May 7, 2006 – Hollywood: Artists For A Better World participated in the 9th Annual Rose Variety Arts Show produced by The Rose Breast Cancer Society at Celebrity Centre International. The first Sunday of May is the traditional day that this event is held in order to raise breast cancer awareness, wellness, and prevention of breast cancer. The Rose Breast Cancer Society is a grassroots, arts-based organization which was founded 1998 in memory of Juanita Zara Espinosa Uddin, who was a gifted artist and devoted mother who loved roses. Because of her walk alongside hundreds of other women and men of all walks of life who have also battled breast cancer, her life has become a living memorial to fight breast cancer through the arts.
Each year members of the visual and performing arts community join forces to make the Annual Rose Variety Arts Show possible. Art works exhibited in Franklin Gardens featured this year’s theme, “Parade of Angels” which depicted angels and roses. Alma Yamazaki, of Chino Hills, exhibited angel soul portraits. Evelyn McElwee, long time supporter and participant of the annual event, featured bookmarks and keychains with rose designs marking the event. Her sister, Elsie McElwee, also a loyal supporter, featured her fashions. Diana French’s rose pens were a popular item. Also participating was Dick Simpson, a committee member of The Rose Breast Cancer Society, and his model who displayed a rack of his collection of designer bloomers. Malcolm H. Ball of Britain exhibited the Angel of Peace And Love as a symbol for the new millenium. Anna Siqueiros featured paintings of angels with musical instruments and roses. She has also participated as an artist with a former angel project exhibited throughout the city. Members of Artists for a Better World Barbara Cordova, Lura Schmiedeke, Curtis Jones, plus Wilfred Phillips, Alexis Matus, Christine Sargent, were amongst those artists who also supported the cause with their fine art. Seen strolling the garden and admiring the art work were Chaka Khan, Kirstie Alley and Golden Globe award winning actress, Jenna Elfman.
Indoors in the Garden Pavilion Theatre was the silent auction where art works by international artist Metin Bereketli, Senior Senator Bettio, Carmelita, Deborah Gillman, Marlynn Northcutt, and Daniel Goojvin were exhibited. Before entering the premises guests were greeted by a ten foot tall white angel sculpture designed by Francisco Ramirez of Jalisco, Mexico. Once inside the Garden Pavilion one saw a tall angel decorated in silver lame and jeweled fabrics topped with an elaborate headdress, tables covered with a large collection of gift baskets, white fabrics which were swagged over the windows, and stage setting which included draped silver jeweled fabrics capped with clusters of white balloons which hovered over another ten foot tall angel on stage. A large painting entitled “Diversity” by Metin Berektli valued at $20,000.00 with his other collection of paintings and various sized crystal lit spheres by Senior Senator Pasqual Bettio were placed prominently. A tent effect was created by the strings of white balloons which were caught up by a huge cluster of white balloons which loomed overhead in the center of the Garden Pavilion. This was also the setting for the Variety Stage Show with decor by Deon Dolor. Also there to greet guests was a lovely representative of the Ms. United Nations Delegates who wore a white suit with her crown and banner.
The waterfalls presented the perfect setting for the Wellness Expo where health care professionals such as Dr. Clair and Shavonne Rudd of the Vibrance Medical Group met with individuals who wanted to learn more about advance breast cancer screening using Infrared Thermography which can actually detect breast cancer up to ten years in advance before a lump can appear. The Rose Breast Cancer Society offers certificates valued at $300.00 to receive a discount for this procedure. Dr. Clair was also a speaker during the program in the Garden Pavilion Theatre , and was the first recipient of the Angel award. The laughing Yogi Ramesh also participated in both the Wellness Expo and the stage program where he energized the audience and left them standing on their feet. Also on hand was Ruth Beaner, the Bra Lady who spoke of the value of proper fitting bras. She also offered valuable bras to give away as prizes.
The afternoon program began with the spiritual chanting of Estherleon who sang as a cantor alongside her partner Ivor who read inspirational poetry. This was the musical blessing which was the prelude to the “Parade of Angels” which included the choir and band of the Reverend Della Reese-Lett, star of the T.V. series, “Touched by an Angel” along with the trilingual choir of St. Paul’s Catholic Church directed by Emilia Scanlon and Mimi Whitfield. Wearing the theme color of white, the choir entered by singing the Battle Hymn of the Republic, singing “His Truth is Marching On” as they walked along the garden path led by a little angel with her beautiful mother, Cecella Trevejo, who also wore angel wings. The audience seated, heard them coming as they walked up the stairs, around the bend to the entrance of the theatre where they broke into “When the Saints Go Marching In” accompanied by the band as they worked their way up to the stage. With the signature popping of the balloons by a figure dressed in white, Audrey Ruttan, everyone knew that the show had truly begun. Adding to the ambiance were many members of the audience who also wore white.
The talent line-up was hosted by George Alger, President of Artists for a Better World International, Denise “China Eyes” Cook, and Audrey Ruttan. Carmelita sang her recording “Rosebud” which was once on the top forty charts years ago and is now enjoying a renaissance in Nothern England. She is also the founder of the Rose Breast Cancer Society and participated in presenting an award to Dr. Cherilyn Lee, Mother of the Year, along with other honorees such as Nick LaTour, veteran actor and son of a activist Edgar Daniel Nixon, called the “Father of the Civil Rights Movement” in the South, who proceeded Martin Luther King. Soloists of the choir of Rev. Della Reese-Lett included Karen Evans, Noel Campbell, choir director Robert Henley III and the Reverend Dr. William H. Knight. The band was led by T.C. Campbell with musicians Mark “Panther” Felton, Tom Sala, Joe Sala, David Scott , Bill Pittman. Vocalists Tita Ferrar, Barbara Cordova and members of Dance Create, classical pianist James Lent, opera singer Daniel Goojvin, dancers Jeremy Zapanta, Natalie Krakinian and Yasmine Stacey of the Burbank School of Ballet, choreographer and dancer Kathy Sanson of New York, Bittersweet of R.K. Records, Thomas Swieringa of THS Records, Denise “China Eyes” Cook performed spoken word, and Adonis and co all completed the blend of Gospel, Opera and Ballet.
As usual the grand finale was the “Parade of Angels” fashions modeled by Guadalupae, Ebony fashion fair model Olympia, and a bevy of beauties and handsome models from Northridge University coordinated by “Oops” as well as students from City Honors High School of Inglewood all who wore white velvet capes which were “Pasqualized” with mirrors and silver painting. The event carried on into the evening with a second program which included the Chosen Gospel Recovery group added on this year. Seen about the grounds were the ten foot tall angel sculptures which took on a special glow when the spotlight lit them up against the night sky. Credited for contributing to the crafting of the angels are Artists For A Better World member, Gabrielle Utz of Switzerland, Jenny Love of South Pasadena, and students from the class of Jerome Richardson of City Honors High School of Inglewood headed by principal Thelma Brown who was also honored on stage.
The legendary Linda Hopkins made her presence known upon her entrance to the event. She received a welcomed ovation. Also seen in the audience was the Rev. Dr. Charles O. Brown, veteran actress Gloria Pall who has appeared in countless films with legends such as Elvis Presley, Gloria Berlin, noted Beverly Hills socialite, who is also a committee member of The Rose Breast Cancer Society, Malek of Tribeca of New York associated with Robert Deniro, Lady Tracey Koenigsberg, Sheilia Ward, Teresa King, Karla with a K, Al Noble, Terri Scott Mitchell, Elke Schliwa of Women’s TV, Marcia Mosebay, Teddy Chambers, Norma Jean Strickland attended and also received awards. Seen documenting the event was celebrity photographer Traude Winik, also a member of the charity. Also on the scene was P.A. Edmead with his trusty camera and Michael Johnstone covering videography. Michael Johnstone is also a musician and prominent actor on a television series.
Additional members of The Rose Breast Cancer Society who participated this year are Audrey “Angel” Sherborne,Andrea Nicholson, Candy Ward Nygaard, Jackie Wyatt, recipient of a commendation from Councilman Tom LaBonge, Luz Castano. Senior Senator Pasqual Bettio who also served as a visual artist, presenter of awards and photographer.