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At the 2013 Women’s Guild Annual Gala (clockwise from top): Kathy McKenna and Honoree Dr. Robert J. McKenna, Jr.; Honorees Lauren Shuler Donner and Richard Donner; LeAnn Rimes performs; Women’s Guild President Lorette Gross, with event co-chairs Wendy Goldberg and Barbara Herman

Events Archive

2013 Gala Honors Hollywood Icons and Medical Leader

An enthusiastic crowd filled the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in November 2013 for the Women’s Guild Annual Gala, honoring entertainment industry powerhouses director/producer Richard Donner and producer Lauren Shuler Donner along with Robert J. McKenna, Jr., MD, director of Thoracic Surgery at Cedars-Sinai and surgical director of the Women’s Guild Lung Institute. The event raised $1 million toward the funding of the new Women’s Guild Simulation Center for Advanced Clinical Skills.

Actor Will Arnett was the evening’s gracious host. With wit and charm, he introduced an eclectic array of performances by the Los Angeles Ballet, the UCLA Gospel Choir and headliner LeAnn Rimes, who wowed the room with some of her country hits.

The Donners are husband and wife as well as the forces, together and separately, behind some of the most successful films in Hollywood, including the Superman and the Lethal Weapon movies, directed by Richard, and the X-Men franchise, produced by their business, The Donners’ Company. Lauren’s production credits include Mr. Mom, You’ve Got Mail, Ladyhawke, Pretty in Pink, Dave and Free Willy.

The two are also dedicated philanthropists who have lent their support to health and environmental causes and other charities. Gerard Butler, star of the Donners’ movie Timeline, presented them with the Women’s Guild Hollywood Icon award. In accepting, the couple spoke of their deep gratitude for the care they have received from Cedars-Sinai physicians.

A video retrospective of Dr. McKenna, recipient of the Medical Visionary Award, captured the man behind the scrubs, including his dedication to his most important partner in life — his wife, Kathy — his love of family, his passion for music as well as his career as a highly respected thoracic surgeon. His colleague, Paul Noble, MD, director of the Women’s Guild Lung Institute, presented him with the award.

The event came together in no small part thanks to the hard work of event co-chairs Wendy Goldberg and Barbara Herman, and the selfless dedication of the décor, tribute journal, raffle, food, gift bags and invitation committees. Goldberg was a recipient with her husband, Leonard, of the 2012 Hollywood Icon Award. Herman's lead gift of $1 million to the Women's Guild Simulation Center for Advanced Clinical Skills is recognized by the naming of the center's Barbara Herman Lounge.

Guests took home party favors donated by Lynda and Stewart Resnick — mercury glass vases — filled with flowers by Mark’s Garden, as well as Jouer Cosmetics (courtesy of Christina Zilber), OPI nail products (courtesy of Harris Shepard) and Nyakio beauty products (courtesy of Nyakio Kamoche Grieco). A raffle offered special prizes, including diamond earrings (donated by XIV Karats), a stay at the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale, Arizona, an appearance on CBS's Blue Bloods (donated by Wendy and Leonard Goldberg) and a sculpture by Women’s Guild board member Georgina Rothenberg.

Women’s Guild Executive Vice President Wendy Goldberg shared her event mantra, which she learned from former Warner Bros. Chairman Bob Daly, “You can have a full, rich evening and still have everyone home for the 10 o’clock news!”