Friday, February 23, 2024

Weekend Worrier: Notes from the New York Scene and Beyond Charities, Farewells, Triumphs

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This is what gossip columns used to be like when they were in the paper…

The charity circuit is hot as ever, and we get reports from all over about the money being raised.

Pat Monahan & the hit rock group TRAIN (Drops of Jupiter) helped raise over $3 million for ground-breaking research programs sponsored by Michael Milken‘s Prostate Cancer Foundation. The annual dinner at Restaurant Daniel was preceded by Master Mentalist Oz Perelman driving everyone crazy with his stunning tricks.

Denise Rich’s Angel Ball for Cancer Research deployed Mary J. Blige and Jermaine Dupri, and pulled in $2.8 million. Project ALS served up Ben Stiller and wife Christine Taylor, and made $1.3 million for their 25th anniversary.

New York Women’s Foundation attracted a sold out room to Gustavino’s on the East Side for their annual Radical Generosity dinner that featured a magnificent musical performance by .The Broadway Sinfonietta, a mini orchestra everyone should have at their events.

Honorees included Lorelei Williams, Molly Gochman, and Bisa Butler. Lorelei comes from the music biz. She runs the social justice fund at the Blavatnik Family Foundation, which is part of Len Blavatnik’s Warner Music Group. Ms. Williams is an executive vice president there, as well. What an extraordinary commitment she and all the women I met that night have to raising money and enacting programs. The whole night made me feel like there was a chance we’d survive everything going on now in the world. Everyone should know more about this group.

Oscar winner Ariana DeBose helped NYC non-profit Teens for Food Justice raise over $900,000 at its gala last week. The Teens for Food Justice (TFFJ) 2023 Gala was held at the Lighthouse at Pier 61, Chelsea Piers in New York City, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the organization and support its ongoing efforts to make fresh food more accessible and improve nutritional health within New York City and Denver’s low-income communities through school-based, youth-led hydroponic farming…

…Condolences to Aretha Franklin’s family in Detroit. Earline Franklin, Aretha’s beloved sister in law (married to her late great brother Cecil) passed away this week at age 81. Earline was a stalwart in the family, I was honored to know Earline pretty well. She once cooked a five hour lunch for us in the Hamptons. Aretha depended on her friendship. Condolences to this amazing family…

Photo courtesy of Linda Solomon– Aretha, Barbara Henderson (wife of The Spinners’ Billy Henderson), Earline Franklin

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
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