Pink cupcakes and champagne attracted some of Los Angeles' power elite to a fundraiser at Sugar, the trendy West Hollywood boutique that draws starlet shoppers Paris Hilton and Sienna Miller.

The ladies-only benefit last week raised money for L.A.'s Best Better Educated Students for Tomorrow an after-school program that provides supervised recreation for 23,000 children from some of the city's most economically challenged neighborhoods.

Reva Shakkottai, a regional vice president at Neuberger Berman and recent addition to L.A.'s Best board, hosted the event for local businesswomen. She mingled with attendees including legal analyst Rikki Klieman, the wife of Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton; local KTLA "Morning News" co-host Michaela Pereira; Beverly Hills philanthropist Mariclare Suomi; and Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority Commissioner Sarah Dusseault.

Sugar co-owners Jeanette Chivvis and Kelley West donated 20 percent of the proceeds, roughly $4,000, from merchandise sold at the event to L.A.'s Best. The idea behind the event was not just to raise money for the program but also to get more women involved. About 40 percent of L.A.'s Best board members are women.


Lawyers listened to a barrage of rhetorical questions about the indictment of class action law firm Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman from Joe Grundfest, a former Securities and Exchange Commissioner, who spoke last week at the California Club.

Grundfest seemed particularly interested in analyzing the refusal by Milberg Wiess to cooperate with prosecutors, which would have meant the 125-attorney firm would have had to turn on its senior partners David Bershad and Steven Schulman. The firm was charged with paying more than $11 million in kickbacks to plaintiffs.

Grundfest, who is co-director of the Rock Center on Corporate Governance at Stanford Law School, also raised questions about the money being expended on the stock options backdating scandal.


L.A. Inc., the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau and City Councilman Tom LaBonge have devised a creative and cheap marketing campaign to generate buzz about tourism to Los Angeles through its 21 sister cities.

Four journalists have been chosen to receive all-expense-paid trips to Los Angeles, essentially to write about local arts and culture. The inaugural Los Angeles Sister Cities visiting fellows are Tim Fookes, a producer at NewsTalkZB in New Zealand; Kazuyo Nishida and Magoya Ryuko-Hasshin, of women's monthly "Cheek" in Japan; Alexander Vergara, senior reporter of the Philippine Daily Inquirer in the Philippines; and Tanya Wan, editor of Men's Health in China.

Collectively, these four countries account for 670,000 visitors to Los Angeles every year, injecting roughly $585 million into the economy.

Staff reporter Kate Berry can be reached at or at (323) 549-5225, ext. 228.

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