A few fires and extremely warm weather didn’t stop celebrities and about three hundred guests from showing their support at the 3rd Annual Face Forward Gala at The Beverly Wilshire Hotel this past Saturday. Deborah Alessi, Founder of Face Forward, and Dr. David Alessi, co-founder, along with funny man Tom Arnold and the lovely Bonnie Somerville, hosted a beautiful, Moroccan themed evening to benefit women of domestic violence. After special guests such as Jennifer Coolidge, Dr. Jenn Berman, Linda Thompson, Dennis Smith, Katie Cleary, Shaun Toub, Dain Blanton, Barbara Bentley, James Dumont, Stephen Kramer Glickman Boxer David Rodriquez and few others made their way down the red carpet, they took time to put a bid on some amazing auction items.
Going once, going twice, sold! Thanks to sponsors such as Turkish Airlines who donated two business class tickets, to any of their 205 destinations, and Aman Resorts who donated a dream vacation for two to Bali, pens were running out of ink quickly. Unici Casa, one of LA’s most unique event venues hosted the Face Forward Kick Off party. Let the best bidder win. One very fortunate recipient won a chance to host a very special event at this exclusive venue, valued at $18k. Unici Casa also donated beautiful Murano glass pieces that were designed by Architect, Designer and Founder of UNICI, Michael Foroutan. They were hand-blown by one of the greatest glass masters in the world, Alfredo Barbini, right before his passing in Venice, Italy at the age of 93. All of these pieces are one of kind collectors objects. The value of this generous donation by UNICI CASA event space is $18,000! As for the dream team of exceptionally skilled doctors behind Face Forward, The Alessi Institute, Dr. Ivan Brooks, Dr. Al Jumper and Specialty Surgery Center allow patients to look in the mirror and see the beginning of a new life.
As guests were treated to an extra special dessert from My Vienna Gelato and Coffee, The gala‘s entertainment program began with George Komsky, former lead tenor of Riverdance’s North American tour party, who with his duet partner Becca Stockton performed “Vivo Per Lei,” featuring Cirque du Soleil star acrobat Tatiana Gousarova. This was followed by the duet “The Prayer” and Komsky’s solo of “Funiculi, Funicula.” Headlining the evening was the exotic Ukrainian violinist Assia Ahhatt, who performed her dramatic interpretations of “Overture” and “Four Walls.
A magnificent evening was had by all as we honored and thanked those who came out to support such a vital cause and celebrated the life of some extremely brave women who have been given a second chance on life. Angels in disguise, Deborah and Dr. David Alessi will continue their tireless efforts to help women around the world escape a life of unforgiveable abuse and let them know there is someone who cares, there is a safe place to turn to; Face Forward will always be one of them.