A filled to capacity banquet room at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles served as the backdrop for the Variety Boys and Girls Club first ever gala, where $120,000 in college scholarships were awarded to 25 well-deserving and hard-working Variety Boys and Girls Club members from the Boyle Heights community.
Ranging from $500 to $15,000, the scholarships are given annually to help members finance their college or vocational education.
Another highlight of the evening came when club alumnus Edward James Olmos, the famous actor and director, was presented the first Variety Boys and Girls Club Edward James Olmos Alumni Award, sparking a standing ovation from the audience.
“People ask me how did you get to where you’re at in life, and I say it was because of my parents, grandparents, great grandparents, and the Variety Boys and Girls Club,” Olmos said.
Olmos’ acting credits include movies “Stand and Deliver,” “Selena” and “American Me,” which he also directed.
The Variety Boys and Girls Club Edward R. Roybal Public Service Award was given to U.S. Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-East Los Angeles, daughter of the late and longtime Eastside Congressman for whom the award is named. She thanked the club for the award via a video-taped message, after which her brother, Edward Roybal, Executive Director of the Lucille and Edward Roybal Family Foundation, accepted the award on her behalf.
Variety Boys & Girls Club Board President Javier Valenzuela and Chairman of the Board Jay Swerdlow introduced the 25 scholarship winners, several of whom were featured in a video produced by Mundo Fox.