Mizell Senior Center, which has served Palm Springs and supporting communities for 40 years with a focal point on healthy and active aging, held its 11th annual "Stars Among Us Gala" at the Palm Springs Air Museum with presenting sponsor Eisenhower Health.
Images of fighter jets quickly vanished as guests walked the red carpet lined with larger than life images of Clark Gable, Frank Sinatra, other Hollywood icons and rows of palm trees.
The evening's theme, "The Supremes – Live at the Cocoanut Grove" was captured throughout the museum. Momentus Event's, Frank Goldstin hoped to "surprise and delight partygoers every step of the way as the evening unfolded by crafting a dazzling environment paired with spectacular entertainment with a modern twist."
A silent auction filled the cocktail hour with abundant choices in the Hollywood Boulevard themed hanger replete with the Hollywood sign, Grauman's Chinese Theater, the Brown Derby and other landmarks from the best of Hollywood's past.
Mizell Executive Director Ginny Foat and President Rick Petersen welcomed all 526 guests into the Donald and Peggy Cravens hanger, which had been elegantly transformed into the Cocoanut Grove Supper Club.
Dinner by Savoury's Catering was served while The Galaxy Award was presented to Harold Matzner, who thanked his fellow philanthropists, Helene Galen, Jim Houston, Donna Macmillan, and JoAnne McGrath for their committed support to the desert. Other honorees included Honorable Judge Arthur Block and Kathy Block, and Friends of the Palm Springs Animal Shelter.
The evening's emcee, Jennifer Holliday of Broadway's Dreamgirls, mesmerized guests with her Tony award winning, "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going" as well as other signature songs from the show.
Holiday commented in private that she was delighted to be back in the desert where she first filled in for Rosemary Clooney for another charity. She noted that she is still performing the greatest hits of Dream Girls, although it has been 35 years since it opened on Broadway. The event's theme was particularly meaningful since she has performed with some of Hollywood's greatest talent including Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Barbara Streisand.
Event headliners, The Supreme Reflections, presented most of the Supremes' hits and shared stories of the girl group's performances.
Co-chairs, Dr Ronald Fragan, Carole Fragan, Eric Rudolph, and Bob Iles, joined other guests Carolyn Caldwell, J. R. Roberts, Tee and Doug Jones, Patti Delgado, and Palm Springs Art Museum's President Elizabeth Armstrong.
The evening event benefits the Mizell Senior Center, which operates the largest Meals on Wheels program in the Coachella Valley, serving nearly 500 meals each day to homebound seniors from Palm Springs to the North Shore Salton Sea.
Photography by Loretta Vlach