January 28, 2022 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

John Wayne Odyssey Ball a big success; Phoenix House to honor Matthew Perry

Patrick Wayne (John Wayne's son), Anita Swift, Pink!, and honoree Dr. Maggie DiNome. Photo by Vince Bucci
Patrick Wayne (John Wayne’s son), Anita Swift, Pink!, and honoree Dr. Maggie DiNome. Photo by Vince Bucci

“We can all be heroes” was the theme of the 30th annual John Wayne Odyssey Ball on April 11 in Beverly Hills where two “True Grit” champions – actor Gary Sinise and J.R. Martinez – were among those honored.

Martinez, who acted as Master of Ceremonies at the event at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, related the story of his brush with death while serving in Iraq, and his recovery from massive burns.

Martinez who starred in the Emmy award winning daytime drama, “All My Children,” also appeared in “Dancing With the Stars,” and even won the coveted mirror ball trophy!

Anita Swift, President of the John Wayne Cancer Institute Auxiliary, with honorees Gary Sinise and J.R. Martinez.
Anita Swift, President of the John Wayne Cancer Institute Auxiliary, with honorees Gary Sinise and J.R. Martinez.

As for Sinese, the Oscar-nominated actor has advocated in support of veterans for more than 30 years, and created the Vets Night program, giving free meals and performances to veterans.

It was his role as Lt. Dan Taylor in the film “Forrest Gump” in 1994 that he formed an enduring connection with the military, and he has been honored with the Presidential Citizens Medal.

In 2011, he established the Gary Sinise Foundation, and has raised millions in support of our veterans and first responders. John Wayne, himself, the most heroic actor of our time, would have been proud!

Also honored at this event was Dr. Maggie DiNome, Director of the Cancer Prevention Program at St. John’s Health Center.
Dr. DiNome is deeply committed to fighting cancer, as was “The Duke” himself, and she is known as a “Rock Star among Doctors.”
Grammy Award winning artist Pink! was in attendance at this black tie event. She is the founder the Power of Pink fundraisers. Go girls, we can all be heroes!

Meanwhile, actress Lisa Kudrow and some of her other “Friends” will be on hand Monday, June 15, at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills where actor Matthew Perry and former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will be honored at Phoenix House’s 12th Annual Triumph for Teens Awards Gala.
This event celebrates the victories of young people overcoming addiction.  Proceeds from the gala support adolescent treatment services at Phoenix House Academies.

Don Felder, former lead guitarist of The Eagles, will entertain at this dinner, so it should be a rocking evening.  For further information, contact Lauren Huff at 310.201.5033.  Hope to see you there!

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