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    Beverly Hills Chamber Honors Betty White at Ball

    By Courier Staff Writer

          Animal activist and actress Betty White was one of the honorees at the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce Ball, hailed for being one of the first in Hollywood to advance the cause of animals.
          Grant Tinker, former chairman of NBC, presented Golden Girls White with the chamber’s Visionary Award at the Beverly Hilton. Tinker mentioned her zoo involvement, saying: “She can’t pass a dog on the street that she doesn’t kiss.”
          Jamie Foxx, in Florida at the time filming Miami Vice, was awarded the Will Rogers Memorial Award for talent, humor and commitment to a cause greater than his own.
          Pioneering Spirit Award was presented by Christina Ferrare to Gearys Beverly Hills for being the oldest retailer in the same location in Beverly Hills since 1930.
          Forming her own production company in 1952, White produced Life with Elizabeth. She was a regular on Mama’s Family, the Carol Barnett Show and The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Pacific Pioneers in Broadcasting gave her the Golden Ike award and she has received six Emmys. A Lifetime Achievement Award was given her in 1990 and in 1995 she was inducted into the TV Academy’s Hall of Fame.
          In 2000 she received the American Comedy Award for the “funniest female guest appearance” in a TV series for Ally McBeal. White has make several guest appearances on That 70’s Show and currently has a recurring role on Boston Legal.
          When accepting her award that night at the chamber ball, White said of her presenter Tinker, “Gary has a new bride. There’s a lot of other things you can do on a Tuesday night!”
          She went on to say more seriously, “Friends are what it takes to make a charity work. Friends calling on friends is what it takes. When some body says, ‘please help,’ we find a reason. People go through hell on wheels. Passion is helping. We can make jokes, but that’s what it takes. I say this to you,” speaking directly to the audience, “Don’t loose the passion.
          Clips of Jamie Foxx films Collateral, with Tom Cruise; Any Given Sunday, with Al Pacino; Ali and Ray were shown on the big screen as well as a recorded acceptance by Foxx .
          The annual MMV Ball draws support for the chamber’s school-based mentoring program which matches business professionals with local school children at the BH High School and middle schools.
          BH Chamber is the authority of business, advocating on its behalf, anticipating trends, advancing knowledge, creating innovative practices that inspire and invigorate, and embodying a professional conscience.
          BHHS marching band started off the evening that was emceed by Bay Watch’s Traci Bingham followed by dinner, a live action by Andrea Fiuczynski, guest auctioneer of Christie’s Los Angeles and special performance by Ruth Pointer of the Pointer Sisters.

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