The Thalians 2019 Winter Wonderland Party

From Left: Stephanie J. Hibler, Andrew McDonald, Frank Sheftel, Ruta Lee, Ron Katz( Op Mend Founder), Barbara Cohen-Wolfe, Larry Wolfe, Patrika Darbo

Not in photo: Board Members: Dr. Irwin Lehrhoff and Brian Theobald

Thalians Board and representatives from Operation Mend – from left to right Barbara Cohen-Wolfe, Frank Sheftel, Parika Darbo, Ron Katz, Retired Army Major Yolanda Poullard, Retired Marine, Anjelica Jimenez, Retired Army Specialist Joey Paulk, Dr. Jo Sornborger, Dr. Thomas Strouse, Dana Katz (rear), Stephanie J. Hibler (foreground), Troy Simon, Dr. Irwin Lehrhoff, Ruta Lee.

The Thalians & Presidents Club Winter Wonderland Party was held at the elegant and beautiful Bel-Air Country Club on Saturday, December 7, 2019. Barbara Cohen-Wolfe, long-time Thalians Board Member and Event Chairperson orchestrated this fabulous fund-raiser with an evening of dining, entertainment, dancing and merriment. Much appreciated assistance from husband and Board Member Larry Wolfe; Frank Sheftel, as Co-Chairman provided his great chocolate lollypop favors; and Stephanie J. Hibler provided the wine for dinner. Ruta Lee, Chair emeritus, emceed and introduced glamorous celebrities and guests.

Everyone enjoyed the great vocals of Jimmy Carnelli and Angela Carol Brown, and danced to Jimmy’s outstanding band of top musicians. Entertainers: actor/comedian/ stage performer- the dynamic Stephen Sorrentino, and the legendary singer and recording star, Freda Payne, dazzled our guests. This lovely, fun and successful event was enjoyed by all.

In addition to The Thalians Executive; Dr. Irwin Lehrhoff, other Board Members in attendance, Andrew McDonald and Emmy winner Patrika Darbo. Also present, all our distinguished Board of Governors: Bill Anton, Madeline Gussman, Jackie Rosenberg, Sandy Krause and Dr. Lawrence Piro. Among other celebrity guests were: The Pointer Sisters, Anita and Bonnie; Broadway and film star Ann Jillian, Susan Olsen (Brady Bunch) and songstress Helen Grayco. We were also honored with the presence of Daiva Navarette (Honorary Consul General of Lithuania).

Beautiful in every way, Madeline Gussman donated another very generous $50,000.00 and Alex Trebek donated his usual Christmas gift, of a very appreciated $10,000. Jackie Autrey sent a lovely gift of $10.000 and our friend from Ft Worth, Gwendol Bolling, once again sent $5000.00

All these generous gifts help The Thalians continue our charitable endeavors in supporting mental health for wounded warriors through UCLA’s Operation Mend. We presented another $200,000.00 toward our second million-dollar pledge. At this event, we were honored and happy to have Operation Mend’s exceptional leader, Dr. Thomas Strouse; Founder Ron Katz and his dedicated family Todd and Dana Katz; as well as several extraordinary staff members on hand to receive our much needed and appreciated contribution.

Representing the “wounded warriors”- the amazing Retired Army SPC, Joseph Paulk; who’s quips always get welcome laughs. Retired Army Major, Yolanda Poullard received a standing ovation after relating her horrifying experience of seeing her squad killed while on a mercy mission delivering hygiene products to a girls school in Kabul; She is grateful for the mental health services provided by The Thalians ,saving her life! Retired Marine Angelica Jimenez also related her inspiring and touching experiences. Made us all grateful to help!

The Thalians wish everyone a happy, healthy New Year…and in the spirit of giving …if you would like to help The Thalians and UCLA Operation Mend, please click here for your tax-deductible donation. Your generosity is much appreciated!

Invitations: Lobby Winter Wonderland décor and place cards: created by Barbara Cohen-Wolfe.

Fabulous Dining Room table décor-creations by Dalia 708-289-9054: email:

We thank Dalia and Darius Karalis for their extraordinary work and generous contribution.

Chocolate lollypop favors by Frank Sheftel: Candy Factory:818.766.8220
Custom candy gifts -Chocolate Maker to the Stars-

Wine for dinner provided by Stephanie J. Hibler

Band: Jimmy Carnelli – with guest vocalists Angela Carol Brown:

Event Photographer: William Kidston: phone: 310.739.6904

Actor/Comedian/Stage Performer Stephen Sorrentino: