Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Honorees Holly Robinson Peete and Faye W. McClure

Event Co-Hosts Judge Joe Brown and Rolonda Watts

Honoree Don Newcomb and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

TMCF President & CEO Johnny C. Taylor Jr., Honoree Holly Robinson Peete, and Presenter Sugar Ray Leonard

TMCF Awards Event 

Thurgood Marshall College Fund Held First Awards of Excellence Event in Los Angeles Recognizing Leaders in Law, Business, Sports, and Entertainment

The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) held its first Awards of Excellence event in Los Angeles, California on Thursday, November 17, 2011 at the Getty House, the official residence of the Mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa.  The event co-hosts were Rolonda Watts and Judge Joe Brown.  Presenters included heavyweight boxing champion Sugar Ray Leonard.
This year's honorees included the Honorable Andre Birotte Jr., U.S. Attorney, Central District of California; Faye W. McClure, vice president, Farmers Insurance; Don Newcombe, baseball legend, Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers; Holly Robinson Peete, actress and activist; and City National Bank.
"The Thurgood Marshall College Fund is preparing the next generation of leaders.  Our organization has proudly supported Justice Marshall's legacy and commitment to education by providing over $100 million in scholarships to deserving students.  We are excited to have presented our first Los Angeles event, recognizing the outstanding achievements of our 2011 honorees, as well as our partners, who stand with us in making sure young people have access to quality education," said Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., TMCF President & CEO.

The Los Angeles Awards of Excellence event chairman was Paul W. Sweeney, Jr., Esq.  The event host committee included William Bernfeld, Esq., Jeryl Bowers, Esq., Wayne Bradshaw, Samantha Davies, Alida M. Garcia, Esq., Lawrence Hinkle, Esq., Mary V. Jones, Michael Lawson, Esq., Mattie McFadden-Lawson, John Sweeney, Esq., and Gayle Thigpen-Allen.
The Los Angeles Awards of Excellence was the last of six regional events taking place in 2011. The New Jersey Awards of Excellence event was held in the Greater Newark area in March; the First Annual Distinguished Young Leader Awards took place in Miami in May; the First Annual Awards of Excellence was held in Chicago in July and the Eighth Annual Awards of Excellence took place in Charlotte in early October.
2011 Honorees
Honorable Andre Birotte Jr., U.S. Attorney, Central District of California
In December 2009, President Barack Obama nominated Andre Birotte Jr. to serve as United States Attorney for the Central District of California.  Mr. Birotte was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate and was sworn in on March 4, 2010.  Prior to this position, he served as the Los Angeles Police Department's Inspector General.  Mr. Birotte holds an undergraduate degree from Tufts University and a J.D. from Pepperdine University School of Law.

Faye W. McClure, vice president, Farmers Insurance
Faye W. McClure is the vice president of strategic marketing for Farmers Group, Inc.  In the area of growth and new initiatives, Ms. McClure has excelled far beyondexpectations. She doubled the growth occupational discount business topping $1.3 billion in 2010. She launched the Hispanic initiative that has resulted in over $600 million inbusiness. Her small business, African American and Women's initiatives are ontarget to garner over $2 billion in new business for Farmers. She was recentlyfeatured in the Black Business Association's News Magazine as one of the top African-American corporate executives.  A Los Angeles native, she is a graduate of Pepperdine University.

Don Newcombe, baseball legend, Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers
Don Newcombe is still the only player in baseball history to win the sport's three major awards: Rookie of the Year, Cy Young and Most Value Player.  Mr. Newcombe played an often overlooked role in the country's civil rights movement, along with Dodger teammates Jackie Robinson and Roy Campanella.  Joining the Newark Eagles of the Negro Leagues in 1945, Mr. Newcombe had no idea he was on the verge of changing the course of sports history.  Secretly, Brooklyn Dodger President Branch Rickey decided to integrate Major League Baseball, as an unwritten rule had prevented blacks from playing since the 1880s.  In 1946, the trio broke the minor league color barrier, then the major league barrier when Robinson signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947.  Campanella joined in 1948, and Newcombe arrived in 1949.  Following his retirement, he joined the Los Angeles Dodgers in the late 1970s as the team's Director of Community Affairs.  Today, he serves as special advisor to the chairman of the team.

Holly Robinson Peete, actress and activist
Actress, author, talkshow host, activist and philanthropist, Holly Robinson Peete has been touched by theentertainment industry all of her life. Her career as an actress dates back more than two decades and has led her to becoming a voice for her father, her son and her community.In 1996, Robinson Peete and her husband, former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete, formed the HollyRod Foundation, inspired by her father's courageous battle with Parkinson's disease, with the mission to help improvethe quality of life of people with Parkinson's. Then in 2005, inspired by their oldest son's autism diagnosis,HollyRod Foundation's mission expanded to provide access to treatment, support and other resources todisenfranchised families affected by autism. Through HollyRod Foundation and her family's personal experiences, Robinson Peete has become an advocate for consistent and reliable education, outreach and support on both Parkinson's and autism.

City National Bank
City National Bank is the wholly owned subsidiary of City National Corporation.  It is backed by $22.5 billion in total assets, and provides banking, investment and trust services through 78 offices, including 16 full-service regional centers, in Southern California, the San Francisco Bay Area, Nevada, New York City and Nashville. The company and its investment affiliates manage or administer $58.5 billion in client investment assets, including more than $36 billion under direct management.

About The Thurgood Marshall College Fund
 The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), named for the U.S. Supreme Court's first African-American Justice, was established in 1987. TMCF supports and represents nearly 300,000 students attending our 47 member-schools, which include public Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs). TMCF's work is critical to guaranteeing our country a robust and diverse pipeline of talented workers and future leaders. TMCF achieves its vision of Changing the World . . . One Leader at a Time by focusing on three areas: Scholarships, Capacity Building and Programmatic Support, and Public Policy & Advocacy.
TMCF achieves its vision of Changing the World ... One Leader at a Time by focusing on: scholarships; capacity building and programmatic support; and public policy and advocacy. TMCF is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization and has a "Four Star" rating by Charity Navigator.  For up-to-the-minute information about TMCF and its initiatives, visit:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift and "Parks and Rec" star Rob Lowe at the CMT Artists of the Year 2011

Taylor Swift wore Lorraine Schwartz’s Diamond and Blue Sapphire Earrings and a Brown Diamond Bracelet for the CMT Artists of the Year 2011 event on 29 November 2011.

Monday, November 28, 2011


Have a Coldplay New Year

Austin City Limits (ACL), the world's longest-running live music television series, is ringing in the new year with a performance by Coldplay. The first ACL New Year's Eve special -- a 90-minute episode -- is viewable on PBS stations nationwide on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011 at 11 p.m. (check local listings). Coldplay New Year's Eve: An Austin City Limits Special can also be viewed on demand on starting at 11 p.m. ET on Dec. 31, 2011.

Coldplay's second appearance on ACL's stage is another milestone for the historic show and a one-of-a- kind episode with the band's unique production.

"We decided to go big with Coldplay - really big. So we came up with the idea of celebrating New Year's Eve with a 90-minute special. All the hits plus their brand new songs," said Executive Producer Terry Lickona. "It'll be a great way to kick off 2012!"

The New Year's Eve special comes on the heels of the release of the band's new album, Mylo Xyloto, which has charted at No. 1 in 32 countries. It also hit the No. 1 spot in all 35 iTunes stores around the world, breaking the record for the highest number of download sales in one week - a milestone Coldplay first achieved in 2008 with the release of Viva La Vida.    Mylo Xyloto is Coldplay's third consecutive studio album to debut atop both The Billboard 200 and the U.K. album chart.

The ACL New Year's special highlights the mid-point of season 37 -- the first season taped entirely in ACL's new home, ACL Live at The Moody Theater, a full-time music venue and state-of the-art production facility. The remaining five episodes of the season will air in early 2012.    
About Coldplay: Coldplay - comprising Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion and Chris Martin - has sold more than 50 million records worldwide and won numerous awards, including seven GRAMMY® Awards, six Brit Awards and four MTV Video Music Awards. The band's last album, Viva La Vida was the No. 1 selling album worldwide of 2008, according to IFPI.

About Austin City Limits:
Austin City Limits (ACL) is a public television series that records and broadcasts original musical performances from exciting new talent and legendary artists of all genres.
Austin City Limits is the longest-running music series in American television history and remains the only TV series to ever be awarded the National Medal of Arts. The historic KLRU Studio 6A, home to 36 years of ACL concerts, has been designated an official Rock & Roll Landmark. In 2011, ACL moved to the new venue ACL Live at The Moody Theater in downtown Austin. The show continues to air weekly on PBS stations nationwide and episodes are made available online.
ACL is produced by KLRU-TV and funding is provided in part by AMD, Budweiser, the Austin Convention Center Department and its newest supporter, Dell. Additional funding is provided by the Friends of Austin City Limits.

Learn more about Austin City Limits, programming and history at and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and our blog for up-to-date information.


(Check local listings for exact dates and times.)

December 31, 2011 Coldplay
January 7, 2012 The Head and The Heart / Gomez
January 14, 2012 Arcade Fire
January 21, 2012 Fleet Foxes / Joanna Newsom
January 28, 2012 Florence + the Machine / Lykke Li
February 4, 2012 Wilco

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Actresses Maggie Grace and MyAnna Buring (seen above, second from left and far right), as Denali "vegetarian" vampires, are guests at  Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) wedding in the Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1. As Irina and Tanya (respectively), they wear jewelry by Swarovski; Swarovski’s Round clip earrings, Helios ring, Matador ring, and Lotus pierced earrings all from collections available at Swarovski boutiques nationwide and on Also seen above are Elizabeth Reaser as Esme Cullen and Casey LaBow as Kate.

Helios Desert Glow RingGo for gold with this gold-plated ring. The prominent Desert Glow Glacier-cut crystal reflects the sunlight marvelously, radiating an array of honey-colored hues. The effect is wonderfully eye-catching and certainly won’t go unnoticed!Article no.: 957052 $140
Lotus Earrings

Matador Ring

Round Clip EarringsPure sophistication: this stunning pair of rhodium-plated clip earrings shimmers in clear crystal pavé with a magnificent clear crystal at the center. Combine the clip earrings with a discreet pendant for an elegant look that can be worn by day or night.Article no.: 1075337Size: 3/8 inch $85

Camilla Belle wore a 15-carat platinum cocktail ring by Chopard to Chopard's "Official Grand Re-Opening at South Coast Plaza" in Orange County. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Katy Perry to Host SNL

Katy Perry will host Saturday Night Live on December 10, fresh off her worldwide sold-out California Dreams arena tour.  Her multi-platinum album "Teenage Dream" debuted at number one in September 2010, and has generated six hit singles, including the current single "The One That Got Away," as well as previous singles "Firework," "Last Friday Night," "E.T.," "Teenage Dream" and "California Gurls," all of which hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100.  Katy received four Grammy nominations in 2010, including one for "Album of the Year," received the American Music Award of Special Achievement and won three MTV 2011 Video Music Awards, including Video of the Year.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Bella's Honeymoon Luggage

Their Bric's Luggage can be seen in the boat.

Bella's Baggage
(And we're not talking about her irrepressible humanity)

Last Friday, we were submerged with screeching girls at an afternoon showing of "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1," and noticed that Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson) had some very lovely luggage on their honeymoon trip to the secluded Esme's Island. Initially, it resembles LV (Louis Vuitton) luggage, but upon closer inspection (there are close-ups of the beauty/train case, in particular as something Alice has packed for Bella triggers a startling revelation).

Their luggage? Bric's Luggage. (Ironically, we saw the movie at the Century City Westfield Mall, where there happens to be a Bric's store.) The new Mr. and Mrs. Cullen are using Bric's luggage (courtesy of fashionista Alice). Bric's was a luggage line carried by both the late Princess Diana and actress Nicole Kidman. In the film, she has the 26" luggage, the beauty case and a garment bag, and what looks like the 18" duffle or the valise (the one with all the unexpected lingerie).

Look for Bric's LIFE collection, which just happens to be on sale right on on a few online sites, including Neiman Marcus and Luggage Pros.

About Bric's:
Bric's began when Mario Briccola founded the company in 1952 in the Como region of Italy where it has become internationally renowned for luggage crafted by hand using the finest Tuscan leather and state-of-the-art nylon. Although the company has far outgrown Mario's original workshop, the personal touch continues today with a second generation of the Briccola family ensuring its heritage of quality, style, and attention to detail.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1 
Opens Today