Colleagues Luncheon and Oscar de la Renta Fashion Show

Barbara Walters Presents the Champion of Children Award to Sherry Lansing at The Colleagues Annual Spring Luncheon and Oscar de la Renta Fashion Show

 

The Colleagues Annual Spring Luncheon and Oscar de la Renta Fashion Show, benefiting the Children’s Institute, Inc., attracted 800 women to the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.

Regardless of the size of the packed-in crowd at the Apr. 17 event, all fell silent when Barbara Walters ascended the stage. And clearly the groundbreaking television journalist was pleased.

“I spend at least three days a week trying to get a word in edgewise on ‘The View,’” Walters said. “So you know how grateful I am that you are quiet.“  

Walters said she came on behalf of her close friends,  the absent de la Renta, “who is under the weather,” and Sherry Lansing, recipient of The Colleagues’ Champion of Children Award.  (Earlier, Walters said she flew to Los Angeles for just the one day, taking the “red eye” flight back to New York that same night.)

Not only did Walters have high praise for Lansing and the fashion show, she also commended the audience. “You’re all magnificent and special to come here and give your time to this wonderful organization,” she said, adding, “I don’t see this so much in New York.”

Oscar de la Renta’s fall 2012 collection had been the centerpiece of the luncheon, and more than a few women in the crowd turned up in the designer’s fashions.

“You never forget your first Oscar,” said KTLA weekend TV news anchor Wendy Burch, the day’s emcee, showing off her elegant spring luncheon frock.

During Lansing’s turn at the podium, as she came to accept her award, the trailblazing former movie studio head said she was wearing “head-to-toe” de la Renta: jewelry, purse and dress. “I feel like a princess,” she said, before delivering a genuinely touching speech.

“We have been so blessed,” Lansing said. “Here we have been surrounded by our friends; we had a beautiful luncheon; we’ve eaten great food and we’ve seen an extraordinary fashion show. But while we’ve been sitting here, in the next hour there will be 21 calls of women reporting domestic violence.”

She then praised the women of The Colleagues for helping to break the cycle of violence. “I accept this honor and I share it with all of you,” she said.

Anne Johnson served as executive luncheon chair with co-chairs Jane Ackerman, Topsy Doheny, Janet Jones, Lauren King, Debbie Lanni, Mary Martin, Mary Milner, Carolyn Powers, Ginny Sydorick, Barbara Thornhill and Chardee Trainer. Chopard co-sponsored the luncheon.

The Children’s Institute helps children affected by violence, abuse, neglect or other trauma. To raise funds throughout the year, the Colleagues operate a Thrift Shop in Santa Monica.

 

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Top photo: From left, Oscar de la Renta’s stepdaughter Eliza Reed Bolen, representing the company; The Colleagues president Alexandra Dwek; honoree Sherry Lansing; award presenter Barbara Walters; and event emcee Wendy Burch of KTLA News at The Colleagues Luncheon and Oscar de la Renta Fashion Show (photo credit: Alex J. Berliner/ ABImages)
 

Bottom Photo: Three event co-chairs from left: Mary Milner, Carolyn Powers and Debbie Lanni at The Colleagues Luncheon and Oscar de la Renta Fashion Show (photo credit: Alex J. Berliner/ ABImages)

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Colleagues Luncheon and Oscar de la Renta Fashion Show

Published Apr. 18, 2012 – Ellen Olivier, Society News LA