Friendly House Luncheon

The 60-year-old women’s recovery program honors ….Russell Brand?

“I’ve only known her a little while and she’s already hijacked my life,” Russell Brand noted about Friendly House Executive Director Peggy Albrecht. The actor/comedian has gotten the women’s recovery program (this was their 60th birthday-there were numerous cakes) press from Rosie O’Donnell’s new show on OWN to many others. Brand arrived at the Hilton, water bottle in hand for the fundraiser showing me his “shirt with dots on it and what they call a waistcoat in my country, a vest in yours.” He received the Man of the Year Award while other deserving accolades went to Karl McMillen and veteran activist/photographer Aloma Ichinose. I wish more awards were as heartfelt and honest as this one, where folks didn’t thank their agents, they thanked their exes for not letting them get shock treatment. Also in the Hilton’s Ballroom? Philanthropist Wallis Annenberg, Christopher Kennedy Lawford (who looks exactly like his father, Peter), actress Katy Sagal and model Amber Valletta. It was hard not to be charmed by Brand as he leapt to the stage and shouted, “This room’s full of junkies, isn’t it?” Which was met with a cheer from everyone in the ballroom. “I think I peed my pants laughing so hard,” Amber Valletta said at the end of the afternoon. Brand simply ended with “Hare Krishna, Cheers!” For more information, go to

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      Russell Brand and Friendly House Board Prez Bill Cunningham


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      Barbara Alyn Woods with Emily and Natalie Alyn Lind


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      Honorees Karl McMiller, Iloma Ichinose and Russell Brand


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      Pat O’Brien and Christopher Kennedy Lawford


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      Friendly House Exec Director Peggy Albrecht and Russell Brand


Photographs by Carl Bagdonas