“June 20th” quickly became an ASR household buzzword with weeks of tireless preparation, culminating into A Night of Culture for a Cause. Actress and ASR friend Barbara Bosson hosted the fete at her stunning Pacific Palisades home. Thanks to Marble Arch Fine Afts and the Cracking Art Group, guests were greeted by eco-friendly, larger-than-life animal sculptures made out of recycled plastic, highlighting ASR’s commitment to environmental issues. Animals included giant bulldogs and terriers, oversized sneaker-wearing chihuahuas, goats, giraffes, and alligators.
ASR’s various projects in the tsunami region in Southeast Asia, Sudan, and New Orleans were featured on displays in the living room while silent auction items were lined up on tables on the poolside veranda.
With close to a hundred people in attendance, Whole Foods and Taste of Hope Catering provided a topical spread for dinner – authentic Northeast African food from Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Sudan were prepared and served by chefs from those countries in their traditional apparel. There was also Ethiopian coffee, ground directly by these women in the idyllic backyard of Ms. Bosson’s home.
Tracks from ASR’s upcoming All-Star Tsunami Relief CD played quietly in the background as guests perused the North African art on display. Representing the ASR project area of New Orleans, whiskey-voiced rollicking pianist Bob Malone played smokin’ Nawlins style jazz keyboards, as shown below.
Renowned interior designer, animal activist, and philanthropist Bobi Leonard, as seen below, was a lively auctioneer, whipping up excitement for items including a getaway trip to Tuscany, an ASR shirt worn and signed by Kobe Bryant, “Holding Onto” sculpture by Iranian American artist Rebecca Setareh, gift certificates to local spas and neighborhood restaurant legends like Michael’s, Amici’s, Cafe Delfini’s, Giorgio’s, and Rustic Canyon, photographs by award-winning conflict photographer Ron Haviv and the irrepressible Cat Gwynn, and custom-made stone jewelry made by Benita Pautz, also hairdresser extraordinaire, whose jewelry will soon to be made available for sale on ASR’s online store.
After a night of discussion, bidding, and winning, the guests left with their minds, stomachs, and hands full of cultural experiences. On their way home, guests received party favors of original photographs taken by Andrea and Hunter themselves of Sudan’s landscape and beautiful people as well as Sumbody salt scrub samples, scented with the Indonesian and Sudanese tropical flowers, herbs, and fruits. It was a wonderful night to say the very least, and we thank all of our attendees, supports, and volunteers for making it a success!
[All photographs were taken by Barry Schwartz.]