May 6, 2007 – Hollywood: Ten-feet tall angel sculptures descended on Celebrity Centre International to greet guests of the 10th Annual Rose Variety Arts Show produced by The Rose Breast Cancer Society and hosted on the grounds of Celebrity Centre International in cooperation with Artists For A Better World International (AFABW Int). The Rose Variety Arts Show was the third featured highlight of the day’s events, which also included an Art Expo and Wellness Expo. The entirety of the day’s activities was to raise awareness for breast cancer prevention.
The event was co-themed “Parade of Angels” and “Edu-tainment” (combining education and entertainment). Participants and guests wore white in celebration of the angel theme which was further accentuated with elaborate white balloon decorations placed inside and outside the Garden Pavilion.
The Variety Arts Show program was co-hosted by film producer and songstress Roxanna Bonilla Giannini, and Artists For A Better World Master-of-Ceremonies, Alberto Cabilan. The Honorable Congresswoman Diane Watson received an Angel Award at the event. She continues to be a top supporter and honorary member of The Rose Breast Cancer Society. Amongst her achievements in the political arena is her key role in the enactment of legislation to promote breast cancer research.
Also honored was Willis Edwards, current California Representative to the National Board of the N.A.A.C.P. and former President of the Beverly Hills chapter. His influence has benefited many including Senator Robert Kennedy, Mayor Tom Bradley, Congresswoman Diane Watson, Nelson Mandela and Rosa Parks. He also launched the Image Awards and produced the CBS Movie of the Week starring Angela Basset portraying Rosa Parks.
The Rose Breast Cancer Society also honors motherhood by selecting a Mother of the Year. This year’s honor was bestowed upon Ruth Griffin, 94 years young. She hails from Oklahoma from a family of seven siblings who lived on an 80 acre farm which grew cotton, corn and sugar cane. She has served as Deaconess and Sunday School Administrator at the Church of the Living God. She still hosts Bible studies in her home. She also enjoys gardening and maintains an interest in the rose garden established by Ms. Uddin (for which The Rose Breast Cancer Society was named) who loved roses.
AFABW Int award-winner, Allison Iraheta, a Disney starlett, also signed to the “Sabado Gigante” Miami TV show, sang the musical blessing accompanied by State finalist gymnast Lily Kobabe. AFABW member, Barbara Cordova, sang her compositions “Planet of Peace” and “Angels.” She was joined by the AFABW Int award-winning Cal Arts Dancers and dignitary, Alain Petit Pa, who entered carrying a huge globe of the world. AFABW Int performer, Willman Morcillo and band performed an upbeat Latin rhythm.
Carmelita, the Founder of the Rose Breast Cancer Society, entered wearing an original hand-painted white garment designed by Sibella singing “Step by Step.” She also joined Amelie M’Baye of Senegal and Mimi Whitfield, a soloist with St. Paul’s Catholic Church Gospel choir. This trio serenaded Willis Edwards onstage with “My Lifetime.” Roxanna then sang “Memories” and “A Piece of Sky.”
A show highlight was a performance by the Korean children attired in traditional costumes who were accompanied by the drum. The principal of St. Paul’s Catholic elementary Korean School, Veronica Hwang and members of her group were also present on stage to guide the children. Ms. Hwang originally invited Carmelita Pittman to give art instruction to the children whose paintings were exhibited at the Rose Variety Arts Show. Art projects such as this are part of the community outreach of The Rose Breast Cancer Society.
Also on stage was Guadalupae, who toured with the late Godfather of Soul, James Brown, as his choreographer. She wore a spectacular white headpiece from her recent appearance in Las Vegas. She and professional model “Olympia” both wore white velvet capes hand-painted by Pasqual in the finale Dream Sequence led by AFABW dancer, Vanessa Guerrero, who wore a long white shimmering costume crowned by a headpiece attached to a flowing vail.
AFABW Award-winner, Desiree Grenier, a former vocalist of the Rose Variety Arts Show and also one of the finalists on the first American Idol, is now on staff at the Celebrity Centre International. She invited guests to tour Celebrity Centre and discussed how its purpose is to serve and support artists and others from all facets of society specifically by helping them to overcome barriers in order to achieve their goals.
Dr. Cherilyn Lee, Dr. Allan Sachey, as well as Nurse and Volunteer Minister Kathy Gregg, gave health presentations on stage during the Rose Variety Arts Stage Show.
The Wellness Expo, held outside the Garden Pavilion, included participants such as the Celebrity Centre Volunteer Ministers, including: Richard Graff, Gabriele Utz, Andrea Zastawany and Jenny Hirsch.
The Volunteer Ministers administered free “Nerve Assists,” a technique developed by L. Ron Hubbard to relieve pain. Additionally, free Stress Tests were made available to attendees to locate troubled areas.
The Wellness Expo included Jean Nichols of Liquidity International; Adrienne Stein of Life Source Water; Lucy Mazes of Harmony Amazon Herb; Adonijah of Edible Sun Food, and Marie Warren.
The Art Expo displays were presented around the outside of the Garden Pavilion with outstanding art works by noted artists celebrating the theme of angels and roses. Artists were Monique Birault, Diana French, Coral Holiday, Jeffry Michael Jenson, David Kinzie, Laura Lee, Evelyn McElwee, Christine Sargent, Fereidum Shokatfrd, and Jim Varketta.
Artists For A Better World participants included Petrina Sharp, Mark Valinsky, Gabrielle Utz, Curtis Jones, Yvonne Harrington, and Lura Schmiedeke who donated her rose painting to the Silent Auction.
This venture is a labor of love by volunteers and Carmelita Pittman, Founder and Executive Director of The Rose Breast Cancer Society, a 501.c3 non-profit organization. It is also a living memorial for Carmelita’s mother, Juanita Zara Espinosa Uddin. Her life was cut short on Nov. 16, 1997 after her four year battle with breast cancer. Because both Carmelita and her mother were born into the art world, The Rose Breast Cancer Society is an arts based organization that invites members of the fine arts and performing arts community to join hands in order to promote its mission of “Education for the prevention and intervention of breast cancer through the arts.” The community is served by learning about breast cancer prevention by such means as Infrared Thermography and also the attainment and maintenance of wellness. Towards that end Carmelita has also authored an article entitled “What You Need to Know About Breast Cancer Prevention” published Sept. 2006 in LaBrea Living Magazine.
Notables in the audience included Marcia Mosebay, who has adopted The Rose Breast Cancer Society; Stormy, designer and humanitarian; Elke Schliwa of Women’s TV; Anthony Rinaldi whose family name marks a freeway offramp and street in the Valley. Also present were family members of Gloria Berlin; Gene Hinson and his guest who is a leader in the film community; Roger Yanagita, Manager to Roxanna Bonilla-Giannini; former Mother of the Year, Dr. Mary Alice Birault; Father Gerardo Cabral, Head Priest of St. Paul’s Catholic Church; Dr. John Wong and company; Jarvee Hutcherson, Founder of the Diversity Awards; Kathy Sanson, New York Broadway dancer & choreographer; also present was A. Manzi of the New York Independent Magazine; Erma Adams who wore her crown and banner as a Ms. United Nations Delegate; and Jerry Pittman.
All honorees received commendations sent from Mayor Villaraigosa and Councilman Tom LaBonge. Participating members of The Rose Breast Cancer Society included Executive Assistant Marlynn Northcutt, Gloria Berlin, Audrey “Angel” Sherborne, Candy Ward, Dick Simpson, Priscella Ford, Andrea Nicholson, Twain Wilson and Traude Winik.
In addition to the previous listed AFABW Int artists, additional AFABW int members who helped create the show were Scriptwriter and Director, David Bartlett; Backstage Director, Jeff Harman; Wellness Expo Liasion, Tom Fair; Petrina Sharp and Vanessa Guerrero co-coordinated the Art Expo and Wellness Expo; AFABW member Barbara Cordova and AFABW Int President, George Alger, lent their support.
AFABW Int Award-winning artist, Francisco Ramirez, designed the ten-feet tall angel sculptures.
Artist, Deon Dolor created the elaborate balloon displays and the balloon arch leading into the Franklin Gardens.
Brunch at the Renaissance Restaurant is also an option to add to the experience.
This family-friendly event is held annually the first Sunday of May on the grounds of Celebrity Centre International.