Kirk and Marianne had done a wonderful job making me feel at home. They truly have a gift for hospitality. I felt like a part of their family. It was kinda funny, the morning of the even, Kirk was handing me stuff he'd need that evening and I put it in my bag.
Now the time was here and we were both off to find a place to change for the event. I dug into my bag and handed him his things. He smiled, "Bless you..." He'd totally forgotten about them.Remember the bathroom stall? They also make great dressing rooms. Heck, they were bigger than some department store dressing roomsHair, make up, nails and dress... with the usual lovely expression on my face ::roll eyes::. But hey, you get to see the lady's room's sitting room! That's only one corner. It was big... Yes, I spent all evening in those shoes. Dr. Sholes gel insoles for heels are worth
every pennyGuests started arriving at 5:30, making their way down a spiral stair case, lined with a fireman honor guard, to a red carpet photo op. A few of the evenings celebrity guests:Joshua Allen and Katee Shean perform the dance piece "No Air" at the Life Changing Lives' fundraiser.Elliott Yamin took a lot of pics with people and performed. What a nice guy. I mean really, truly genuine.Haylie Duff and Nick ZanoHonoree Tibor Rubin, very special heroes, with Roy Firestone (the emcee). Mr. Rubin is a Jew who survived a Nazi concentration camp. After WWII, he made his way to the U.S. and joined the military. He fought in the Korean war, spent time in a POW camp and earned the Metal of Honor NINE TIMES! He was great. He said, "Did you know, if you win more than once, they still only give you one metal?" lolJames Littlejohn from the Boys &Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley with Sugar Ray Leonard. Astronaut Charlie Duke! He told awesome stories about going to the moon and working for NASA.Broadway star Jennifer Lewis. Soon after this photo was taken, I heard Ms. Lewis tell her assistant she needed to find the ladies room. I approached and offered my assistance. Even getting directions to the potty, Ms. Lewis was gracious. See behind her? That's the staircase at the end of the Hall of Mirrors that everyone came down.Most of the cast of
was there. They sat down front at the gala. They were a fun bunch. Later, after dinner, was the live auction where they sold some big, high ticket items. One of the things up for bid was Dinner with The Sopranos the next even there at the St. Regis. One of the actors (I wasn't a fan of the show so I don't know his name, the big guy in the middle) stood up during bidding and announced, "and after dinner, we'll all jump in the hot tub!"There's a bunch more great pictures
HERE.I was standing not far from the door leading to the terrance and noticed the oddest phenomenon. People couldn't find the door! They got their pic taken and walked past it. Then they'd stand there dumbfounded. If they kept going straight, they ended up in the restrooms. If they turned down the hall, they ended up in the volunteer rooms. This looks like a job for insert trumpet fanfare!
! That would be me. So I stayed there by the door and helped hapless celebs and rich people find their way to the silent auction.After the photos, guests made their way a few yards down the hall to a door opened onto a terrace. The terrace lead to another staircase that lead down to the lawn of the St. Regis where the silent auction was taking place.The Back of the St. Regis, overlooking the silent auction.The silent auction...When the silent auction was done, everyone came back up the stairs to the Grand Ballroom for dinner.A good pic of the ballroom and a couple knuckle heads
Me, all ghastly pale and washed out, and the centerpiece. Hey, you can see one of my "removed wings" scars...Wouldn't be a proper AnD blog without food pictures. After a salad of Boston Lettuce with roasted baby beats, pistachio crusted boat cheese and truffle vinaigrette dressing, were were served this Kalbi marinated beef tenderloin with wasabi mashed potatoes and ginger-chianti reduction (aka really tasty gravy). Sorry, no pic of dessert. The St. Regis warm chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce was gone before I remembered. Did I mention the chocolate sauce was
the cake? Yeah. And it came pouring out when you cut into it... Ummmmm....So I'm sitting there, minding my own business, eating away and happen to notice two people standing behind me talking. Wow. Another celeb! I stood up and asked for a pic. She was very gracious.Me and former American Idol runner up Brooke White. I chopped me out of the pic cuz the look on my face was waaaaaaay too dumb and my eyes were close. No, you can't see it.Then Brooke signed grandma's autograph book too. She has such pretty handwriting. Brooke commented on my book, "Wow, this is really pretty." When I told her where I got it, she was all "oooo" and "aaaah..." That was a pretty kewl moment.Jennifer Lewis sang the National Anthem as Challenger the Bald Eagle took a flight across the ball room. I knew this was coming so I was ready. Helps when you know the PR guy. Kirk was very glad Challenger didn't poo on his way across the room. lol! After dinner were several presentation from representitives of Wounded Warrior, Boys and GIrls Club and Make A Wish Foundation. Each presentation was done by someone who'd been benefited by the organization itself. I had to keep remembering my non-waterproof eye make up to keep from crying. All the presenter's stories were very moving. The evening finished out with several live performances by Bo Bice, Brooke White, Elliot Yamin. Honoree awards presented and the live auction items were sold. Things like a LA Lakers suite for you and 11 friends, two elevated ringside seats at the Pacquiao-Cotta Title FIght in Vegas, and Ultimate Nascar Experience, a LAPD Helicopter Ride-Along, a Navy SEALs Experience, a City Slickers getaway in Montana, tickets to the last season of Oprah (yes you read that right...), four tickets to the Grammys and after party passes and, of course, the above mentioned dinner with The Sopranos. Before everyone called it a night (and/or headed to the after party reputed to be gaining strength upstairs), Elliot and Brooke both did one more song and then Bo rocked the house. It was an amazing evening after an amazing day.
And I got a day crammed full of things and people I would never forget. That evening, we went home and sat around on the couches with the dogs--my new best friends beagles Cooper and Paisley and their sister, a dog adopted from a Navaho reservation, Ahtay--reflecting on everything. Kirk was glad it was over--he'd spent most of the summer working (and stressing) on it--but thought everything came off very well. He was pleased. I was exhausted and thrilled. And I still had one full day left in CA ahead of me. TO BE CONTINUED...
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