Aviva Family And Children’s Services Hosts Ceremony Of Renovated Wallis Annenberg Estate

Barbara Lazaroff, Spago Founding-Partner, well-known Interior Designer and Aviva Activist Realizes the Dream & Her Labor of Love - Many Government & Business Icons To Be In Attendance
By: Imaginings Design
Barbara Lazaroff, ASID and Spago Founding Partner
Barbara Lazaroff, ASID and Spago Founding Partner
Sept. 8, 2009 - PRLog -- Los Angeles -- Aviva Family and Children’s Services, a non-profit, non-sectarian, multi-service agency that provides care and treatment to abandoned, neglected, abused and at-risk youth in the greater Los Angeles community will host a rededication ceremony of the newly renovated Wallis Annenberg Center on Wednesday, September 9, 2009 at 10:00 am.  Among the special guests and dignitaries slated to attend are Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, LA County Sheriff Lee Baca and Councilmember Tom LaBonge.

The house that has helped thousands of troubled adolescent girls transform their lives has itself been transformed.  An extensive renovation has given new life to the Wallis Annenberg Center, the grand Hollywood mansion that has served as the centerpiece of the Aviva Family and Children’s Services programs. It’s the home’s first interior remodeling since the agency moved there in 1955. The change is dramatic.

Aviva is a non-profit mental health and social services agency that provides therapy in an intensive residential treatment program at the Wallis Annenberg Center, known as the Hamburger Home until 1984. The agency dates to 1913 and offers one of the region’s few multi-service residential and educational programs specifically for adolescent girls, as well as a separate special education school, foster family and adoption placement and outpatient services. Yet its most notable programs take place within the walls of the rambling home at Hollywood Boulevard and Camino Palmero.  

The mansion can house 36 teenage girls who receive intensive social and life skills training, art therapy, psychotherapy and more over the course of six to 18 months. Each year, a total of about 100 girls receive treatment in the home, formerly a well-worn pastiche of adhesive Contac paper, chipped countertops and ‘50s era light fixtures.

“The program is still the same quality program,” said Andrew Diamond, LCSW, President and CEO, Aviva Family and Children’s Services.  “But the building was tired and the difference in the physical environment is striking.  For the teenage residents, it’s a gift few could imagine.  A lot of these girls have never had their own room, much less a safe and attractive place to live,” said Diamond.

Aviva supporter Ona Dawes created a remodeling committee that inspired the latest renovation drive. Design services were provided free by Marie Edelstein and Stephen Bryan of DesignWest Inc., of Woodland Hills. Additional design services were provided by Aviva’s Council of Guardians member, Barbara Lazaroff, ASID, President of Imaginings Interior Design, Inc. When Barbara became involved in 2006, the project took a major step forward when she tapped her network of high end quality suppliers for donations. Barbara is well known and internationally recognized for her thirty years of distinctive design, in particular the many restaurants she created for her and her business partner Wolfgang Puck. While the Center raised money to pay for the projects labor, and staff members and volunteers initiated renovation plans four years ago, Barbara, launched a campaign which graced the home with comfortable Serta mattresses, Kohler, Delta and Bobrick bathroom fixtures, Martin Brattrud, Emu, Steelcase, and Kreiss couches and chairs, Hunter Douglas blinds, Project Stone by Belstone, custom wood desks with granite tops, illuminated vanity mirrors by Electric Mirror, Shaw carpeting, hand painting by artists Miriam Feldman, Catrinka and Robert Jennings, trees donated by ValleyCrest and a collection of personal items for the girls including Frette bathrobes. The residents are particularly thrilled about their completely remodeled bathrooms, which were designed with UltraGlas shower partitions creating a spa-like atmosphere.  A complete list of the generous donors and volunteers will be listed on the Aviva website, www.avivacenter.org/ as well as for the design industry to view and be gratefully acknowledged on Lazaroff’s site, www.barbaralazaroff.com/

“The donations send a powerful message to the residents,” said Lazaroff.  “These girls need to feel that other people respect and value them.  If they see that, then they will come to respect and value themselves. I intend to continue beautifying the home for years to come.”

The mission of Aviva Family and Children's Services, founded in Los Angeles in 1913 as Hamburger Home, is to provide professional help to emotionally distressed, abused and neglected adolescents, children at-risk, and their families to develop skills and strengths necessary to enhance their individual and family functioning.  The expert, committed and experienced staff at Aviva provides a full range of therapeutic and educational services to help children—whether living in residential care or in the community—to lead productive, enriched lives.  For more information, please call (323) 876-0550 or visit www.avivacenter.org.

AVIVA Wallis Annenberg Center Rededication Ceremony              
Wednesday, September 9th 2009
1701 Camino Palermo, Los Angeles, CA 90046
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Barbara is the renovation Chairperson.

For Media Credentials & Interviews contact:

Katy Sweet/Pam Giangregorio
Katy Sweet & Associates
(323) 852-0772 / katysweet1@aol.com

For: Friends of Barbara Lazaroff & Avivia contact:

Muna Deriane, Project Coordinator
Imaginings Design
Telephone: (310) 276-7939
Phone:(310) 276-7939
Tags:Interior Design, Barbara Lazaroff, Woldfgang Puck, Aviva, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, La Coun
Industry:Arts, Government, Non-profit
Location:Los Angeles - California - United States
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