The Barker Hangar was the place to be for a little bit of Memphis by the sea. There was plenty of western gear, boots and blue jeans as the Women’s Guild Cedars-Sinai Medical Center hosted the “A Touch of Country” gala. The organization honored longtime supporters Vera and Paul Guerin at a no-holds barred hoedown. Board member Morgan Fairchild was one of the few to buck the western trend by sporting a glitzy silver pantsuit. But others, such as gala Chair Caryl Golden, looked right at home on the range.
The Women’s Guild benefits the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and is dedicated to supporting patient care programs, research and education. It has pledged $20 million to create the Women’s Guild Lung Institute, where renowned pulmonary disease specialists are combining forces to combat chronic illnesses. The successful fundraiser ended on a high note with a special performance by country songbird Wynonna Judd. Yee haw!
Cedars had another reason to celebrate as it honored the donors of its overwhelmingly successful Discovering for Life fundraising campaign. Guests gathered pool side at the posh London Hotel overlooking the Hollywood Hills. After taking in the dramatic view over cocktails, they settled in for a gourmet feast by famed caterer Along Comes Mary and music by Rickey Minor and “The Tonight Show” band. During the past five years, the Cedars campaign has raised a whopping $350 million, beating its goal by a cool $7 million.
A FETE FOR FREEMAN
Congrats to Oscar winner Morgan Freeman who was named the 39th recipient of the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award. The 73-year-old actor joins a prestigious roster of previous honorees, including James Stewart, Alfred Hitchcock, Kirk Douglas, Clint Eastwood, George Lucas and Meryl Streep, as well as locals like Tom Hanks. Freeman is the second African American to receive the coveted prize. Sidney Poitier got the nod in 1992.
The acclaimed actor’s career spans more than 40 years starting off in Broadway theater before going on to legendary films such as “Million Dollar Baby,” “Driving Miss Daisy” and “The Shawshank Redemption.” AFI board chairman Howard Stringer believes that Freeman is the perfect pick.
“Morgan Freeman is an American treasure,” he said. “Across decades, whether playing a prisoner, a president or God, he embodies a calm authority that demands respect for the character and for the art form. His gifts to the cultural record are also underscored by his unmistakable voice that echoes throughout the hearts and minds of movie lovers around the world.”