Playground of Dreams is one of most exciting and inspiring charity events I have attended in a long time. When I first met Co-Founders, Anna Herbert and Brian Larrabee, I was immediately impressed by their passion, commitment and joy for what they were doing.
Playground of Dreams (POD) is an innovative mentoring program that teams industry professionals with children to build their creativity, confidence, leadership, and unique sense of purpose in the world. Talk about giving kids a headstart in life, POD gives these kids a running start or in many instances a good sprint.
Playground of Dreams was definitely a playground for kids to live out their dreams of being an actor, poet, scientist, rock star, or musician. Working with entertainment industry mentors to help build their confidence and creativity, these kids put on the “Coolest Variety Show on Earth,” and even delivered extremely moving testimonials on their experiences dealing with being bullied in school or on being picked on for being different. Some of the special performances included Vassy, COED, Mosaic, Kandace Lindsey, The School of Rock, and actor Dash Mihok, Travis Van Winkle, and actress Sharon Pierre-Louis.
Some may say, “Oh this is a glorified talent show.” No, this is far from it. I have never been to an event and seen so many people, well over 500 excited, invigorated and inspired that packed this venture. These young kids played to a large crowd and all received standing ovations and thunderous applause; The likes of which many of today’s Rockstars would be envious. Needless to say, I was very impressed.
This event included tons of activities for the kids who attended and even a few for the adults. There was a creative “Time to be Your Own Superhero” where the kids went in and received a costume makeover by stylist and designer Liz Trdatyan and her team, into any type of superhero or character they wanted.
Makeup artists painted masks and lightning bolts and even ombre stripes from purple to magenta all over kids’ faces! Pretty amazing stuff! There was also an incredible “Dream Panel,” that featured Catt Sadler, Sharon Lawrence, Frances Fisher, Martin Kove, two time Oscar-winning sound engineer Ron Judkins, and talent manager Michael Greenwald. It was so inspiring and again, talk about giving these kids a running start.
There was also a Peace Sign painting station with live music hosted by 24 Peaces – a World Peace Project. 24 Peaces is an incredible documentary in which artist Gene Jimenez conducts a series of twenty-four conversations with both preeminent peacemakers and a cross section of “every-day people” from diverse backgrounds and cultures throughout the world. It was a real pleasure to meet Gene! It was also fun for Lori Moreno, Parris Harris, numerous kids and myself to get our doodle on and draw on Gene’s Peace Sign.
Another fan favorite was a hilariously fun photo booth. Now I don’t know about you, but, whenever I see one of these, I go crazy. This is a great opportunity to ham it up with your friends. Exhibit A – See the pictures below with the awesome Clemson Twins and Yael from Sweet Crush Ice.
Did I mention food yet? This lively atmosphere included the ever so tasty Sweet Crush Ice Bar, one of my favorites, if you haven’t tried Sweet Crush Ice, you gotta! Click on their name for a direct link. They are located in Brentwood. Look them up! The owner Yael is as sweet and generous as the healthy desserts she has created.
More tasties: Duff Goldman’s Cake Mix, Village Pizzeria, EarthBar – Wow they had some amazing organic juices and green drinks! We LOVED the EarthBar Liver Cleanse juice! Also another favorite of mine was Hint Water – I love their flavored waters! Other sponsors included Cinema Secrets, Level 3 Design Group and Lacoste.
On the adult side there were two great sponsors: The award winning organic Blue Ice Vodka and the amazing Corazon Maya Tequila. I had briefly seen Corozon at the Art.Life Art Exhibition in Downtown Los Angeles a few weeks earlier. This time I got to talk with two awesome representatives from the company, Brad Di Pane and Allan Santana. What great guys, but honestly their Tequila spoke for itself. All of my friends loved the fantastic and unique heart-shaped Corazon Maya Tequila bottle design. Talk about winning over a lot of hearts! I also liked their creative bottle and stand. Maya Tequila Reposado tastes great and is smooth!
Playground of Dreams – hats off to Co-founders Anna Herbert and Brian Larrabee. Thank so much for inviting me to your incredibly inspiring and exciting event. I know this was a kids events, but I saw just as many adults having a great time as well. It was amazing to see so many kids filled with joy and happiness as they experienced living their dreams NOW. All of my friends and I had a great time supporting an awesome charity and we look forward to the next one!
Isn’t it time you… #LiveYourDream