FROM LEFT: Noreen Fraser and Alison Miller at David Yurman on Rodeo Drive for an evening of cocktails and shopping to support the Noreen Fraser Foundation; YWCA Greater Los Angeles’ Faye Washington and Edison International’s Barbara Parksy at the Los Angeles YWCA Black & White Benefactrix Ball at The Beverly Hills Hotel; Adam Selkowitz and Linda David of Lupus LA at Versace for Hollywood Bag Ladies Day
Give Your All
As Winter approaches and the air carries a chilly hint of the impending holidays, I’m reminded that this month officially marks my five-year anniversary in Los Angeles. Previously a small-town girl, I thought I knew quite a lot about charity—that is until I dropped into this extraordinary city with its remarkable social conscience. The names and causes are familiar to all of us—Eli and Edythe Broad, Stewart and Lynda Resnick, Wallis Annenberg. Without them and the generosity of so many others, our fair city would not be blessed with The Broad Contemporary Art Museum, The Stewart & Lynda Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA or the Annenberg Foundation, which champions education, environmental, social justice and animal-welfare causes.
But one need not be a highly visible mogul or a company to affect change. In fact most donations actually come from people just like you and me—not from family foundations or special bequests. The degree to which our residents contribute to the community is impressive and, at times, astounding. Despite this, charitable giving suffered its steepest decline in 2008 since measurement began in 1956.
With the giving season upon us, I’m saddened by the challenges facing philanthropic organizations right now and the many people in need as a result of those obstacles. This month, regardless of whether or not you can afford to open your wallet, I hope you’ll join me in other ways—sharing your time and skills, adopting a shelter pet, lending an ear or donating in-kind items, to name just a few things we all can do.
As a magazine, we are proud to support Lupus LA throughout the year and congratulate the organization on its successful Hollywood Bag Ladies Luncheon. The Versace runway show was truly a sight to see. This fall, we got into the Halloween spirit, donned our best costumes and teamed up with The Art of Elysium for a “spook-tacular” Halloween event benefiting the organization and its work to create artistic programs for children battling serious medical conditions. Finally it was great to bring the pages of our book to life by partnering with the Noreen Fraser Foundation and David Yurman last month during a very special instore event on Rodeo Drive.
This month as Chrysalis celebrates its 25th year of encouraging the economically disadvantaged and homeless to become self-sufficient through employment, I find my own holiday season arrives with a profound sense of gratitude—for all that my family and I have and for those hundreds of precious moments that happen each week. If only we just slowed down long enough to recognize and appreciate them.
Here’s to a wonderful holiday.
PHOTOGRAPH BY ARNOLD TURNER/WIREIMAGE.COM (WASHINGTON); MARLA CHRISTINA AUFMUTH (SELKOWITZ)