July 2014 Candygrams

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014---Celebrity Sweat After-ESPY's Awards VIP Bash

My husband Jim and I arrived early at The Palm Restaurant near LA Live. Trojan Candy was a winner of two tickets in the KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO's Celebrity Sweat VIP Bash Ticket Giveaway.

The Palm
I took pictures around the restaurant.
Private party
Private party.
Dan Marino
Then I saw Dan Marino walk by me. I caught up with him and asked if I could take his picture. He said, "Yes," but didn't smile much for my picture. Maybe he thought that I was one of the paparazzi who were standing nearby. Thank you Mr. Marino!

Nokia TheaterSince there was about a half hour before the event was supposed to start, Jim and I walked one block to the Nokia Theater. I took this picture of the Theater where the ESPY celebration was in progress. Trojan Candy hoped that a few Trojans would come to the VIP Bash.

When we walked back to The Palm, more guests were arriving. Host Evander Holyfield arrived first. Then we met a new friend. Art San, a Celebrity Sports Therapist who works with some USC athletes, spoke with Jim first. Art had permission to walk into the press area where the celebrities were being interviewed, and he tried to get Trojan Candy into the same area. The guard was not cooperative.

Billy Blanks and Tomoko Sato
However, I was able to get this picture of Billy Blanks and his wife Tomoko Sato.
Evander Holyfield
And then, of Evander Holyfield before Jim and I checked in.
Trojan Candy and Evander Holyfield
Once inside, my husband was able to take this picture of Mr. Holyfield and me.

We helped ourselves to Hawaiian Host chocolate samples and containers of Purell hand sanitizer. As I walked around the restaurant, I noticed how beautiful the decor was and took these pictures of some of the walls.

Al Pacino, Richard Riordan, and Arnold Schwartznegger
Caricatures of celebrities who have dined at The Palm graced the walls. Al Pacino, Richard Riordan, and Arnold Schwartznegger.
George Clooney
George Clooney.
Bud and Sue Selig and Kirk Douglas
Bud and Sue Selig and Kirk Douglas.
Fred Roggin and Nicole Kidman
Fred Roggin and Nicole Kidman
Calavera Tequila
Jim and I were able to sit in a small booth right next to the tables reserved for celebrities. This is the Calavera Tequila that was being served.
Eric Fleishman and Andrew Palmer
There was also an open bar and wine bar. In the bar area there was a backdrop set up for celebrities to pose for the press. Trainer Eric Fleishman and Strongman Andrew Palmer.
Art San
Our new friend Art San.
Anderson Silva
Former UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva was at Evander Holyfield's table.
Andrew Palmer, Lindsay Hayward, and Eric Fleishman
Wrestler Isis the Amazon at 6' 9" tall towered over Andrew Palmer and Eric Fleishman! She is SO TALL!
Omar Miller
As I walked around the dining area before dinner was served, Trojan Candy saw actor Omar Miller.
Two celebrities
Two celebrities who remain a mystery to me. If you recognize them, let me know.
Playboy Playmate Dancers
The five Official Hostesses---the Playboy Playmate Dancers.

Evander Holyfield and Andrew PalmerHost Evander Holyfield posed with Andrew Palmer.

The dinner was delicious. There was a Classic Caesar salad, filet mignon, mashed potatoes, carrots and giant shrimps on a crab bed. Dessert was two scrumptious brownies and cookies.

J.D.C.After dinner, 13 year old Drummer J.D.C. (Justin Charney) provided the live entertainment with his outstanding drum performance.

Trixie Gynn and Art SanIt was now about 11:30, so Jim and I started walking toward the exit. It seemed that many people around us knew one another and were networking. I took my husband to see the bar area, when we saw Art again. He was sitting with his journalist friend, Trixie Gynn. It turns out that Trixie is a fellow Houstonian. She flew out from Houston to attend this event. Trixie writes for "Custom Trends." Check out their webpage at www.customtrends.tv. Then, check out this picture of Trixie and Art!

Trojan Candy had a fun evening making new friends at the Celebrity Sweat After-ESPY's Awards VIP Bash. Thank you, KNX 10.70!

Sunday, July 13, 2014---USC Band Member Endowment Reception

My husband Jim and I were invited to the Band Endowment Reception at Founder's Park today. It was warm, especially in the sun. Luckily, our table was in the shade.

Dr. Bartner and the Spirit of Troy know how to host a reception! There were delicious finger foods artistically set on a table along with melons, lemon and chocolate desserts. Plus, a hosted bar!

Figurines made in China
Trojan Candy took a few pictures of the Band Figurines that would be given to the honorees.
Our figurine
I saw our flutist. The Figurines were designed by Instruments, Silks, Drum Major and Equipment Managers.
Spirit of Troy
The program started when the Spirit of Troy marched to the gathering.
Spirit of Troy
The Spirit of Troy played a couple songs.
Arthur Bartner
Dr. Bartner welcomed the audience.

Then, he announced the donors by instruments, leaving the Drum Major and Equipment Managers for last. Starting with the flutes, Trojan Candy and Jim walked up to receive our "Flute Figurine."

Trojan Candy and Jim Yee
Friend Ben Chua took our picture with his camera and mine. Thanks, Ben! The Spirit of Troy played a familiar song for each group.
Sandy and Rex Johnston
Trojan Candy photographed fellow TGLA members and their Figurines. Sandy and Rex Johnston.
Carolee Snyder
Carolee Snyder
Pat and Dudley Poon
Pat and Dudley Poon
Dan Cassidy
Then, Trojan Candy took pictures of friends that I see at band events, athletic events or Monday Morning Quarterback. Dan Cassidy
Sigrid and Ralph Allman
Sigrid and Ralph Allman
David and Barbara Meyers
David and Barbara Meyers
Tim Seno
Tim Seno
Jo Jeanne and Dann Angeloff and Art Bartner
Jo Jeanne and Dann Angeloff with Art Bartner
Serge Liberovsky
The Spirit of Troy played Conquest to end the program. Friend Serge Liberovsky (9/1/2011) was featured with his fluegel horn.
Barbara Cotler and Dan Cassidy
As we were leaving, Trojan Candy saw more friends - Barbara Cotler and Dan Cassidy.
Ben Chua and Cynthia Wiese
Ben Chua (8/30/2013) and Cynthia Wiese

What a nice afternoon with friends!

Saturday, July 5, 2014---Two More Heritage Hall Medallion Recipients

Trojan Candy must apologize to two special Trojans. I should have written an article about them in March, but I forgot about the emails that they sent my husband Jim. The spring sports on campus had taken up all my time. As they say, "Better late than never."

On March 7, 2014, Heritage Hall Medallion recipient Sheila Douty emailed my husband Jim an update about herself. Sheila played softball at UCLA as an undergrad, then she attended USC. That makes her a Trojan for life now! Sheila graduated from the USC Physical Therapy Program in 1987. She was awarded a USC Medallion because she won two Olympic Gold Medals in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and in the 2000 Sydney Olympics! Here is an exerpt of her email update:

Sheila DoutyI graduated from USC's Physical Therapy program in 1987. I still am licensed as a Physical Therapist in California, but, since the 2000 Olympics, have made motivational speaking my primary career. I have 7 grandchildren ranging in age from 5 to 14, whose lives I am involved in on a daily basis.

One of my favorite memories of USC involved my first meeting with Helen Hislop who was in charge of the Physical Therapy Department during my days at USC. What an incredible woman she was, God rest her soul. I was invited to participate in a tournament in Japan just prior to starting at USC, and if I went to the tournament I would have to miss the first 10 days of school. I went through a lot of scenarios in my head as to whether I should attend the tournament and postpone my entrance into the PT program for a year, or turn down the opportunity to play internationally, or see if there was any way I could do both. I called my 2nd year mentor and told her my dilemma. After explaining it to her, she thought I should just skip the trip, since she felt the only way I could possibly still make it through the program would be if Dr. Hislop gave it her blessing and helped me out. She also said that there was no way that that would happen, because Dr. Hislop was a very tough person who wouldn't put up with anyone missing that much school and would probably drop me from the program immediately.

I decided that both of my dreams were too important to give up on and made an appointment to meet with Dr. Hislop. I was scared to death to talk to her but knew I had to try. I met with her and explained my dilemma. Much to my surprise she was nothing but supportive! She told me there was no way I should turn down the international opportunity, and that she would personally make sure I would have whatever I needed to help me succeed in the PT program. She helped me get all my books and classwork ahead of time so I could take them with me on my trip, and then made sure I had tutors to help me catch up when I got back. What an incredibly awesome woman she was! She became one of my biggest fans, and her understanding of the importance and opportunity for me of this international experience allowed me to follow my dream of participating on our national team for softball and ultimately participating in the greatest athletic event of all, the Summer Olympic games, obtaining two Olympic Gold medals. If not for the encouragement and support of this truly wonderful lady, I may have given up and just reapplied to the program, hoping that I might get accepted back into the program the following year. It was a great lesson I learned at a young age. Follow your dreams, and if you want something bad enough and are willing to work hard at it, you can achieve almost anything.

What words of wisdom! FIGHT ON, eternally, Dr. Hislop! FIGHT ON, Sheila!

The second USC Medallion Recipient is Ralph Heywood. His daughter Geri Wollmers sent an email to Jim on March 14, 2014. Geri's dad Ralph, who was born in Huntington Park, played football at USC. He played end and was also the punter in 1941 and 1942. In 1943, Ralph was a team captain. USC had an 8-2 season in 1943 and beat Washington in the Rose Bowl 29-0. Here is some of Geri's email that she wrote about her dad and her family. Her daughter and she were on a plane for a campus visitation at USC.

Suzy HeywoodOne of the key highlights of the trip was to locate Ralph's medallion and to show it to our daughter. My husband and I got to see it in 1998 and this will be our first time back to visit USC. We can't thank you enough for your very special gift to our family. I hope our request to mail it is not too much trouble. I would pick it up at the school, but I'm so concerned something will go wrong and it could get lost forever. Ralph was playing football for USC when Pearl Harbor occurred. The very next day he and his teammates (Juniors and Seniors) went down and enlisted in the military together. My mom [Suzy Heywood who's holding Ralphs's medallion at right] has the newspaper clipping and they all look so young and strong. After the war he came back to USC and finished his football career and received his degree from USC in Cinematography. He ultimately went back into the service after playing for the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions. He was the only NFL player to have served in 3 wars: WWII, Korea and Vietnam. He was a larger than life character. And truly a Trojan at heart!

My mom and I attended a ceremony at Quantico last summer honoring Ralph and saw a black and white reel of him playing football at USC. There was Ralph in his Trojan uniform, the crowds were cheering, and it looked like it was a glorious day to play football! The announcer was talking about Ralph, and I'm not sure we heard anything because it was the first time we had ever seen him in action on the football field. and we were just transported in time. He developed Alzheimer's towards the end of his life, but he could still tell you about playing the Irish as if it was yesterday.

What a tremendously touching story about a very special, heroic Trojan! FIGHT ON, eternally, Ralph!

Trojan Candy hopes that Sheila and Geri can forgive my tardiness. Also, I thank both of you for sending me the pictures.

Trojan Candy will be writing next about the ESPY VIP BASH that my husband Jim and I will be attending on July 16th. Trojan Candy won a KNX10.70 contest to be a guest there. Hopefully, there will be other Trojans there!

FIGHT ON, until then!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014---Fight On Forever, Louis Zamperini!

Louis ZamperiniLouis ZamperiniAlumnus Louis Zamperini won one of two inaugural "Legend of Troy" Awards at the 2011 USC Student-Athlete Graduation Celebration (5/12/2011). Trojan Candy was astounded by his motivating speech.

FIGHT ON, eternally, Louis!