Gala entertainment, clockwise from top left: Emma Hunton, Tracie Thoms, Briana Cuoco and Tye Blue
Photos courtesy of griefHaven

10th Annual griefHaven Fundraiser to Enlist Top Stars of Stage, Screen and TV

Submitted by GRIEFHAVEN | Special to the Palisadian-Post

On Sunday evening, Nov. 4, Palisades-based nonprofit foundation griefHaven is hosting its 2018 Heart-to-Heart Gala, bringing together a top-flight league of performance artists: Emma Hunton, Tracie Thoms and Briana Cuoco will headline the entertainment under the expert direction of Tye Blue.

Hunton, acclaimed star of theater and TV, played Elphaba in “Wicked” on Broadway and in the national tour. She will star in the upcoming 2019 TV series, “Good Trouble.”

Thoms is known for luminous roles on Broadway, most notably in the play “Rent,” as well as in such screen productions as “The Devil Wears Prada” and “Cold Case.”

Cuoco, most recently seen on “The Voice” as part of Christina Aguilera’s team and stolen in the battle rounds by Blake Shelton, is well-known for her many roles in theater and TV.

Multi-talented Blue—writer, actor, director and producer—is perhaps most recognized for his brilliantly conceived parody productions at the Rockwell Table and Stage and at the Wallis Annenberg Theater. His acclaimed “Titanique” was performed to sold-out audiences in Los Angeles and New York. He also created and produced Rumer Willis’ Café Carlyle debut and subsequent Over the Love Tour.

Such star-studded performances account for only part of the evening. Before the ballroom doors open, festivities kick off with a fun and exciting silent auction. The auction will also be available online to anyone who wants to bid prior to the Nov. 4 evening.

Once inside, along with dinner and entertainment, the Peace of Heart award will be presented to this year’s honoree, Palisadian Gail Schenbaum. Schenbaum is nationally recognized as the co-founder of In One Instant, a national teen safe-driving program implemented in schools across the country. She is also co-founder of Umergency, an emergency and safety resource for college families.

Also honored and presented with the Heart-to-Heart award will be Palisadian Pam Solomon, with over 35 years of helping nonprofits achieve their missions. She is founder of Kehillat Israel Tzedakah Teens and co-founder of the Friends of griefHaven, the key support council organizing griefHaven fundraising events that have allowed the organization to grow and continue in its important mission.

Additional highlights of the evening will include a live auction, raffle and the premiere showing of the new short documentary, “Who Is griefHaven?”

This year’s Heart-to-Heart Gala will again take place in the beautiful top-story ballroom of the Marriott Hotel in Marina del Rey with its nearly 360-degree view of the marina.  Tickets, tributes and sponsorships may be purchased at or by calling its Pacific Palisades office at 310-459-1789.

About griefHaven

Familiar to many Palisadians, griefHaven is a nonprofit foundation that was established locally by long-time Palisades’ resident, Susan Whitmore, upon the death of her daughter, Erika Whitmore Godwin.

The organization’s primary mission is to support those grieving the loss of a loved one and to educate others about the grief journey. Support is offered through a wide range of services, from support groups to community outreach to educational workshops and speaking engagements.

Though headquartered in the heart of the Palisades, griefHaven has achieved world-wide recognition, serving as a grief resource nationally and internationally through its website, educational programs and media productions. The griefHaven website receives over a million visits a year, providing unique, effective and loving grief support and education to those in need.

For more information, visit