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Nick Soderblom and Nicollette Sheridan

Los Angeles Tsunami and Local Disaster Relief Benefit

Hosted by the gracious Mr. and Mrs. Robert Leonard at their elaborate Brentwood estate, Tara Largo, The American Red Cross of Greater Los Angeles invited many local VIPs to join together to raise funds for the catastrophic tsunami in South Asia, as well as other regional disasters. Nicollette Sheridan, Traci Bingham and Maria Conchita Alonso co-hosted the event, which was produced by Monica Matulich, managing partner of PRHollywood. Sponsors included Edwards Lowell Fur, Moet Chandon Champagne, Patron Tequila, Rodnik Vodka, Roy’s of Newport Beach and many more. Among the many noteworthy names on the celebrity host committee were Cheryl Tiegs, Ed Asner, Leeza Gibbons, Marlee Matlin, Nicollette Sheridan, Patti LaBelle, Princess Ann Claire Van Shaick Pahlavi and Wendie Malick. Many other Los Angeles do-gooders made up the dinner committee and roped in celebrity executive chefs such as Mark E. Kearney from Sabor Cuisine & Events, Conny Andersson and Donald Wressell of the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, Chris Garnier of Roy’s Newport Beach and Joe Miller of Joe’s Venice Beach. The evening, while benefiting The American Red Cross, also celebrated the incredible lives of Fernando Bengoechea, Beulah and Orlantha Ambrose. Other special guest included Fernando Bengoechea’s companion, Nate Berkus, his brother, Marcel Bengoechea, Adam Glassman of O Magazine, Dr. Anton Ambrose, chairman of The Red Cross, Bonnie McElveen-Hunter and CEO Roger Dickson.

The beautiful evening began with a cocktail reception, which was followed by the five-star dinner and entertainment by singer/songwriter John Ondrasik of Five for Fighting and Folk Singer/Songwriter Samantha Murphy. Access Hollywood’s Nancy O’Dell, a four-year Red Cross celebrity cabinet member and Bronze sponsor, sent a special taped message that aired during the event. The donations collected from this fundraiser will support those abroad affected by the tsunami disaster though The American Red Cross International Response Fund, as well as those affected by the approximately 500 local disasters that occur each year through The Red Cross Local Fund.

The International Fund allows the organization to respond to the needs of people all across the globe from sudden disasters to long-term humanitarian crises affecting health, sanitation, displacement of people and the availability of safe and adequate food and water supplies. The Local Disaster Relief Fund enables The Red Cross to respond to approximately 500 local disasters each year, providing more than US $1.9 million each year in direct relief including food, clothing, shelters, temporary housing, prescriptions, mental health counseling, and more to the victims of local, often unnoticed, disasters.

The American Red Cross of Greater Los Angeles is a non-profit organization that has been saving lives since the chapter was chartered in 1916. It is hard at work in the community 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, serving some six million people in the area.

The event was the perfect opportunity to contribute to this amazing organization, which has such an enduring and exceptional influence over the local community and international arena for so long.

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