Hollywood Tribute Event Review - Honorees Speak of Tough Roads to Success

The second annual Hollywood Tribute Event took place at the historic Crystal
Marquis in Whittier on June 19th and celebrated the abundant talents and
accomplishments of all who attended the Los Angles County High School for
the Arts ( Arts High). Emotions ran high with many in the room shedding tears
as honorees described what the school meant to them and how it changed their lives, including a heartwarming acceptance speech by Josefina Lopez
recounting her difficult road from on undocumented immigrant to acclaimed
playwright and a moving thank you from Master of Ceremonies and alumnus
Leonard Earl Howze to teacher Vicki Silva for her help through the difficult
period of his mother's death in 2007.

Josefina Lopez

Organized by the Arts High Alumni Association, the evening, sponsored by
Loeb and Loeb, the Arts High Foundation and Colette's Catering & Specialty
Cakes honored alumnae: Josefina Lopez, playwright, whose successes include
Real Woman Have Curves and McKenzie Westmore, actress, who portrays Sheridan Crane on the NBC hit show, " Passions". Also honored were distinguished community member, Bill Ratner, one of America's leading voice over professionals, and outstanding educators Jim Blackford (Ret.) and Vicky
Silva, a twice recipient of the Presidential Arts Scholar Distinguished
Teacher award. Both have a long and dedicated history of teaching at the

Los Angles County Supervisor, Michael D. Antonovich attended the event,
presenting all award recipients a personally signed certificate of
commendation, recognizing the dedicated service to the affairs of the
community and for civic pride.  "As a co-founder of the High School for the
Arts, I appreciate the standard of excellence these outstanding educators
and honorees have created for future students and instructors.  They are
superb role models for academic achievement and reaching creative goals and
fulfilling the mission of the High School for the Arts," stated Antonovich.

Current students, alumni, families, faculty, administration, board members,
scholarship recipients and members of the foundation were in attendance to
embrace the intimate community that is Arts High.

McKenzie Westmore

Entertainment of the evening included rockin', foot stomping tunes by
alumnus O'Riley's band the Mojo Kings playing originals such as " Alive" and
" Standing Stone" during the VIP cocktail hour. Alumna and former American
Idol contestant Amanda Avila followed singing a heartfelt rendition of
" Second Chance" (originally performed by 38 Special).  Wrapping up the
entertainment for the evening was alumna and former American Idol contestant
Samantha Sidley with a special performance by her band Alex and Sam.
Samantha's breathtaking performance of "Georgia on My Mind" embodied the
sound of jazz greats such as Ella Fitzgerald leaving the crowd wanting more.

The Hollywood Tribute Event is an annual fundraiser whose goal is raise
funds for scholarships for students and alumni from the Los Angeles County
High School for the Arts, as well as to help the Alumni Association support
the high school through grants that allow the high school to continue its
quality arts education. Last year's premier event honored alumnus Josh
Groban whose successes include best selling album of 2007 titled Noel.  Next
year's honorees are yet to be named, but to receive advance notification of
the event, interested parties can subscribe to the Alumni Association's RSS
feed by visiting  www.lachsaalumni.org.

To support the endeavors of Arts High and the alumni association please
visit www.lachsaalumni.org and click on Make a Donation. All donations are tax deductible.

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