Haute Event: Nelson Mandela’s Family Honored at 29th Annual Odyssey Ball

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 Patrick Wayne, Zamaswazi Dlamini, Anton Bilchik MD, Zaziwe Dlamini-Manaway

Nelson Mandela‘s family members were honored with the “True Grit” Humanitarian Award at the 2014 Odyssey Ball over the weekend.

CNN Reporter/Producer Nadia Bilchik, sister of honoree Dr. Anton Bilchik, and Patrick Wayne presented HRH Princess Zaziwe Dlamini-Manaway and HRH Princess Zamaswazi Dlamini, granddaughters of Nelson and Winnie Mandela, not only with the award, but with necklaces engraved with a quote from their grandfather stating: “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

The women were honored for their part in continuing the mission of the former President of South Africa and Nobel Peace Laureate, their grandfather, who helped bring an end to apartheid. The family members are global advocates for human and civil rights, democracy, reconciliation, mutual respect and tolerance.

Bilchik, MD, PhD, FACS, Professor of Surgery and Chief of Medicine at John Wayne Cancer Institute (JWCI) at Providence Saint John’s Health Center, was also honored at the John Wayne Cancer Institute Auxiliary Odyssey Ball with “The Duke” Special Service Award.

Photo: Vince Bucci
Photo: Vince Bucci

The UCLA Gospel Choir opened the evening which also included performances by Broadway actor Davis Gaines, who wowed the crowd with his performance of “The Music of the Night” from “The Phantom of the Opera.”  Gaines has performed the role of the Phantom more than 2,000 times.

Actor, motivational speaker, author and honored US Army Veteran J.R. Martinez welcomed the more than 580 guests and thanked Visionary Sponsors, Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson; Odyssey Sponsors, the Wayne family; and Platinum Patrons, Gayle and Marc Ezralow, Suzanne and Rob Davidow, Wells Fargo, Carole Zumbro, the George Adler family and Providence Health & Services. Martinez introduced JWCI Auxiliary President Anita Swift, granddaughter of John Wayne, who spoke poignantly about her grandfather’s final wish to find a cure for cancer and the work of Donald L. Morton, MD, her grandfather’s physician and creator of the renowned JWCI Surgical Oncology Fellowship Program, who recently passed.

The 29th annual fundraising event, held at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire Hotel, benefits JWCI at Providence Saint John’s Health Center and is organized by the JWCI Auxiliary.

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