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Lionel and Nicole Richie

Girlz in the Hood

The Beverly Hills Hotel was once again the gorgeous setting for a charitable Los Angeles-based group. This time, A Place Called Home, presented the Girlz in the Hood celebration, honoring this year’s Women of Achievement with an awards luncheon. A Place Called Home is the dynamic youth center in South Los Angeles that provides at-risk youth with a secure, positive family environment where they can regain hope, earn self-respect, and learn skills to help them lead a productive lifestyle free of the gangs, drugs, and poverty that surround them.

At the luncheon, host Susan Rico, CBS 2’s news anchor and co-chairs Debrah Constance, Jasmine Guy and Dolores Robinson, announced the recipients of The Girl Power Award. This special honor was bestowed upon five extraordinary women and is meant to be a symbol of recoginition for a woman who has empowered herself and achieved success in her profession and personal life. This year, recipients included Diana Davidow, the Director of Counseling at A Place Called Home; Gloria Gebbia, president of the John Wayne Cancer Instiute Associates for Breast and Prostate Cancer Studies; Ann Serrano Lopez, co-founder of the George and Ann Lopez Richie Alarcon Community Arts and Resources Foundation; Victoria Principal, creator of the skin care line Principal Secret, from which she gives a portion of her product’s income to the Good Shepherd Shelter for battered women and children; and Nicole Richie, co-star of the Fox Television reality show The Simple Life, who illustrates to children that one can be cool and still do the right thing.

While mingling with these do-gooders, POWER’s Editor-in-Chief, Loraine Colonello, managed to have a word with the svelte Richie, asking her about the location of her upcoming wedding to Adam Goldstein. Richie replied, “I want to do it somewhere close -- definitely not in L.A. – but close enough because I want a lot of people to come. And I want elephants there, so somewhere where I can fit elephants.”

When Loraine asked her famous father if he was excited about the wedding planning, he laughed, saying, “Yes! As soon as she gives me instructions. Right now, I don’t have a clue!”

She also managed to get a word in with TV producer Ann Lopez, who just recently donated her kidney to her husband, ABC sitcom star George Lopez. George Lopez, an only child raised by his grandparents, had no blood relatives who would be able to donate a kidney when he discovered his kidney disease. But, his wife gladly came to the rescue. The replacement of George’s kidney with one of Ann’s occurred this past April, and the couple has recovered phenomenally as POWER can attest to having witnessed Ann Lopez appearing as vibrant as ever.

The luncheon also kicked off APCH’s “BE GIRLZ Project,” where inner city girls will participate in an eight-week program, inspiring them to discover the beauty and strength of their minds and spirits, and teaching them skills that will empower them to lead more productive lifestyles. This noteworthy celebration of charitable work was a good time for all.

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