Gypsy Awards & Big Brothers / Big Sisters Rule

Carol Burnett, Debbie Reynolds, Carl Reiner, & Ann-Margret were among former “Gypsy” winners who were on hand to congratulate Julie Andrews who was honored by the Professional Dancers Society.  These awards are named after the dancers who form the vital support of legitimate theatre musicals.

Dick Van Dyke & Julie Andrews photo by Nathan Sternfeld

Andrews is the iconic star of such hit musicals as The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins and Camelot, and her presence at the Beverly Hilton Hotel guaranteed a standing room only audience.  Lee Hale, long-time Dean Martin Executive, produced unique career tributes to each of the special guests including Bob Mackie, Chita Rivera and Rita Moreno.

Mitzi Gaynor (President), Julie Andrews (Honoree) and Joni Berry at Gypsy Awards photo by Nathan Sternfeld

Host of the event, and PDS President Mitzi Gaynor,and Chairman Joni Berry presented a “Tribute to Julie” which featured Mickey Rooney’s son, Michael and the Irish Kerry Dance Group.  It was very heartwarming to see the reunion of Julie and her former co-star, Dick Van Dyke.  It has been nearly a half-century since they starred together in the 1964 movie Mary Poppins.  Dick was with his new bride, Arlene Silver, who happens to be 46 years younger than her genial groom.  They met six years ago, when Arlene was a makeup artist on the set, and obviously prove that true love is ageless.

Model Amber Valleta, Anne Globe (Honoree) & Jeffrey Katzenberg (Dreamworks)

At another event, benefiting Big Brothers/Big Sisters Guild Dream Works Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg presented the Excellence in Mentoring Award to Anne Globe, Chief Marketing Officer.  Actress Jeri Ryan presented the Innovator Award to Sharon Harroun Peirce, Director of Brit Week, that serves 28,000 elementary school children in LA’s most difficult neighborhoods.

Dick Van Dyke and new Bride, Arlene Silver

BB/BS was founded in 1986 and is dedicated to promoting awareness and raising financial support.  They have raised nearly $10 million to support the one-to-one mentoring programs, and are dedicated to empowering children ages 6-18, to help build higher self-esteem and aspirations.

Kudos to Model/Actress Amber Valleta, who emceed, and Guild members Sandy Bilson, Laura Lizer and Vicki Martin who co-chaired the fabulous luncheon.   

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