Philanthropists Patty and Arthur Newman have been two of the Palm Springs Opera Guild of the Desert's most consistent supporters, and their efforts were trumpeted at the "Singing The Praises Gala" Jan. 26 at Agua Caliente Casino Resort.
Added fun was the announcement that the evening also celebrated Arthur Newman’s 90th birthday, and was held on what would have been the birthday of his brother, Academy Award winning actor Paul Newman.
Both Patty and Arthur have had a desert home for 33 years. Arthur, former member of the Rancho Mirage City Council, is a retired film executive and a life member of the Directors’ Guild of America. He is a former member of the Joslyn Center board which named its theater after him. He is credited with encouraging the city of Rancho Mirage to develop its Public Library. He also forced a ballot measure to change the original concept for the site that is today The River.
Patty has served on many non profit boards in leadership roles including chairmanship of two Rancho Mirage City Commissions, former secretary of Palm Springs Art Museum Board of Trustees, Chair of the former Community Blood Bank and current Chair of Coachella Valley Wellness Foundation.
They are major contributors to Palm Springs Opera Guild of the Desert and the Opera Guild’s annual Opera In The Park to be held April 6 at Sunrise Park. They are also affiliated with Newman’s Own Foundation started by Arthur’s brother. With a mission of “Giving It All Away,” Newman’s Own has given over $350 million to non-profit organizations worldwide since its inception in 1982.
Terry Hendrix, president, welcomed guests to the Singing The Praises Gala. Co-chairs Jean C. Carrus and Donald Osborne arranged entertainment by tenor Rodell Rosel accompanied by Mona Lands at piano.
The unusual (for an opera group) program was called “Musical Gold, Laughter and High Jinks” with songs from “New York, New York” to “My Way” and nary an opera aria sung by Rosel, an Opera Guild vocal scholarship winner in 2001 who has since performed with opera venues including The Metropolitan Opera in New York and LA Opera.
Dancing followed to Pat McCaffrey & The Whiz Kids Band and a huge after dinner birthday cake found all attendees singing "Happy Birthday" to the celebrant.
The fun evening’s Platinum Sponsors were Newman’s Own and Joanne Woodward Newman. Gold Sponsors were Helene Galen, Harold and Dorothy Meyerman, Madeline Redstone, Jean Carrus, John and Amy Jo Gottfurcht-SSI Investments, Terry Hendrix, Donna MacMillan, Ann and Bill Scheffler, and Arline and Fred Simon.