A few weeks ago, Fasha Mahjoor looked down from the top of an eight-story building and had quite a fright.

Though the 60-year-old chief executive of Phenomenex Inc. in Torrance is a world traveler and said he has had plenty of life-threatening adventures, he admits to being deathly afraid of heights.

Which should make this Labor Day a memorable – albeit terrifying – one. On Sept. 3, Mahjoor and 35 others, including Prince Andrew and some executives, will rappel down the side of the tallest building in the European Union: the Shard, a 95-story office tower that opened in London this summer.

The event aims to raise money for the Outward Bound Trust, a British charity that provides outdoor education to at-risk kids, and for the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund. Mahjoor, a British-educated Iranian whose company has offices in England, has donated $31,300 to Outward Bound.

“We did a practice run in a relatively short building in London and it was absolutely terrifying,” Mahjoor said of his eight-story experience. “But I can’t wait for the day. The challenge is so exhilarating.”

Happy Birthday L.A.

Few people can throw a bigger birthday bash than Mark Anchor Albert.

The business litigator and founder of non-profit Queen of Angels Foundation last year helped revive the Grand Marian Procession, a Mardi Gras-style march attended by 2,500 people celebrating the founding of the city of Los Angeles. Albert expects even more people to participate in the second procession, to be held this weekend.

The 51-year-old, who got the idea after attending a candlelight procession in Lourdes, France, admitted that planning L.A.’s birthday celebration hasn’t been easy, especially since he runs his own law practice in downtown Los Angeles. It might have even cost him some business.

“I’ve given up some dough,” he said. “But I do have help. I have a terrific wife and we have a ton of volunteers.”

Last year, the procession featured a number of cultural groups, including Aztec dancers in traditional dress, bagpipers and Catholic orders in colored robes. Albert expects additional groups to participate in this year’s event Sept. 8, including 20 Mexican cowboys on horseback.

Of course, that brings about some logistical challenges.

“We’ve been worried about the horse dung,” said Albert, laughing. “We’ve decided that we’re not going to march in robes behind the horses. The horses have to be at the back.”

Staff reporters James Rufus Koren and Richard Clough contributed to this column. Page 3 is compiled by Editor Charles Crumpley. He can be reached at ccrumpley@labusinessjournal.com.

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