Putting Visible Pain Into a Smile



On March 8th, socialites, celebrities, international dignitaries and friends of the nonprofit charity Face Forward gathered beneath the evening sky at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills to show their support for Dr. David Alessi and his wife Deborah Alessi and their two year old organization founded to help women surgically and emotionally erase the disfigurement and scars resulting from violent attacks they have experienced. Such attacks are escalating worldwide as a result of domestic abuse and gang violence. Dr. Alessi has a plastic surgery practice and does pro bono work for these women and actually has been doing this work for years prior to setting up this organization.

Everyone at the event voiced the opinion that domestic abuse is the result of rage and mental illness, problems which must be addressed. All at the affair wanted to take action and participated in a silent auction for trips, a Lichtenstein, a Renoir, sports memorabilia, a Tory Burch carry all and a D & G evening bag. The Silent Auction was held by Bang the Gavel Auction House, and they generously donated most of the items. 

Comedian and Actress Kim Cole hosted the event and presented an award to Sister Anne of the Sisters of the Good Shepard for her heroic humanitarian efforts on behalf of abused women. Joef of the Gypsy Kings Family entertained at the event.  

Paula Stern the director/coordinator of special events, and Jed Wallace and his company Street Relations all put out a great effort to raise over $40,000 for this cause.  

Sister Anne Kelly accepted the award for her enduring work; she has even gone undercover to help these traumatized women. She recounted a few of her experiences, which served to reinforce the seriousness of the situation. 

The night was a success in raising awareness of this problem, with many news organizations covering the event.  The Alessis thank the sponsors and those attending for their support.  The website for Face Forward is: www.facela.net.

The Alessis also hosted an earlier fundraising event for the organization at the Tory Burch store on Robertson Blvd.