Benefiting the Barbara Sinatra Center for Abused Children

By Kira Golden

Robert Hays, Jackie Flynn, Kevin Sorbo, Joe Mantegna, Frankie Muniz, Pat Boone, Richard Karn, Robert Wagner, and Beverly Johnson are just a few of the many celebrities who gathered at the Fantasy Springs event center this last Saturday to enjoy cocktails, delicious food, and stunning live entertainment at the 27th Annual Frank Sinatra Black Tie Gala. All the invitees participated in a golf tournament together, and this illustrious event was the conclusion.

Prior to dinner, everyone milled about the open bar, sampling spinach quiche and smoked salmon hors d’oeuvres, while given the opportunity to browse the silent auction. Among the items being auctioned were an electric guitar signed by Robby Krieger of The Doors, vacation getaways to Costa Rica, spa packages, a box of cigars, and golf packages. Jack Daniels, being Frank Sinatra’s drink of choice according to Barbara Sinatra, generously donated a set of monogrammed lowball glasses and a golf stand bag with their logo emblazoned on it. There were also lovely works of art, one of which was painted by Frank Sinatra himself.

All the proceeds from the auction and the dinner go to benefit the Barbara Sinatra Center for Abused Children. Michael Dante, a good friend and co-star of Frank Sinatra’s and Paul Newman’s, has attended this event for the last 26 years, and he explained that the Center is a safe place for children to go when they have no one else to protect them. It a place of refuge and of healing—both of the body and the mind—so that these helpless children don’t have to grow up to become helpless adults. “My wife and I visit sometimes,” Dante said. “It’s a beautiful thing to see the work they do there, and the children are so sweet.”


Dinner was a spectacular four-course affair, including a baby iceberg socle with crab dijonaise, a main course of Madeira glazed beef tenderloin and grilled prawns, and to top it all off, a decadent flourless chocolate cake. Wine donated from the Monte de Oro winery flowed freely, and before dessert was over, we were graced with a stunning performance by the night’s headliner, Burt Bacharach.

Accompanied by his band and his three soulful singers, Burt Bacharach played a medley of his most famous songs, of which there are many. During his career, he’s had 48 Top Ten hits and nine #1 songs. He is known for composing the scores to such classics as What’s New Pussycat and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. He won 3 Oscars and 8 Grammys. He concluded the night by having the entire audience sing along to “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” and not a one of us didn’t know the lyrics!

All in all, it was a fabulous night for a fabulous cause. The people, the food, and the conversation were all sparkling, and all anyone could say was how wonderful the night turned out to be.