from Los Angeles, CA, U.S.A.
As a token of their appreciation for Supreme Master Ching Hai's generous contribution, St. Jude
Children's Research Hospital published Her charming photo in their 1999 special annual Hollywood Gala book.
The benefit concert, "One World... of Peace Through Music", is still resounding in the ears of all those who attended and continues to be a hot conversation piece among many people, who cannot stop discussing their experience at this memorable event. Even the National Vice President of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Tennessee, Jerry Chipman, said he had heard many great things about the concert and the wonderful contribution of Supreme Master Ching Hai to the children. Not only did audience members enjoy the grandness of the event, they were deeply touched by Master's love, grace and generous contribution to the two children's charities, Saint Jude Children's Research Hospital and Starlight Children's Foundation.
Saint Jude Children's Research Hospital is the world's premier center for treating and researching terminal childhood diseases. When it began, its founder was the then little-known, struggling entertainer - Danny Thomas. Shortly before World War II, Danny had reached a turning point in his life, and turned to St. Jude Thaddeus. Praying for guidance, he promised, "Show me my way in life, and I will build you a shrine..." Now his promise has been realized. The shrine is the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, which benefits many youngsters, and its cure rates for many so-called incurable diseases such as leukemia are quite high.
Through the concert, people had a chance to witness the benevolence of Master and got to know Her better. Thus, on March 4, 1999, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital invited Master to attend its 19th annual Hollywood gala at the exclusive Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills. The National Executive Director of St. Jude Children's Hospital, Richard Shadyac, personally wrote a letter of invitation to our beloved Master to attend the gala. He was very excited and looked forward to the opportunity to meet Master in person after hearing of all the great work that She has done to benefit others.
At 7 p.m., the entrance to the Hilton began to fill up with numerous guests and VIP's dressed in their most formal attire, including the many celebrities who support this noble cause for the sake of children around the world. Among those attending the star-studded gala were Billy Bob Thornton (Sling Blade, Armageddon), Steven Seagal (Under Siege), Laura Dern (Jurassic Park), Jennifer Love Hewitt (Party of Five), Matt LeBlanc (Friends), and super model Cindy Crawford, to name just a few.
|Richard Shadyac, the National Executive Director of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, welcomes Master|
Ching Hai arrived at 7:30 p.m., wearing a simple, yet elegant white evening
gown enhanced with a white shawl. As She walked down the red carpet to the VIP
entrance, Mr. Shadyac stopped his conversation with his son, director/producer
Tom Shadyac (Patch Adams, Liar Liar, The Nutty Professor) to greet Master and
escort Her into the VIP room. He proudly introduced Her to many of his important
friends such as former television talk show host, Phil Donahue; actress and
wife of Phil Donahue, Marlo Thomas; St. Jude's regional director, Shoshana Grammer;
Mike Driebe, the St. Jude representative who received the contribution from
Supreme Master Ching Hai at the "One World... of Peace Through Music"
concert; director/producer Tom Shadyac and others.
Supreme Master Ching Hai kindly chats with Mr. Shadyac's family, Linda Levine (the event coordinator, first on the left) and Maxine Moshay (Executive Director of the Amie Karen Cancer Fund for children, first on the right)
Master Ching Hai with the children of Danny Thomas,
founder of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital:
Tony Thomas (Picture A), Marlo Thomas (Picture B, actress)
and her husband Phil Donahue (Picture C, former television talk show host)
Following the reception was a dinner in the International Ballroom. For entertainment, the popular comedian Dennis Miller entertained guests with his funny social commentaries and legendary singer James Taylor performed all of the great hits he has produced through the years. During the dinner, Mr. Shadyac regularly visited Master's table to bring his friends and guests to introduce them to Her, and asked for permission to take pictures with Her. Although he was very busy attending to other guests, he took every opportunity to be near and speak with Master. He continuously complimented Master on Her beauty and graciousness. He introduced Phil Donahue to Master and praised Her as being a most compassionate and generous person.
Dr. Ching-Hon Pui, a brilliant medical scientist from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
After dinner, Mr. Shadyac invited Master to the celebrity party upstairs on the balcony, where a panoramic view of the whole city of Los Angeles could be enjoyed. While Master attended the party, many celebrities/VIPs came up to Her table to extend their warmest regards, and asked to take pictures with Her for souvenirs. Included in the list of VIPs and celebrities who spoke with Master were actor Steven Seagal and Arisa Wolf, film director/producer Georges Chamchoum, Judge Roy Paul, National Vice President working at St. Jude Jerry Chipman, St. Jude's Dr. Ching-Hon Pui (one of the brilliant scientists working at St. Jude), Tony, Terre, and Marlo Thomas (dinner co-chairs and the son and daughters of St. Jude founder, Danny Thomas), director/producer Tom Shadyac and his wife, Jennifer Shadyac. All of the VIPs and celebrities were captivated by Master's kindness and touched by Her sincerity. Tom Shadyac had a long and deep talk with Master about meditation and how it could improve his life.
Film director/producer Georges Chamchoum (second on the left), Judge Roy Paul (third on the right), and Mr. Chamchoum's Korean colleagues
Jerry Chipman, Vice President of
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Maxine Moshay, Executive Director of the
Amie Karen Cancer Fund for Children
Albert Lian (lawyer from New York), board member of St. Jude Children's
Research Hospital, and his lady
|Supreme Master Ching Hai gives celestial jewelry to Steven Seagal (actor in 'Under Siege') and his companion Arisa Wolf|
During the course
of their conversation, Steven Seagal and Arisa Wolf learned of Master's artistic
talents. They admired the celestial jewelry Master has designed. Spontaneously,
Master gave each of them a celestial jewelry ring. Amazingly, the rings fit
them perfectly! Mr. Seagal received the men's Sun ring and Ms. Wolf received
an SM ring. They were both in awe of Master's generosity. Master modestly responded,
"They are just rocks," and told them that it gave Her the great joy
and happiness to beautify the world through designing clothes and jewelry. Mr.
Seagal and Ms. Wolf thanked Master again and again for Her love and kindness.
Everyone who came
to speak with Master was deeply embraced by Her love. They did not want to end
their engaging conversations with Her. Only when a new guest was introduced
to Master were the conversations interrupted. Her gentleness and genuineness
touched many hearts. The event's coordinator, Linda Levine, was so intrigued
by Master's cordial personality and elegance that she enthusiastically brought
her friends over to introduce them to Master. Jennifer Shadyac stated that meeting
Master was indeed the best gift for her on that evening. The gala would not
have been the same without Master. She felt very fortunate that Master stayed
for the VIP post-reception party so she could have the chance to meet and converse
with Master. "She is so charming, so sweet, and so beautiful!" Jennifer
exclaimed. It was easy to see that everyone who was graced by Master's presence
that evening was embraced by Her boundless love, kindness and gentleness.