow and his wife, Leslie Mann, at Stars 2009, a benefit that raised more than $700,000 for the Fulfillment Fund. Apatow is the writer, producer and director of such mega-hits as "Knocked Up" and "The 40-Year-Old Virgin."
"I knew Judd when he was a great young man. Now he's a great grown man," said Garry Shandling, who came to present the award to the Apatows for their charitable work. "Forget about the show business part -- Judd and his wife are good people."
The Fulfillment Fund, founded by Cherna and Dr. Gary Gitnick, helps disadvantaged youngsters achieve a college education by providing guidance, mentoring and scholarships to students in L.A.'s most underperforming schools.
"We are in awe of what Dr. Gitnick and his wife have put together," said Thomas Tull, last year's honoree and chief executive of Legendary Pictures. Tull, attending with his wife, Alba, said he has talked with students and seen how much they have achieved from the mentoring programs.
Jonah Hill, Jason Segel, Craig Robinson, Rashida Jones, Paul Rudd and Amy Smart celebrated the evening, along with Jana Waring Greer, recipient of this year's Gitnick Visionary Award, L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and dinner co-chairs Madeleine and Tom Sherak, Despina and Jay Landers, Louise Hamagami and Marc Shmuger, and Drs. Melina and Eric Esrailian.
Caltech Associates event
Andrew Lange, Caltech's chair of physics, mathematics and astronomy, said he likes the modern top-heavy design of the university's new Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, because "it looks like this building is so chock full of astrophysicists that it is bulging out."
The Caltech Associates, a support group for Pasadena's California Institute of Technology, had been invited to Lange's Oct. 17 lecture about the beginning of time, followed by a guided tour of the new facility, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Thom Mayne.
Elizabeth Tito, the Associates' new president, said that unlike most university support groups, most members are not alumni.
"We attract people interested in science, because they recognize that what Caltech does in scientific research is of the highest caliber in the world," she said. Tito studied physics and economics at Moscow State University, UCLA and Stanford.
Tito's husband, Dennis, had been a rocket scientist at Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory before founding the investment firm Wilshire Associates and later becoming the first "space tourist" to travel to the International Space Station.
Some of California's most prominent early citizens, such as Henry Huntington, Harry Chandler and Henry Robinson, formed the Associates in the 1920s because they saw Caltech emerging as a leader in scientific achievement. Today the group has nearly 1,500 members throughout the U.S.