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Stars Align at Women’s Guild 55th Anniversary Gala

$20 million pledge completed two years early

The Women’s Guild’s 55th Anniversary Gala brought out a glamorous gathering of supporters to honor six Women’s Guild past presidents as well as Wendy and Leonard Goldberg, recipients of the first Women’s Guild Hollywood Icon Award.

The event also marked the early completion of the largest pledge in Women’s Guild history — $20 million to the Women’s Guild Lung Institute. Women’s Guild President Lorette Gross told dinner guests at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on November 13 that donations made that evening made it possible to fulfill the gift two years ahead of schedule, a testament to the commitment and drive of Women’s Guild members and their ability to make a tangible difference in the lives of countless patients and their families.

Actor and musician LL Cool J played the evening’s smooth host. The night began with a moving tribute to past presidents Judy Briskin, Beverly Firestein, Vera Guerin, Pat Hubbard, Abby Levy, and Marcia Ziffren, who all received the first Women’s Guild Legacy Award. Under their leadership, Women’s Guild has raised $40 million to help Cedars-Sinai expand the frontier of medical science and pioneer new approaches to treating, and eradicating, disease. “These women are truly amazing, and they have each done so much to support Cedars-Sinai’s life-saving work,” said Gross. “Their efforts are an inspiration.”

The Goldbergs were honored in recognition of their passion for improving the quality of life for people in Los Angeles, for their contributions to Women’s Guild and Cedars-Sinai and for raising the bar on social activism and community involvement. Presented by actor and Academy Award® nominee Samuel L. Jackson, the Hollywood Icon Award recognizes the achievements of both Goldbergs — Leonard, a legendary entertainment industry executive and producer, and Wendy, an author, civic leader, and Women’s Guild executive vice president.

Capping off the evening was an electric performance by eight-time Grammy Award nominee and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Stevie Nicks. Nicks noted that she has had a personal investment in one of Women’s Guild’s key causes — pulmonary disease, having lost her mother (who was not a patient at Cedars-Sinai) to a combination of emphysema and pneumonia. If her mother’s doctors “had known a little bit more about either one of those, they might have saved her life,” she said.

Gross acknowledged the work of event co-chairs Shelley Cooper, Barbara Herman, and Brenda Fritz in making the event such a resounding success.

Judy Briskin, Vera Guerin, Abby Levy, Beverly Firestein, and Pat Hubbard