A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Doctors Without Borders

Malibu Global Awareness is hosting “Midsummer Night’s Dream-2009,” next week benefiting the Nobel Prize-winning nonprofit Doctors Without Borders. The fundraising event will span four evenings of dining, drinking and celebrity schmoozing.

“Last year’s event at the different restaurants was so successful, we decided to do it again,” MGA President, Dr. Annie Thiel, said. “The participating Malibu restaurants will donate the proceeds from their happy hours to Malibu Global Awareness. So everyone can go to a great cocktail party next week, knowing what they eat and drink will benefit Doctors Without Borders.”

Thiel said the goal this year was to make sure that every penny collected from the event would go directly to DWB and that celebrity greeters and entertainment are all donating their talents.

The evening of July 14 will be hosted by Taverna Tony, along with greeters Catherine Oxenberg and husband Casper Van Dien, and with entertainment provided by Adam Jones, guitarist for the rock band Tool.

July 15 moves the fundraiser to Charlie’s restaurant and will feature tableside magic performed by The Great Krasini.

Thursday’s festivities take place at The Sunset restaurant, where more celebrity greeters and The Sunset’s spectacular beachside setting and eclectic cuisine will welcome guests.

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Those events will all take place between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. and there is no ticket price-donations will come strictly from purchases made during happy hour.

Friday’s gala finale will take place from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Peter Koral estate in the Malibu hills. Tickets are $125 each. Actor Powers Boothe and the Malibu Rugby Team will act as hosts, along with other celebrity greeters, and Monrose Catering will provide hors d’oeuvres, with wine provided by local wineries.

The Louis Beltran Trio will provide salsa music for dancing and guests will have the opportunity to purchase $10 raffle tickets to win gold jewelry donated by Lisa and Jean Pierre Khoury. It is rumored that a major local sports super star will be on hand for the party.

“I don’t want to say his name since he’s not absolutely, 100 percent confirmed yet,” Thiel said. “But he should add a lot of excitement to our gala.”

Thiel formed Malibu Global Awareness seven years ago in honor of her late husband, Richard Thiel. The couple had worked with Doctors Without Borders for 20 years. The nonprofit fields missions in more than 70 countries around the world, providing emergency medical and logistical aid to people who have been decimated by armed conflict, epidemics and other natural and manmade disasters.

Dr. Matthew Spitzer, director of the U.S. branch of Doctors Without Borders, has seen first-hand the reach of the organization’s efforts, having served in the poorest African nations and in the Irrawaddy Delta of Myanmar following a devastating cyclone.

“Our main goal there was just to get emergency supplies of water and cooking pots to residents there,” Spitzer said in an interview with The Malibu Times. “We had to be very diplomatic with the military-run government. But some of our support is more psychosocial. You arrive to help in areas where people have literally nothing but the shirt on their back and not much motivation to continue living.”

In the past six years, Malibu Global Awareness has raised more than half a million dollars for Doctors Without Borders.

“We hope our Midsummer Night’s Dream raises even more next week than we did last year,” Thiel said. “But I can guarantee that everyone will have fun.”

Tickets for the gala can be purchased, and donations can be made, by calling Carol Cavella at 310.457.3120 or online at www.malibuglobalawareness.org

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