Laurence Fishburne and Stephen Baldwin were honored at L.A. Shanti's 16th Anniversary Tribute Gala June 19 at the Century Club in Century City. Many of the 250 guests came dressed in 1940s nightclub attire for the cocktail party, awards presentation, silent auction and music of the Swing Kings. Celebrities attending the gala, which raised $125,000 for the AIDS service organization, included Broadway performers Nell Carter, Sam Harris and Sharon McKnight, Jane Krakowski of "Ally McBeal" and film producer Frank Mancuso Jr. Carter, Harris and McKnight also performed for the other guests. Tony award winner Alan Cummings presented the Daniel P. Warner Founders Award to Baldwin for the many HIV/AIDS fund-raising events he has created, organized and hosted. UNICEF President Charles J. Lyons presented Fishburne with the Entertainment Industry Spirit Award for his vision, actions and artistry, which have furthered L.A. Shanti's mission to educate and support people affected by HIV/AIDS. Fishburne is a U.S. ambassador to UNICEF. The late L.A. Shanti board chairman John Maguire was honored posthumously for his commitment to the fight against AIDS, his service to the city of Los Angeles and his role as spokesman for Shanti. Founded in 1983, L.A. Shanti was the first nonprofit group to provide direct services to people with HIV/AIDS in Los Angeles.
* The Professional Associates of Big Sisters of Los Angeles honored five outstanding female attorneys and raised $150,000 at its annual Making Friends event held June 22 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills. The honorees were Kristin Adrian, vice president and deputy general counsel of Nestle USA Inc.; Judith S. Bain, general counsel of Epson America Inc.; Susan Erburu Reardon, senior vice president and general counsel of KCET; Christi R. Sulzbach, executive vice president and general counsel of Tenet Healthcare Corp.; and Julie K. Xanders, senior vice president and general counsel of the Los Angeles Times. The Professional Associates raise money for Big Sisters of Los Angeles from the corporate and business sectors. Proceeds from the event benefit Big Sisters, whose mission is to help at-risk girls and young women from diverse communities develop independence and respect for others through female mentors. Actress Pam Dawber served as mistress of ceremonies. Honorary dinner chairperson was Jan R. Cloyde, executive vice president of City National Bank. A cocktail reception and silent auction for the 500 or so guests was followed by dinner and the awards representation.
* Celebrities and civic leaders were among the 350 guests attending the Nicole Brown Charitable Foundation's black-tie fund-raising gala June 24 at the Playboy Mansion in Holmby Hills, which raised about $40,000. Among them: Chris Carter, Christopher Darden, Mark Paul Gosselaar, Mills Goodloe, Dick Van Patten, Rhonda Shear, Lee Meriweather, Kate Linder, Barbi Benton, Glen Hopkins, Barbara McNair, Victor Webster, Bernie Kopell, Ron Masak, Sean Young, Gloria Allred and Robert Stack. Humanitarian awards were given in recognition of educational, volunteer and legislative efforts in the field of family and partner violence to William Rosendahl, senior vice president of operations for Century Communications of Southern California; Sen. Dianne Feinstein; Sen. Hilda Solis; Leeza Gibbons; First American Title Insurance Co.; and Johnson Gray Advertising. The money raised will be used for the development and operation of Nicole's House, a long-term transitional living and life skills program. John Cassese and Dance Doctor Productions provided entertainment, along with special performances by Carol Connors, Eddie Reasoner and the J. Harris Band. Sean Salisbury, host of the morning talk show for XTRA Sports (AM 690), emceed the event.
* Glendale Memorial Health Foundation's "An Evening in Monte Carlo" raised $35,000 for cancer research and treatment. The June 19 event, held at the Sheraton Universal Hotel in Universal City, honored Marcia Ray, who formed a breast cancer support group in 1988 called Circle of Caring. The money will benefit the Glendale Memorial Comprehensive Cancer Center in the areas of support group facilitation, educational grants, purchasing state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment equipment and patient transportation services. About 270 guests attended.