There wasn’t a dry eye in the Beverly Wilshire ballroom when local girl Marlo Thomas came home to Beverly Hills on Tuesday to accept her Champion of Children award at the Colleagues Annual Spring Luncheon to benefit L.A.’s Children’s Institute, which included an encore presentation of the Fall 2019 Oscar de la Renta runway collection.
“I have held a dying child in my arms. I never thought I could bear it, and it changed me,” said the actress and philanthropist of her work at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which her father, Danny Thomas, founded in 1962. Her role as National Outreach Director there is just the tip of the iceberg of what she has done over her 40-year career, including inspiring a generation of women in TV’s “That Girl” in the 1960s, then producing the seminal children’s book, album and TV special “Free to Be… You and Me” in 1972, and nabbing an Emmy, Peabody, Grammy, Golden Globe and Presidential Medal of Freedom along the way.
Cara Leonetti Esposito, Topsy Doheny and Bridget Gless Keller
Alex J. Berliner/ABImages
“The project was built on the idea that children have the right to cast off stereotypes and be who they want,” said the event’s host