Academy of Magical Arts 3rd Annual Half-Christmas Benefiting My Friend's Place - It's a Magical Half-Kalikimaka!

The Academy of Magical Arts' held their Third-Annual Half-Christmas fundraiser at Hollywood's Historical Magic Castle June 25th raising more than $5,000 benefiting Hollywood's My Friend's Place to support Hollywood Haven for Homeless Youth.  Three vans full of backpacks, clothing and other personal items were also generously donated.


Erika Larsen, President of Academy of Magical Arts and daughter of Bill Larsen co-Founder of Magic Castle, photo by Partyby5

Gisele "Shooter Diva" Rebeiro, Erika Larsen (President of Academy of Magical Arts), and Vicki Greenleaf attending AMA Half-Christmas photo by Partyby5

Music Legend Richard Sherman photo by Shooter Diva/Partyby5

Milt Larsen and Erika Larsen (Founders of Magic Castle) and Richard Sherman attended the event.  Featuring an appearance by Santa and his elves; carolers; eggnog; raffle prizes; music; magic and more, the evening also was highlighted by a special performance by Grammy Award- and two-time Academy Award-winner, music legend Richard Sherman. Richard has composed songs for some of Disney’s best-known films and theme-park rides. It was a sold out event.

Mele Kalikimaka photo by Shooter Diva/Partyby5

Milt Larsen, Magical Castle Founder attending AMA 3rd Annual Half-Christmas Fundraiser at the Magic Castle Benefitting My Friend's Place

Vicki Greenleaf, Greenleaf+Associates photo by Partyby5

Since 1988, My Friend’s Place has assisted and inspired homeless youth to build self-sufficient lives through its Safe Haven, Tranformative Education and Health & Wellbeing programs. Serving nearly half of the homeless youth in Los Angeles, the Hollywood-based organization is 100 percent privately funded and emphasizes a low-barrier service structure which minimizes the psychological, physical, and social barriers that typically deter youth from seeking and accepting assistance from a social service agency.

Milt Larsen Magic Castle Founder photo by Gisele Rebeiro Partyby5


At the event, the AMA collected clothing for young men and women (hoodies, jeans, T-shirts, shorts); packages of socks and underwear; shoes (casual, athletic, professional); backpacks and duffel bags; school supplies; art supplies; journals; sleeping bags and blankets, infant carriers, strollers, bath towels and rugs; kitchenware (dishes, cups, pots and pans, silverware, utensils); $5 gift cards from McDonald’s, Subway, Ralphs & Vons, as well as movie tickets.

Heather Carmichael, My Friend's Place

Miss Westchester Teen USA 2014, Carlina Rebeiro and Gannon Cooksey On The Redcarpet Supporting AMA 3rd annual Half-Christmas Fundraiser benefiting My Friend's Place photo by Partyby5

Carlina Rebeiro and Gisele "Shooter Diva" Rebeiro photo by Partyby5

About the Academy of Magical Arts, Inc.
The Academy of Magical Arts (AMA) is a unique non-profit. The AMA’s membership – including the world’s most pre-eminent and celebrated magicians and illusionists – lives by the “Magic First” creed, devoted to the advancement of the art of magic and preserving its history.  Its headquarters and private clubhouse, the Magic Castle, has been an internationally revered gathering place for the magic brotherhood since opening its doors in 1963.  Located in historic Hollywood in an elegant, Victorian-era mansion, the Castle is an experience within itself—a remarkable meeting spot that captures a lost era and is timeless in its appeal, having hosted generations of magic enthusiasts from around the globe, as well as show biz elite from Cary Grant, Tony Curtis, Johnny Carson, Neil Patrick Harris and Jason Alexander (all performing members) to Katy Perry and Johnny Depp. The Magic Castle was founded by writer, actor, magician and entrepreneur Milt Larsen and his late brother, Bill Larsen, Jr.  Visit us online at Magic Castle  

PHOTO ID: Pictured with Santa are (L-R) Grammy Award- and two-time Academy Award-winner, music legend Richard Sherman, who composed songs for some of Disney’s best-known films and theme-park rides (a Magic Castle member, who performed at the event); Erika Larsen, president of the Board of Directors of the Academy of Magical Arts, which hosted the fundraiser at its world-famous clubhouse, the Magic Castle; and Milt Larsen, who co-founded the Magic Castle with his brother Bill (Erika’s father) in 1963.
courtesy of Hocus Pocus Focus.
Credits to sources Vicki Greenleaf, Hands on PR, and photos courtesy

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