Malibu Seen

Famed music man Alex Ligertwood strikes a chord with philanthropist Valerie Sobel at Crustacean in Beverly Hills. Photo courtesy of ASRL


It was an evening of music and magic as Valerie Sobel and Elizabeth An hosted 150 of their high profile pals for an elegant evening in the sleek confines of Crustacean restaurant in Beverly Hills. Malibu designers Erika Brunson and Tracy Murdock joined Lisa Ling, Carl and Roberta Deutsch, Nancy Moonves and Joyce Rey for the festivities. They savored tasty Buddha Rolls and Rock Shrimp Risotto Martinis while Santana’s Alex Ligertwood provided the tunes. The longtime front man for the legendary ’60s band delighted the crowd with a medley of old favorites while writer Marta Monahan signed copies of her new book. “Your Bouquet of Beautiful Things” includes a chapter on Valerie Sobel and her Andre Sobel River of Life Foundation. It follows Valerie’s passage from grief to gratitude after the tragic loss of her son to brain cancer. While Valerie was able to spend precious time with her son, she saw that many other families did not have the means to do so.

“I have seen a child die alone,” Valerie says of her days and nights in the hospital. “I found out that his mother could not be there because she had to work to keep the roof over her other two children, and to protect the medical insurance that assures the care of her sick child.” She says the strain is especially hard on single parents. “How can any parent endure the critical illness of a child without the emotional and financial support of a partner?” she explains. “I had my husband’s love and no financial restrictions for any of our child’s needs, yet I barely survived, and my husband did not.” Today Valerie’s River of Life Foundation provides urgent financial support to single parents of catastrophically ill children.

To help the cause, Valerie’s friends and supporters snapped up live and silent auction items like Kazanjian Bros. jewelry, Omaggio Art Glass, spa getaways, fine wines and luxury eco goods from Linda Loudermilk.

All the while Elizabeth’s celeb chef mom was busy whipping up a fabulous Vietnamese feast. The six-course gourmet spread included everything from Lobster Lollipops to Roasted Salmon with Sun Dried Tomatoes and was topped off by Pistachio Cake with Green Apple Ice Cream.

The evening ended on a nostalgic note with Ligertwood delighting the crowd with Santana’s biggest hit-Black Magic Woman. The event raised $45,000 to help ASRL continue its mission bringing compassion and comfort to those who need it most.

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