Cedar Sinai Park’s March 10 event “Super Diamond: A Tribute to Neil Diamond” is as much a tribute to the seniors at Robison Jewish Health Center as it is to the legendary singer.
This year’s CSP gala features dinner and a musical show for all generations. Cocktail attire is suggested for the evening at the elegant Nines Hotel.
For more than a decade, “Super Diamond” has won accolades for its tribute performances to the man who in 2011 won a hat trick of awards including the Kennedy Center Honors in recognition of a lifetime of contributions to American culture. The 70-year-old singer/songwriter also was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and received the inaugural Billboard Icon Award last year.
“Neil Diamond’s music appeals to so many generations,” says Christi Goodman who returns for a second year to co-chair the CSP gala with longtime chair Michelle Eastern Gradow. “After we signed Super Diamond, I was in the car with my 16-year-old daughter and a Neil Diamond song came on. She commented ‘I just feel good when I hear Neil Diamond.’ And my father-in-law also loves Neil Diamond – he’s such a nice tie through the generations.”
And tying generations together is a major goal for CSP’s largest annual fund-raising event created to “love, honor and respect” the community’s elders.
“We have tremendous support from the community year after year,” says Gradow. “It’s so important to take care of the residents of Robison Home – they are all our loved ones. They took care of us and now it’s our turn to take care of them.”
Gradow and Goodman know just where to turn when they want some inspiration to create a wonderful event. When they walk into the Robison living room or visit residents in their rooms, the duo get plenty of reminders as to why they devote countless hours to ensuring the future is secure for these residents.
Recently the two took time away from a planning meeting to get some inspiration. After chatting with folks in the living room, they visited with 89-year-old Harvey Keller, whose wife was Gradow’s preschool teacher many years ago. Then they dropped in on 97-year-old Millie Miller, who moved from CSP’s Rose Schnitzer Manor apartments to Robison Home last fall.
After the beautiful apartments at the modern Manor, Miller says she doesn’t really like the physical building that houses Robison, but “the care here is impeccable. … I haven’t met a person here who isn’t doing a wonderful job.” She adds she is pleased CSP is raising money to build home-based units and upgrade the existing building.
Goodman says that many people forget about the home until they reach the age when they need to find help for their own parents or need help themselves.
“I feel it’s important to bring the home to everyone’s attention regardless of their age,” says Goodman, which is one reason she is excited about this year’s show designed to draw an intergenerational crowd.
Gradow suggests getting tickets early because there are only 350 tickets available.