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The Valley Line: Hillsides benefit brings in the green

March 22, 2012|By Jane Napier Neely
  • La Canada Flintridge residents Donna and Henri Ford were among those who attended the annual benefit at the California Club for Hillsides, a non-profit home for abused children.
La Canada Flintridge residents Donna and Henri Ford were… (Photo courtesy…)

There was a traffic jam on the “Road to the Emerald City” when Hillsides, a non-profit home for abused children, held its annual benefit at the California Club in downtown Los Angeles.

Formally dressed guests captivated the “Wizard of Oz” spirit of Dorothy’s perseverance and compassion, Tin Man’s heart, Scarecrow’s wisdom and Lion’s courage to make a difference by raising $390,000 for this home that was first founded as an orphanage in 1913.

Guests were enchanted by a replica of Judy Garland’s ruby slippers that she wore in the iconic film. The slippers were previously on loan to The Smithsonian Museum from the collection of David A. Pacheco. These sparkling shoes were on display on a revolving pedestal above one of the silent auction tables.

One of the most popular snacking places that evening was a buffet table, which was filled with jars and bowls of different green candies of all shapes and sizes even sticks of green rock candy. Yes, guests were like kids in a candy store as they jostled to scoop up their favorite candy. A little sign said the sweets were compliments of “The Lollypop Guild.”

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Fritz Coleman, KNBC Channel 4 weather man, was the auctioneer for the live auction. He was interrupted twice by a scary green-faced wicked witch who swept into the dining room with a cackling laugh. The bidding for amazing prizes were heated and enthusiastic, especially for a 9-day African vacation and a 10-night Holland America cruise.

Dr. Drew Pinksy, a longtime supporter of Hillsides and of “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew,” HLN’s “Dr. Drew,” and “Lifechangers,” made a special appearance as he made a presentation about bringing the much-needed support services to children and families impacted by mental health problems, violence and poverty.

During the cocktail hour a Dorothy impersonator, dressed in her blue and white checkered dress and white pinafore, encouraged guests to purchase opportunity tickets for a stunningly, beautiful emerald and diamond ring.

The evening continued with a fabulous dinner and later with dancing. The dance floor was always crowded and guests seemed to be having a wonderful time.

Cathy Brennan, who was wearing an elegant emerald green designer gown, chaired the highly successful benefit.

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