Great news that Connie Stevens joins Jack Jones as Celebrity Host of Christmas Tree Lane Dec. 7 benefiting ACT for MS at the Renaissance Esmeralda. This is one of the Coachella Valley’s most unique events, the auction of celebrity themed Christmas trees created by top designers and benefiting the organization that does so much in providing free services for those who have multiple sclerosis in the Coachella Valley. The trees go on display and are available for silent auction purchase starting Nov. 29. This event was created by the late Merv Griffin benefiting ACT for MS and it is a return as Celebrity Host for Connie who served in the same capacity with Griffin when he hosted the event in 2001. While the reception and celebrity live auction with Jones and Stevens are by invitation, those who buy no-host tickets for the dinner following the auction will be invited to the auction and reception. For more information: 760 773-9806
Jones recently returned from the Philippines where he received rave reviews for his concert appearances. He will be honored as Samaritan of the Year by the Desert Samaritans For The Elderly on Nov. 20 at the Rancho Las Palmas Resort. The honor couldn’t go to a more deserving person.
The Young Americans, a vibrant group of performers, are bringing their magic to the Coachella Valley. The Rancho Mirage Cultural Commission sponsors their Broadway performance at the Westin Mission Hills on Nov. 21 while the Palm Springs Cultural Center brings this talented group of upbeat entertainers to the Palm Springs Convention Center with a special Holiday Show for three nights, Dec. 17, 18 and 19. The Young Amercans can also be seen on Thanksgiving Day during the nationally televised Thanksgiving Macy’s Parade and again during the Christmas Lights Parade in Palm Springs Dec. 4. These young people make you proud to be an American and proud of our youth.
Carol Channing will be the Vision For the Future Award honoree on March 24 when Tools For Tomorrow gives its annual fundraiser. Tools For Tomorrow is the terrific organization that sponsors arts instruction in after-school classrooms throughout the Coachella Valley reaching youth grades 3 through 5. The Tools for Tomorrow mission is a perfect fit with the Dr. Carol Channing – Harry Kullijean Foundation devoted to bringing the arts back to our classrooms. That is why I was thrilled to bring Rachel Druten, TFT founder and Carol and Harry together. We had luncheon at Rachel’s lovely Palm Desert home with Rachel and the Executive Board. Those of us who love the arts cherished the remark by Harry Killujean who said during luncheon, “This is not about saving the arts in our classrooms, it’s about using the arts to save our children.”
Carol and Harry are planning a national telethon in November, 2011. It will feature other big name stars including Liza Minnelli who know how important the arts are to student education. More important than the big names to Harry and Carol, however, are the students, instructors, and organizations with the same mission who will appear on national television. The telethon will be telecast from The Magic Castle. Hopefully, it will help to bring a magical transformation to our lagging arts programs in our nation’s public schools.
Andrew Neiderman, New York Times best selling author whose novels are sold throughout the world under his name as well as the V.C Andrews name, is a big fan of the film Casablanca. In keeping with that, his daughter Melissa Neiderman and her husband Tim Gross gave a surprise "Night In Casablanca" party on Andrew’s 70th birthday. They removed all the furniture at their Andreas Hills home and turned the entire residence into Rick’s Café. Johnny Mesa at keyboard played songs popular during the 1940s and of course “As Time Goes By” was performed several times. A television set showed the Ingrid Bergman-Humphrey Bogert starrer and there was even gaming in a private room in this version of “Rick’s Café.” The Neiderman’s family, including talented grandchildren, performed after dinner and everyone oohed and aahed over the birthday cake from Spencers, a gift from Harold Matzner. The cake was covered with eatable miniature versions of Neiderman’s books (including his popular The Devil’s Advocate.) Amazing! And even though it was Andrew’s birthday – all of his guests received a gift. We all were given a copy of the newest VC Andrews tome, Daughter of Darkness, and guess what? In keeping with the times, it has a Vampire theme.
When the Frank Bogert Memorial Rodeo Palm Springs West Fest returns to Palm Springs March 25-27 it will have several new aspects: There will be a fashion show of elegant Western wear and organizers are hopeful that Jackie Autry will provide a Gene Autry Film Fest to play during the West Fest. Memories are cherished in Palm Springs.