Malibu Seen

Ellen Silver joins Michele Lee in a Celebration of Hope at the Human Spirit Awards. Photo courtesy of The Wellness Community


Actress Michele Lee and a host of Hollywood power players turned out for the Wellness Community’s Tribute to the Human Spirit Awards Gala at the Beverly Hills Hotel. The event was co-chaired by Malibu’s Courteney Cox and David Arquette, who have been longtime supporters of the organization.

Executive Director Ellen Silver got involved when her 15-year-old daughter developed cancer and reached out for support in her time of need. “It was important for me to find an organization that gave back, taking care of people with cancer right then and there in the moment,” Silver said. “That’s what they do with support groups and educational programs. Community is the most important word in our name.”

This year’s honorees included Hollywood PR guru Carl Terzian and Alliance Imaging Chairman Paul Viviano as well as Mitch and Susan Golant.

The silent auction area was decked out in a deco color combo of pink and black, and there was plenty of bling to keep bidders interested. Empire Diamond Corporation brought a bundle of estate gems from black diamond pendant earrings to 1960s cocktail rings. To go with those dazzling jewels, there were racks of classic coats from Decker and Decker. It was a blast to the past looking at full-length minks, chinchilla jackets and white fur stoles that had you wondering if “Let’s Make a Deal’s” Carol Merrill was about to pop out from behind door number two.

Inside, the hotel ballroom was dressed up with white hydrangeas and pink roses. As guests settled into a dinner of mission pear and gorgonzola salad, filet of beef, fresh salmon and asparagus, host Michelle Lee serenaded the crowd with a few ditties. Andrea Fiuczynski of Christie’s presided over the live auction, bringing in big bucks for the The Wellness Community’s support programs. Founded in 1982, the organization was the first in what has become the largest international organization in the world devoted solely to providing psychological and emotional support people with cancer and their families free of charge.

“Our clinical staff provides the gold standard of psychosocial support with love and tenderness,” Silver said. “There is no job too big or small to fill the gaps when something is needed to meet the needs of the community.”

As for Silver’s daughter, she’s now a healthy and happy 23-year-old who has packed up for a road trip before heading to law school. Her story was just one of many in this evening of hope and inspiration. Thanks to The Wellness Community, there will be many more to come.