Reprinted from Long Beach Press Telegram:
Shirley Wild: Long Beach law firm supports Ronald McDonald House

By Shirley Wild, Long Beach Press Telegram  | Published 12/29/2012

“It was a labor of love!” About 16 families were treated to a full four-course, sit-down dinner, with crystal, linens and silver for a holiday dinner- away-from-home, under difficult circumstances. The families were served prime rib by lawyers from Keesal, Young & Logan, one of which was dressed like an elf, identified only as Elf Erin, who was sharing duties with Elf Leslie.

It wasn’t just dinner – there were books, games, video games, Target gift cards, candy, and many gifts for the temporary residents of the Long Beach Ronald McDonald House on Dec. 23.

The law firm’s Marc Greenberg said: “While we think of it as a small gesture, the families were very appreciative that strangers would take the time to make such a evening for them. One of the fathers staying in the house told me how nice it was to take a break and actually enjoy a meal, even if only for an hour. His son has gone through seven surgeries this month.

“Our small gestures meant a lot to the people at the House. For these families, eating is no longer a pleasure, it is simply something done out of necessity during a changing of the guard at the hospital when one parent relieves the other from the side of their child’s bed.”

Greenberg continued: “Another family’s child has been in Miller Children’s Hospital for seven months because she was only 1 pound, 2 ounces when she was born. Another family’s child was recovering from open-heart surgery at 3 months old. One of the mothers asked Santa to record a video message to her daughter so that she could take it across the street and show it to her daughter in the hospital who was undergoing treatment for cancer.”

Among the throng receiving accolades were Michele Fron for organizing the event and for her last-minute hot-gluing pants on the Dancing Santa to avoid another “wardrobe catastrophe.” Huge “Thank Yous” went to William, Mauricio, Santiago, Richard and the entire Keesal, Young & Logan team. “They provided a meal fit for a king and they did it after a month-long marathon of preparing parties and festive meals.”

Seen at the scene: Sandy Parker and her sister, Erin Weesner, Sean Cooney, Meredith Obler, Kelli Gardner and family, Bonnie Bachenheimer, Sonia Sutton, Amy Melner, Jodi Cohen, Liz Lindh and family, Ginette Brown, Liz Kendrick (and Huxley the therapy dog), Joe and Ann Walsh, and Leslie Smith.

Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus in full holiday regalia greeted the 100 or so attendees at the Committee of 300’s annual holiday gathering to raise funds for local charities. Held at L’Opera on Dec. 12, the evening included dining and a silent auction, under the direction of President Rich Carry, and President-elect Dian Morris. A highlight of the evening were the speakers from the two charities selected for this year, Pathways to Independence and Children Today. Dave Bishop and Dora Jacildo spoke eloquently about their respective organizations (Dave for Pathways and Dora for Children Today). Approximately $2,000 was raised for the groups at the fun evening.

Seen at the scene: Jim Michaelian, Theresa Bixby, Fire Chief Mike DuRee, Jim and Masy Bunnell, Lisa Mais, Collette Anderson, Lisa Viets, Danielle Orman, Louella Hundt, Wynn Collins, Phyllis Covey, John and Susan Ridgely, Mo and Pat Mohler (received an award for his grandstand duties), Susan Nicholson, Dave Sandhu. Patiently posing for photos were Al and daughter Wendy Huntley in costume.

On Dec. 11, the holiday spirit was unmistakable as 60 ladies arrived in colorful festive attire for the Dramatic Allied Arts Guild’s luncheon at the Long Beach Yacht Club, which was beautifully decorated with Christmas trees and garlands.

To enhance the holiday spirit a sip of egg nog was offered.

President Leslee Martin remarked on the Guild’s tradition of bringing an unwrapped toy to donate to the Long Beach Firefighters Association’s Spark of Love toy drive. Some members combined their contributions and several bicycles were purchased by past president Kay Berg on their behalf.

Whimsical Christmas tree centerpieces were displayed on mirrored rounds on each table by Dee McKinney, decorations chairwoman. Tables were adorned with crisp white linens and red napkins.

Program Chair Noreen Wood introduced world renowned cellist Hitoshi Suzuki with Linda Rose accompanying him on a magnificent harp. Nancy Fuhrman commented: “It was an amazing display of technique and professionalism by these outstanding musicians. It was greatly appreciated and enjoyed by everyone, along with their rendition of many popular Christmas carols.”

Seen at the Scene: Pat Cain, Carolyn Powers, Sharon Civalleri, Donna Estrin, Marilyn Hauser, Roxanne Lawrence, Lesley Scheller, Jane Screen, Victoria Gammer, Valerie Stokes, Nancy Fuhrman, Liz Minor, Jane Vejsicky, Kathy Morton.

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