Thursday, June 13, 2013

Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Community Foundation Presents Heroes of Hollywood, honoring Debbie Reynolds, Milt Larsen, George Abou-Daoud, Craig Darian, Bill Farra, Stormy Sacks and the My Friends Place organization.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce

L to R - Standing: Homer Alba, Leron Gubler, Craig Darian, Bill Farrar, Debbie Reynolds, Milt Larsen, Stormy Sacks, George Aboudad, Heather Carmichael.  Kneeling: Robert Kovacik and Carole Sarian
I've made a lot of movies in the past 60 years. My two children are the joys of my life. I was married a few times, too. You may have heard about that.
-Debbie Reynolds

THE 2013 HEROES OF HOLLYWOOD AWARDS CEREMONY was held on Thursday, June 6th, at the Taglyan Cultural Complex, 1201 Vine St. in Hollywood
 Returning in his role as emcee again was Robert Kovacik, co-anchor of NBC4. 

In addition to recognizing various heroes , the Foundation honored legendary singer and actress Debbie Reynolds with the distinguished Mary Pickford Award.   
Ms. Reynolds, who recently released her memoirs entitled "Unsinkable" and appeared in a biopic,Behind the Candelabra, about her friend and colleague, Liberace, playing the legends mother, was being honored not only for a career that spans move that 50 years on film, television and stage, but also for her dedication to preserving the history of the industry she helped pioneer.  Previous recipient of The Mary Pickford Award have included, Marion Ross, Lee Meriwether, Stefanie Powers, Doris Roberts, Leeza Gibbons, Angie Dickenson, Cindy Williams, Marlee Matlin, JoAnne Worley and Carol Channing
Former Recipient Carol Channing


Best known for his role in The World of Magic, Milt Larsen, founded the world-famous private club for magicians and their fans, the Magic Castle in Hollywood and is the President of Magic Castles, Inc. "When we opened the Magic Castle 50 years ago, we didn't realize that we would be turning 5,000 magicians lose in Hollywood," says Larsen.   "The Magic Castle is one of the few remaining authentic landmarks of an era I dearly loved," said Ms. Reynolds. In 2006, Larsen celebrated the 50th anniversary of his show It’s Magic! In 2000 Magic Magazine voted him as one of the 100 most influential individuals in the history of magic. As a writer he is best known for Truth or Consequences starring Bob Barker for 18 years! In songwriting, the team of Sherman and Larsen have a cult comedy following for their outrageous songs. Milt has been a lecturer at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. and magic conventions around the world.

George Abou-Daoud has been committed to making Hollywood a true neighborhood, helping improve area’s walkability, livability, and pride in what Hollywood means. As a hospitality entrepreneur, he brings the East Coast vibe to Los Angeles opening The Bowery, Delancey Bar and Pizzeria, and six other unique restaurant concepts. He sits on the boards of the Hollywood Chamber, the Sunset & Vine BID, Friends of the Hollywood Central Park and local neighborhood councils. His hands-on efforts have helped reduce local crimes and clean up the streets. Abou-Daoud employs over 150 people and is committed to improving the visual and underlying landscape of Hollywood.
Craig Darian
Craig Darian has seen Hollywood as a producer, distributor, theater owner, CEO, talent manager, and a crew member on countless television and feature film productions. 
Craig has helped create thousands of jobs in Hollywood and has brought Hollywood productions to parts of the world where movies are now one of our greatest commercial and cultural exports. As a producer, he has worked with Robert De Niro, Anthony Hopkins, and Rita Moreno; and his distribution credits include blockbusters as Spider-Man, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Gladiator. Craig has been involved in organizations that support the youth, veteran services, education, and the arts.

Bill Farrar is a native of Southern California and son of a career Marine who has spent much of the last 35 years serving Los Angeles and Hollywood. 
After 23 years with the LAPD, Bill joined the private sector with Andrews International Security as Senior Vice President of Media, Entertainment and Special Armed Services. 
Bill helped develop and manages the Hollywood /Sunset Vine BID Patrols. His community involvement includes Hollywood Chamber, Business Leaders Task Force on Homelessness, Citizen’s Advisory Board to US Army, Hollywood Chamber Foundation, Hollywood Chamber PAC. 
Bill continues to help bring together business, government, and the community while encouraging involvement by future generations. 
Stormy Sacks is a Grammy Nominated composer/producer and has conducted and written orchestrations for more than fifty symphony orchestras. He has written the music for such television shows as Hollywood Squares, NBC’s Caesar’s Challenge and ABC After School Specials
For the past twelve years, Sacks has devoted most of his time to strengthening the Performing Arts Magnet at Hollywood High School and the school has garnered much acclaim for their world-class musical productions and for their show choir, H-2-0, Hollywood’s Finest Twenty. 
Sacks created and executive produced the first annual fundraiser to support the arts at Hollywood High: “Hooray for Hollywood ... High!”
Robert Kovacik presents Debbie with her Mary Pickfors Award

My Friend’s Place (MFP) was founded in 1988 with a mission to assist and inspire homeless youth to build self-sufficient lives. In the 25 years since its start, MFP has grown from a small but dedicated group of volunteers serving meals from their cars once per week into a thriving, professionally-staffed social service agency serving nearly 1,600 youth per year from its Hollywood facility. 
 With the support of countless community partners, MFP is able to offer high-impact services that help some of the most vulnerable young people move toward greater stability. MFP programs are offered to homeless youth between the ages of 12 and 25 and their children.
The Heroes of Hollywood Awards recognizes exceptional leaders in the Hollywood community who have transformed the lives of others and/or have made a remarkable contribution to the physical environment.  Since 1993 the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Community Foundation has saluted more than 125 extraordinary leaders from Hollywood, through what was previously named the Women of Distinction Awards.
Since 2011, the awards have honored both male and female leaders, as well as families, businesses and organizations. The awards ceremony serves as one of two major fundraisers for the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Community Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to improving the lives of Hollywood community members. All funds raised from this luncheon will be awarded in the form of grants to local charitable organizations.  “Heroes of Hollywood” Awards Committee is comprised of members of the Hollywood Chamber who are volunteers and have proven to be community leaders themselves. For more information, visit
 The awards ceremony serves as one of two major fundraisers for the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Community Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to improving the lives of Hollywood community members. All funds raised from this luncheon will be awarded in the form of grants to local charitable organizations.

 “Heroes of Hollywood” Awards Committee is comprised of members of the Hollywood Chamber who are volunteers and have proven to be community leaders themselves.

THE 2013 AWARDS SPONSORS - Gold-level sponsors included the Hollywood Museum, Millennium Hollywood and Occidental Entertainment Group Holdings, Inc. Silver-level sponsors Included the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Andrews International, Bank of America, CIM Group, First Republic Bank, and Taglyan Cultural Complex. Bronze-level sponsors included Allen Matkins, Avison Young, Briggs Law, Famous Hollywood Dental Care, Gensler, Gilmore Bank, Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Hollywood Hotel, Hollywood Work Source Center, Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center, Lloyd S. Berkett Insurance Agency, Inc., Mirman, Bubman and Nahmias LLP, NAI Capital Commercial Real Estate,
Debbie Reynolds with Carole Sarian
Original Farmers Market, Paramount Contractors and Developers, The Private Bank of California, Sunset Gower/Sunset Bronson Studios.
Thank you, Harlan Boll, for the contents of this blog.

And check this out:  Debbie Reynolds on Liz Taylor: ‘I was just like Jennifer Aniston’ with Angelina Jolie
  Thank you Debbie Reynolds and ALL of the Heroes of Hollywood recipients past, present, and future for the gifts you have given to the world and will continue to give!

With grateful XOXOXs ,

Check out my site celebrating my forthcoming book on Hello, Dolly!

I desire this to be a definitive account of Hello, Dolly!  
If any of you reading this have appeared in any production of Dolly, I'm interested in speaking with you!

Do you have any pics?

If you have anything to add or share, please contact me at


Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!    

Thank you, to all the mentioned in this blog!

Here's to an INCREDIBLE tomorrow for ALL...with NO challenges!

And Don't Miss My On Stage Interview with Jackie Joseph at The Metropolitan Room in NYC! 
Click HERE for details!


Richard Skipper,                            

This Blog is dedicated to ALL THE DOLLYS and ANYONE who has EVER had a connection with ANY of them on ANY Level!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Richard. It was nice to be able to actually read about the other award winners, whom most of us never hear about!