Shatner’s Hollywood Charity Horse Show

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Each year I look forward to seeing philanthropic actor William Shatner and his wife Elizabeth at their Hollywood Charity Horse Show gifting ceremony with Priceline.com and Wells Fargo Bank. Each year they raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for over 25 children’s charities.

The first Hollywood Charity Horse Show started in March 1990 to help grass root charities. Every year it is held at the Equestrian Center in Griffith Park with a world-class horse show, dinner, a live and silent auction, and A-list musical guest.

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William Shatner

Shatner along with David DiCristofaro, Wells Fargo Lead Regional President in the Greater Los Angeles attended the gifting ceremony and breakfast to distribute grants to the charities supported by Shatner’s annual Hollywood Charity Horse Show sponsored by Wells Fargo and Priceline.com. DiCristofaro oversees 275 Wells Fargo branches.

This year at The Six Chow House in Studio City, The Gay Mens Choir Los Angeles (GMCLA) opened the gifting event by singing “True Colors” by Cyndi Lauper. Shatner and his wife are fans of the GMCLA, having seen the holiday show. We learned that Jonathan Weedman, formerly Senior Vice President Wells Fargo Foundation is now the Executive Director at GMCLA.

fullsizerender-485Afterwards, Shatner shared how they need help for this year’s event scheduled June 3.

1. They are looking for volunteers to help before and during the event.

2. For charities wanting to receive a gift, purchase three tables or more. Those who do this, the philanthropy will double the donation gift to that charity.

3. They need people to help sell ads for the program.

4. Donate items to auction the day of the event by May 1, 2017. Go to: https://www.facebook.com/HollywoodCharityHorseShow/

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David DiCristofaro, AHEAD With Horses and William Shatner

Shatner is turning 87 year old this year. He continues to work hard for Hollywood Charity Horse Show, to help children and those in need. All the money raised goes straight to the charities, with no administration fees.

Shatner shared with guests a true story of the appreciation one mother has for AHEAD With Horses’. As a mother of two daughters on the autism spectrum, horse therapy has helped her daughters overcome many sensory issues. Her 11 year old daughter can now run and jump without falling or crashing into things, due to her new sense of balance from riding a horse. Both daughters have benefited tremendously by the therapy. AHEAD With Horses – (Accelerated Habilitation Education And Development) has over 48 years of history of providing unique, highly motivating and effective therapy, education and recreation through horses and related experiences to disabled/disadvantaged/at-risk/special-needs children and has earned recognition educationally, medically and scientifically.

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Hollenbeck Police Activities League

Hollenbeck Police Activities League builds a bond between cops and kids. Hollenbeck PAL was founded in 1992 through the efforts of Hollenbeck Division of the Los Angeles Police Department and community residents to implement sports activities to high-risk youths in response to the juvenile crime increase in the area. The ultimate goal is a community without crime, where children have equal access to opportunity, and where peace officers help drive the community’s vitality. PAL’s mission is to nurture young people to become responsible, productive, and law-abiding citizens by offering character-building, educational, sports, and life-enhancing programs. American Legion Legacy Scholarship Fund received a check too. The American Legion was chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness. It is the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization, committed to mentoring youth and sponsorship of wholesome programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow service members and veterans.

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Saddles for Soldiers

Saddles for Soldiers is designed specifically by Shadow Hills Riding Club to assist United States Veterans and their families cope with the traumas and stressors returning from combat, long-term depression, re-establishing life skills and readjustment into civilian life by the use of horses.

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Painted Turtle Gang Camp Foundation

Painted Turtle Gang Camp Foundation – There is no billing department – children with serious medical conditions and their families attend camp free of charge. Through innovative, camp-based programs that offer a great big dose of fun and support, children with more than 30 medical conditions visit The Painted Turtle each year, reclaiming the joys of childhood. A member of Paul Newman’s renowned Serious-Fun Camps (formerly the Association of Hole in the Wall Camps), The Painted Turtle has offered thousands of children and their families hope and encouragement through its Summer and Family Weekend camps since it opened its gates in 2004.

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Pasadena Playhouse

Pasadena Playhouse is committed to premiere theatrical experience in Southern California showcasing the most exciting theatrical entertainment in the state and being an amazing forum for launching new work onto the national stage. The Pasadena Playhouse hosts over 3000 young people (primarily 18 and under). Theatre has the power to transform lives and create new possibilities for those engaged with it.

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Queen of Hearts Theraputic Riding Center

Queen of Hearts Theraputic Riding Center is a nonprofit facility that offers programs supporting the development of disabled children and adults living in Southern California’s Inland Empire and surrounding areas.

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REINS Therapeuric Horsemanship Program

REINS Therapeutic Horsemanship Program is a non-profit located in Fallbrook, CA. REINS provides physical, mental, and emotional therapy to a wide range of disabled children and adults through the use of carefully supervised horseback riding. The benefits of this therapy are both mental and physical and include normalization of muscle tone, increased balance & coordination, developments of speech & language, and improvements in body awareness & self-esteem.

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Dream Catcher of LA is a Therapeutic Riding Center’s is a Certified Center Member of PATH International (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship) offering Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies. Joan Blank and the center improves the lives of children, adults, and veterans with cognitive, physical, and emotional disabilities through the benefits of therapeutic horseback riding and other equine-assisted activities, while serving the therapeutic riding profession through training and education. Learning a riding skill will also have a positive effect on a rider’s self-confidence. The center environment, the companionship and bonding with animals, and the development of new skills are all components in a successful experience. The relationships that develop between riders, volunteers, horses and staff are all integral to a positive emotional experience.

2016 Most Facinating People

This year I had the opportunity to interview celebrities, chefs, volunteers and who touched my heart with a quote they shared. Here are 10 of the most fascinating people I met this year –

Photo by Jill Weinlein
Frances Ford Coppola – Photo by Jill Weinlein
  1. Frances Ford Coppola – The night I met Coppola, he was receiving a special honor and award at the 25th annual UCLA TFT Film Festival Directors Spotlight along with a talented group of film students. Sitting in a large theater at the Director’s Guild of America on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood, I watched UCLA Dean Teri Scwartz honor Francis Ford Coppola with the Distinguished Vanguard Director Award Presentation. She enlightened guests with the history of Coppola’s career and had her team put together a short compilation of Coppola’s films that included Apocalypse Now, Bram Stroker’s Dracula, The Cotton Club, Finian’s Rainbow, The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, The Godfather Part III, The Outsiders, Peggy Sue Got Married and You’re a Big Boy Now. While a graduate student at UCLA, Coppola won a Samuel Goldwyn Award for the best screenplay. After this honor he was hired to write scripts for Seven Arts. Read more – http://luxebeatmag.com/legendary-film-director-francis-ford-coppola/.

    Wayne Brady - Photo by Jill Weinlein
    Wayne Brady – Photo by Jill Weinlein
  2. Wayne Brady – Growing up in Florida, Wayne Brady knew he wanted to be an actor, He acted in high school and enjoyed improvisation (which he is brilliant at). I interviewed Brady at The Wallis Theatre in Beverly Hills.  Here’s the full interview http://thestagereview.net/2016/11/11/wayne-brady-tries-sondheim-first-time-wallis/.

    Director and Actors Rob Reiner
    Director and Actors Rob Reiner
  3. Rob Reiner – While dining at the elegant BOA Steakhouse for lunch I always spot an actor and model visiting Ford Models office, Abrams Artists or Atlas Entertainment and Media Talent Group located in the 14-story building. It’s also on the bottom level of the private, members-only Soho House that resides at the top of the two-story penthouse. One day, I saw actor, comedian, producer and director Rob Reiner. He stopped at our table and shared with me that he has two movies coming out in 2016 -2017. Read my review of BOA Steakhouse – https://dineandtravel.me/2016/04/10/dine-like-a-celebrity-at-boa-steakhouse-on-sunset/

    Author Simone Leslie with writer.
    Author Simone Leslie with writer.
  4. Author Simone Leslie – I was fortunate to lunch with this beautiful writer Simone Leslie and our mutual friend and public relations wizard Cherry Hepburn at The Front Yard in North Hollywood. Leslie is an Australian author who wrote the book – It’s OK To Be Beautiful: Heavenly Whispers To A Broken Heart. This beauty started modeling at 15 years old, yet was shy and insecure. She constantly heard negative voices, that left her almost suicidal. “If you don’t believe you are worthy, you will self sabotage yourself,” Leslie shared. After years of studying psychology, she wrote a book to help people create a shift in the core programming levels of their brain that will bring healing and wholeness. Her short stories are a revelation from heartache to love life and oneself. Her book can be viewed and purchases at http://www.putnamandsmithpublishing.com or go to http://www.simoneleslie.com.

    William and Elizabeth Shatner
    William and Elizabeth Shatner
  5. William and Elizabeth Shatner – It’s a beautiful love story of Hollywood movie and television star William Shatner meeting a beautiful woman named Elizabeth. Quickly the two realized they had a lot in common with their mutual admiration for horses and helping those in need. They married in 2001 and got to work helping others. Every year the Shatners host the Hollywood Charity Horse Show in Burbank, raising money for children’s and veterans’ charities. Priceline.com (Will’s been a spokesperson for the Priceline.com since 1997) and the generous people at Wells Fargo help host this fundraising party by bringing together horses, riders, a great dinner, one-of-a-kind auction items and superstar entertainment, which has included in past years Brad Paisley, Ben Folds, Lyle Lovett, Willie Nelson, Randy Travis, Sarah McLachlan, Sheryl Crow, Joe Walsh and Vince Gill. Read more – https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/william-elizabeth-shatner-give-back-jill-weinlein.

    Actress Saycon Sengbloh
    Actress Saycon Sengbloh
  6. Actress Saycon Sengbloh – I had the opportunity to meet and interview Broadway veteran Saycon Sengbloh at a rehearsal of Merrily We Roll Along. Sengbloh was nominated for a Tony Award last year for her role in Danai Gurira’s Eclipsed. Recently she starred in Michael Arden’s production of Stephen Sondheim’s masterwork Merrily We Roll Along at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. Here’s my interview – http://thestagereview.net/2016/11/29/catching-up-with-saycon-sengbloh/

    Chef Mario Batali
    Chef Mario Batali
  7. Chef Mario Batali – Mario Battle the chef and  restauranteur has over 25 different restaurants located in Boston, New York, Boston, Connecticut, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Singapore. They are all operated by Batali and Bastianich Hospitality Group which co-develops the restaurants with chefs, GMs and wine directors. “It’s like a franchise, where the people involved have part equity,” Batali said. “Their ownership is crucial to the map of the program. It gives everyone accountability to help the restaurant succeed.” Here’s more of my review – https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-mario-batali-successful-jill-weinlein.

    The Academy presented a screening of "Heat" on Wednesday, September 7, 2016. Pictured (left to right): Director/Producer/Writer Michael Mann, Actor Robert De Niro, Actor Al Pacino and Moderator Christopher Nolan.
    Director/Producer/Writer Michael Mann, Actor Robert De Niro, Actor Al Pacino and Moderator Christopher Nolan.
  8. Meeting the Director and Cast of HEAT – I pinched myself sitting in front of Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and Michael Mann as they discussed how they made the classic movie – HEAT. Oscar nominee Christopher Nolan led the discussion. Actors Val Kilmer, Tom Sizemore and Amy Brenneman were also present. I learned that Pacino and De Niro previously worked together in 1974 on Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather Part II” before being reunited in “Heat,” which is set in Los Angeles. – Here’s my article https://dineandtravel.me/2016/09/28/meeting-the-cast-of-michal-manns-heat/.

    Artist Gage John Lazare - Photo by Jill Weinlein
    Artist Gage John Lazare – Photo by Jill Weinlein
  9. Gage John Lazare –  I attended a special painting session at The London West Hollywood near Beverly Hills, and was warmly welcomed by the creative artist Gage John Lazare. Raised in Kahnawake, near Montreal, Canada, he now he lives in New York City and travels around the world, creating his own pieces and collaborating with other artists and designers. I took a seat in front of a small easel holding a blank white canvas. A package of paint brushes in various sizes and package of paints and a palette were nearby. Here’s what I learned – https://dineandtravel.me/2016/08/31/outdoor-paint-class-at-the-london-hotel/.

    Actor and Restauranteur Danny Trejo with writer.
    Actor and Restauranteur Danny Trejo with writer.
  10. Danny Trejo – When I asked Danny Trejo what advice he gives the youth of today? He replied, “I would rather shoot for the moon and miss, than aim for the gutter and make it.” Read more – https://dineandtravel.me/2016/08/30/trejo-taco-truck-is-roaming-los-angeles/.

William Shatner & Wells Fargo Present Checks to Charities

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Jonathan Weedman (Wells Fargo), William Shatner, Sheldon Epps (Pasadena Playhouse) and David DiCristofaro (Wells Fargo)

Not only is William Shatner, one of America’s most versatile television stars, he is the CEO of the Hollywood Charity Horse Show and generous philanthropist. Shatner along with David DiCristofaro, Wells Fargo LA Metro/Orange County Regional Bank President, and Jonathan Weedman, Senior Vice President Wells Fargo Foundation recently invited 25 charities to a gifting ceremony and breakfast to distribute grants to the charities supported by Shatner’s annual Hollywood Charity Horse Show sponsored by Wells Fargo and Priceline.com.

The Hollywood Charity Horse Show is in its 26th year. “Over the last 26 years, we have been able to help thousands of young Angelinos thanks to the support we receive from our generous sponsors and attendees,” commented William Shatner. “We are so happy to award the funds raised to these special-needs organizations.”

Here are 20 organizations that received checks from the actor and Wells Fargo Executives –

A Place Called Home - Photo by Jill Weinlein
A Place Called Home – Photo by Jill Weinlein
  1. A Place Called Home – At A Place Called Home, caring staff, supporters and volunteers come together to provide South Central children and teens 8 years old – 21 years old with love, safety, enrichment, training, and opportunities through educational programs, counseling, and mentorship.

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2. AHEAD With Horses –  (Accelerated Habilitation Education And Development)  has an over 47-year history of providing unique, highly motivating and effective therapy, education and recreation through horses and related experiences to disabled/disadvantaged/at-risk/special-needs children and has earned recognition educationally, medically and scientifically.

American Legion - Photo by Jill Weinlein
American Legion – Photo by Jill Weinlein

3. American Legion Legacy Scholarship Fund – The American Legion was chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness. It is the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization, committed to mentoring youth and sponsorship of wholesome programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow service members and veterans.

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4. Blind Children’s Center -Fosters the development and education of children – birth through 2nd grade – who are visually impaired in an inclusive – family focused setting.

5. Caterina’s Club – Caterina’s Club serves over 1,800 low-income children a nutritionally balanced meal of freshly made pasta and vegetables 5 nights a week all year-long. Over 1 Million meals have been served and rapidly counting. Chef Bruno helps feed homeless families in Anaheim (Motel Kids). Caterina’s Club assists families in need, relocating them from motels to homes. To date, 89 families have been housed.

CHLA - Photo by Jill Weinlein
CHLA – Photo by Jill Weinlein

6. Children’s Hospital Los Angeles – (CHLA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit institution that provides pediatric health care to more than 107,000 children each year in a setting designed just for their needs. It started in 1901 in a small house on the corner of Alpine and Castelar Streets (now Hill St. in Chinatown) and now is home to medical experts who have developed more than 350 pediatric specialty programs and services to meet the needs of our patients. CHLA is a provider of more than $125 million in community benefits annually to children and families. As the first and largest pediatric hospital in Southern California, CHLA relies on the generosity of philanthropists in the community to support compassionate patient care, leading-edge education of the caregivers of tomorrow and innovative research efforts that impact children at our hospital and around the world.

The Colburn School - Photo by Jill Weinlein
The Colburn School – Photo by Jill Weinlein

7. The Colburn School – Founded in 1950 as the Community School for the Arts — a small music preparatory school for the University of Southern California. The school provides the highest quality performing arts education at all levels of development in an optimal learning environment. The school serves the community by presenting its students, faculty, and guest artists in more than 300 concerts each year, many of which are free. Additionally, Colburn’s outreach programs reach approximately 15,000 underserved children in the community each year.

CRE Outreach - Photo by Jill Weinlein
CRE Outreach – Photo by Jill Weinlein

 8. CRE Outreach – Empowers under-served individuals from low-income populations in the greater Los Angeles area through theatre, the performing arts, and educational programs. CRE Outreach actively engages at-risk youth, the visually impaired and military veterans participants helping them overcome the challenges in their lives and successfully navigate through today’s society. Over 1500 individuals from many diverse segments of the greater Los Angeles community participate in theatre-based arts education programs. Partnering with local service agencies such as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Lake Street Community Center in Downtown Los Angeles, the Braille Institute of Los Angeles, and the Junior Blind of America, they provide opportunities for participants to safely explore the endless possibilities of theatre while promoting social skills, independence and confidence that can translate into an increased quality of life.

Dream Catchers of LA - Photo by Jill Weinlein
Dream Catchers of LA – Joan Blank -Photo by Jill Weinlein

9. Dream Catcher of LA – Is a Therapeutic Riding Center’s is a Certified Center Member of PATH International (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship) offering Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies. The center improves the lives of children, adults, and veterans with cognitive, physical, and emotional disabilities through the benefits of therapeutic horseback riding and other equine-assisted activities, while serving the therapeutic riding profession through training and education. Learning a riding skill will also have a positive effect on a rider’s self-confidence. The center environment, the companionship and bonding with animals, and the development of new skills are all components in a successful experience. The relationships that develop between riders, volunteers, horses and staff are all integral to a positive emotional experience.

ELSA - Experience Learning Support with Animals
ELSA – Experience Learning Support with Animals

10. ELSA – Experience Learning Support with Animals – nonprofit organization serves children, teens, young adults, families, and groups with special needs through the benefits of human-animal interaction in the ranch setting with horses and ranch animals. Since launching in 2010, ELSA has connected over 1,400 individuals, including those diagnosed with autism and other special needs, with rescued horses and ranch animals to build confidence, social skills, and sensory awareness.

Friendly House - Photo by Jill Weinlein
Friendly House – Photo by Jill Weinlein

11. Friendly House – Founded in 1951, The Peggy Albrecht Friendly House LA is the oldest women’s recovery home in the US, providing a safe harbor for women suffering from the destruction of alcoholism and drug abuse, and has earned a world-renowned reputation as the model for successful recovery.

DSC_034412. Friends & Helpers – Started in 1992  provide to offer support and encouragement for domestic abuse victims who have fled to a shelter or group home for safety. All receive counseling, job training, financial planning and life skills.. Abuse can strike anyone anywhere; spouses, parents, children and teens can fall victim to abuse. They offer a Back-To-School program to help underprivileged kids, and an Easter program.

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13. Hollenbeck Police Activities League – Builds a bond between cops and kids. Hollenbeck PAL was founded in 1992 through the efforts of Hollenbeck Division of the Los Angeles Police Department and community residents to implement sports activities to high-risk youths in response to the juvenile crime increase in the area. The ultimate goal is a community without crime, where children have equal access to opportunity, and where peace officers help drive the community’s vitality. PAL’s mission is to nurture young people to become responsible, productive, and law-abiding citizens by offering character-building, educational, sports, and life-enhancing programs.

Horses4Heroes, Inc. - Photo by Jill Weinlein
Horses4Heroes, Inc. – Photo by Jill Weinlein

14. Horses4Heros – Helps children with parents that are deployed in the military. Horses fill the hole in the child’s heart with a parent missing in their life. A Las Vegas-based, national non-profit organization dedicated to empowering youth, adults and families and enriching their lives through deeply discounted recreational, instructional and morale-boosting health & wellness programs that emphasize fun and safe activities with horses. Through programs like Operation Free Ride, they give thousands of free horseback rides for all active duty service members, Veterans, caregivers, survivors, First Responders and their families. They serve at-risk youth, foster children and teens, victims of domestic abuse and violence, Veterans with Post Traumatic Stress and others in our communities who need a hand up, not a hand out.

Inner-City Youth Orchestra of LA - Photo by Jill Weinlein
Inner-City Youth Orchestra of LA – Charles Dickerson III, Director -Photo by Jill Weinlein

15. Inner-City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles – To cultivate musical expression for personal development, and to bring musical and academic potential of young inner city residents of Los Angeles. Provide opportunities for young musicians to perform that music in some of the greatest settings of the world, and prepare them for opportunities to play in major American orchestras. Give minority youth, especially African-American and Latino youth, the tools needed to join major American orchestras; and to present those young people to those orchestras as candidates for employment. The Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles has performed at Walt Disney concert hall; NAACP Man of Valor Awards Luncheon; the Howard University Alumni Gala Dinner; the Victoria Rowell Foster Children’s Plan Celebration; the LA Times Festival of Books at USC; the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial dedication luncheon in Washington, D.C.; a Barack Obama presidential fundraiser attended by First Lady Michelle Obama; and at a number of receptions, holiday concerts, churches and universities.

Painted Turtle Gang Camp Foundation
Painted Turtle Gang Camp Foundation

16. Painted Turtle Gang Camp Foundation – There is no billing department – children with serious medical conditions and their families attend camp free of charge. Through innovative, camp-based programs that offer a great big dose of fun and support, children with more than 30 medical conditions visit The Painted Turtle each year, reclaiming the joys of childhood. A member of Paul Newman’s renowned Serious-Fun Camps (formerly the Association of Hole in the Wall Camps), The Painted Turtle has offered thousands of children and their families hope and encouragement through its Summer and Family Weekend camps since it opened its gates in 2004.

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR Sheldon Epps - Photo by Jill Weinlein
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Sheldon Epps – Photo by Jill Weinlein

17. Pasadena Playhouse – The Pasadena Playhouse is committed to premiere theatrical experience in Southern California showcasing the most exciting theatrical entertainment in the state and being an amazing forum for launching new work onto the national stage. The Pasadena Playhouse hosts over 3000 young people (primarily 18 and under). Theatre has the power to transform lives and create new possibilities for those engaged with it.

REINS Therapeutic Horsemanship Program - Photo by Jill Weinlein
REINS Therapeutic Horsemanship Program – Photo by Jill Weinlein

18. REINS Therapeutic Horsemanship Program – Provides physical, mental, and emotional therapy to a wide range of disabled children and adults through the use of carefully supervised horseback riding. The benefits of this therapy are both mental and physical and include normalization of muscle tone, increased balance & coordination, developments of speech & language, and improvements in body awareness & self-esteem.

19. Saddles for Soldiers – Designed specifically by Shadow Hills Riding Club to assist United States Veterans and their families cope with the traumas and stressors returning from combat, long-term depression, re-establishing life skills and readjustment into civilian life by the use of horses.

Charles Robbins, MBA, CFRE – Vice President, Communications & Development
Charles Robbins, MBA, CFRE – Vice President, Communications Development – Village Family Service – Photo by Jill Weinlein

20. Village Family Services – Protects children from abuse, preserve families and build a stronger, safer community for all. The Village Family Services is one of Southern California’s leading bilingual community-based organizations providing a comprehensive range of services to achieve permanency and safety for neglected and abused children and youth. The client-centered, strength-focused, trauma-informed, evidence-based and culturally competent care is delivered by a compassionate, bilingual staff.

Jill’s Favorite Celebrity Interviews in 2015

I met some fascinating people in 2015. Some were actors, others were chefs. One is an ambassador for the Special Olympics and another is one of the Housewives of New York City. All had a story to share with me that was poignant and uplifting. Read how each of these 10 VIPs help the world be a better place.

690473e0-0ff2-4e4f-9491-6dced1f757c2-21.Elizabeth and William Shatner are always a joy to see, because they are so passionate about helping children and veterans with equine therapy. I interview this dynamic duo every year at the check presentation of their Hollywood Charity Horse Show fundraiser. Last year they helped raise $500,000 to fund wonderful organizations around California. Here are 10 new things I learned about this couple – https://dineandtravel.me/2015/12/19/10-fun-facts-about-william-shatner/

Photo by Jill Weinlein
Photo by Jill Weinlein

2. Wolfgang Puck – Every year I am invited to the preview of the Academy Awards Governors Ball. I always visit with Wolfgang Puck to learn about his inspiration for the biggest party in showbiz. Here is my review from last February – http://hubpages.com/entertainment/The-87th-Academy-Academy-Awards-Governors-Ball

3. Songstress Dessy DiLauro  – This dynamic lady wow’d me one night as I watched her perform at Spaghettini and The Dave Koz Lounge in Beverly Hills. Man can this lady put on a show. Read my review – http://beverlypress.com/2015/03/spaghettini-and-the-dave-koz-lounge/IMG_1131

4. Betty White is incredible. Not only is she still appearing on television at the age of 93 years old, but she is poised, eloquent and charms her audience. I met her at the LA Zoo over the summer, as she enthusiastically kicked-off the preview to the annual Beastly Ball fundraiser – https://dineandtravel.me/category/la-zoo/DSC_0412

5. Nancy Silverton – As an award winning James Beard Foundation’s Outstanding chef, restauranteur, baker and author, Silverton enlightened me at her Chi Spacca restaurant on Melrose during a Pistachio Growers luncheon. I learned 10 new things about this dynamic woman – http://luxebeatmag.com/ten-fun-facts-chef-nancy-silverton/DSC_0004

6. Dustin Plunkett is a fascinating ambassador for the Special Olympics. I met him at a Honey Bee themed dinner at the Terranea Resort that we both attended. He shared with me some interesting stories about his life and achievements. This kind soul made a big impression on me – https://dineandtravel.me/tag/dustin-plunkett/

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IMG_84507. Rob Schneider – Little did I know, that this actor, comedian, SNL superstar, screenwriter and director is also a “rock star” in Taiwan. Read how I met and interviewed this affable man – https://dineandtravel.me/2015/10/01/delicious-taiwanese-lunch-with-comedian-rob-schneider/

(Photo of Kristen by Jill Weinlein)
(Photo of Kristen by Jill Weinlein)

8. Kristen Taekman is one of The Real Housewives of New York City. Not only is she a reality star, but also a wife, mother, professional model, philanthropist and blogger. She is also a really nice person – http://luxebeatmag.com/10-fun-facts-kristen-taekman/

(Nickelodeon Stars -Maddie Shipman, Rio Mangini and Cree Cicchino)
(Nickelodeon Stars -Maddie Shipman, Rio Mangini and Cree Cicchino)

9. Rio Mangini is a friendly young man who exudes charm and talent. When he walks into a room, the place lights up with excitement. I met him on the Paramount Lot to see one of his latest television premiers – Nickelodeon’s Ho Ho Holiday show. Here is what I learned about Rio and his Nickelodeon castmates – https://dineandtravel.me/2015/12/04/nickelodeon-stars-having-fun-during-the-ho-ho-holidays/

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(Photo courtesy of Ellen Geer)

10. Ellen Geer sat down with me before her cast performed in the Shakespeare classic – As You Like It at the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum in the Topanga Canyon. Here is what I learned about this talented actress, director, and owner of one of the coolest outdoor small theaters in So Cal – https://dineandtravel.me/2015/08/03/i-liked-as-you-like-it/

10 Fun Facts about William Shatner

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(Photo courtesy of Elizabeth and William Shatner)

For the past three years, I have been invited to the William and Elizabeth Shatner – Wells Fargo check presentation breakfast. It’s an unveiling of how much money these philanthropists raise each year at their latest Hollywood Charity Horse Show.

At this year’s ceremony, William Shatner accompanied his wife to the ceremony, dressed in a leather bomber jacket, blue jeans and sneakers. This philanthropist, actor, spokesman, author, producer, singer, father, husband and comedian entertained an audience of fifty guests and dignitaries with his kidney stone story. “I was offered $25,000 for my kidney stone, years ago by GoldenPalace.com. With matched money raised by my Boston Legal cast and crew, plus others, I wound up donating $100,000 to Habitat for Humanity.” This man has a big heart. Here are 10 other fun facts about Shatner and his wife Elizabeth.

  1. Shatner was born in Côte Saint-Luc, Montreal, Canada and gained worldwide fame as James T. Kirk, Captain of the USS Enterprise Star Trek franchise.
  2. His Star on the Walk of Fame is at 6901 Hollywood Blvd. He received it in 1983.
  3. This actor won multiple Emmy and Golden Globe awards for his role as Danny Crane in The Practice and Boston Legal.

    (Elizabeth Shatner - Photo by Jill Weinlein)
    (Elizabeth Shatner – Photo by Jill Weinlein)
  4. He married Elizabeth in 2001. The two realized they had a lot in common with their mutual admiration for horses and helping those in need.
  5. William and Elizabeth Shatner enjoy breeding and showing American Saddlebreds and Quarter Horses. They own a ranch in Kentucky and in California.
  6. Shatner started the Hollywood Charity Horse Show at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center over 25 years ago to raise money for different children and equine organizations. Some of the receipents include A Place Called Home, A Random Act, Blind Children’s Center, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Dream Catcher of L.A., E.L.S.A. (Experience Learning Support with Animals), Friendly House LA, Horses4Heroes, Inc., The Painted Turtle, Queen of Hearts and Village Family Services.

    (Photo by Jill Weinlein)
    (Photo by Jill Weinlein)
  7. This year Wells Fargo handed Elizabeth Shatner a $30,000 grant for her The All Glory Project to help continue her good work supporting therapeutic services for Military Veterans.
  8. William Shatner became the spokesman for Priceline.com in the late 1990s. Priceline.com helps sponsor Shatner’s Hollywood Charity Horse Show.
  9. As an avid Tweeter, William Shatner enjoys Twitter with over 39,000 tweets to 2,270,000 followers. Follow him on @WilliamShatner.
  10. William Shatner is the father of three daughters and grandfather. His family means the world to him.