By Jane Napier Neely
4:38 PM EDT, June 4, 2014
I know it was more than a week ago now, but I really liked the Fiesta Days family dinner and fireworks show that took place in Memorial Park. I love to ooh and ahh as the dark night lights up in colors of the rainbow that sparkle. It's not my fault, you know, it is that little kid that refuses to grow up inside of me. I hope that you saw the fireworks too. Thank you so much Allen Lund Co., for spreading such joy in our neighborhood. I'm already looking forward to next year.
Five Acres, a family and child service agency located in Altadena, sent out invitations that said, "We invite you to raise your voices, feel the rhythm and put on your dancing shoes for Five Acres 11th Annual "Swingin' on a Star Gala" this year themed "Voices for Five Acres."
More than 250 people did just that — put on their dancin' shoes and gathered at the Trinity Ballroom in Pasadena to raise more than $185,000 to support vital programs and services for children at Five Acres. Sue McGuirl was the gala chair.
As guests entered the ballroom, they didn't walk a red carpet, but a shocking pink one that hearkened back to the color that French-Italian fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli introduced in 1947 that absolutely set the fashion world on fire.
Honored that evening were La Cañada Flintridge residents Michelle LeClair and Tena Clark for their joint dedication to meeting the needs of children and families in crisis.
With a blended family, LeClair and Clark are most proud of their roles as devoted parents. "We believe that every child makes this world a better place," said LeClair. "Family is who loves you."
Guests first sipped signature cocktails before being seated for dinner and listening to entertainment by lead vocalist Robbin King Nordston of the jazz band "In Pursuit." Also mesmerizing the crowd was J'Rose, a teen phenomenon. One of her songs, "Mean Kids," was written to help empower kids and has been shown in schools around Los Angeles, New York and Japan.
Lively event emcees were actor Matthew Lillard of "The Bridge" on FX, and Wendy Burch, Emmy award-winning reporter and anchor at KTLA.
Honoree LeClair specializes in bringing together the world's largest insurance carriers with the entertainment industry and small businesses. She is a frequent speaker on such vital issues as human rights education and the protection of children, LeClair has addressed the United Nations, state congresses, UCLA and more.
Co-honoree Clark is chief executive/chief creative officer and founder of DMI Music & Media Solutions. She has written and/or produced iconic recording artists including Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, Chaka Khan, Natalie Cole, Jennifer Holliday and Gladys Knight, among others. DMI is at the forefront of marketing for brands that include Cisco, Delta Airlines and General Mills.
Five Acres is a leading charitable organization providing innovative solutions that ensure safety, well-being and provides permanent homes for children and their families. The agency's successful programs have a measurable impact on nearly 7,000 combined children and members of their families served each year.
--JANE NAPIER NEELY covers the La Cañada social scene. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org with news of your special event.