Miss A Columnist

Melissa Curtin covers charity and style related events and loves to cover LA's best in beauty, fashion, and culture. She is an educator who recently returned to the classroom to motivate and inspire third graders at a private school in Pacific Palisades. In 2012, she launched an educational T-shirt line called Wear2learn. When she is not working out, hiking a canyon, or at the beach, she is writing. Her latest dream come true has been travel writing for Johnny Jet.

After teaching in the Maryland public school system for almost a decade, she left the conservative East Coast environment in Washington, DC for West Coast living. Eager for adventure, inner growth, and a new environment, she packed her car and took to the open road on her own landing in her new home - Hollywood, California. As a Connecticut Yankee at heart, she has now lived in Los Angeles for six years surrounded by the stars.

Melissa graduated from Gettysburg College with a double major in psychology and art history. Soon after, she earned a Master's Degree in education. Melissa traveled around the world on Semester at Sea, and earned a Fulbright Scholarship which enabled her to teach in England. A lust for travel and learning has fueled her globe trotting ever since. Some of her favorite destinations are Costa Rica, Thailand, Fiji, Morocco, Vietnam, Belgium, Italy, Sicily, Prague, Egypt, Australia, Greece, and Paris.

Los Angeles has won over her heart. She is constantly taking advantage of what LA LA Land has to offer - new boutiques and restaurants, finding great deals, discovering new hikes and beaches, music, and West Coast fashion.

Recap: 3rd Annual Face Forward Gala At The Beverly Wilshire Hotel

Over 300 guests attended the 3rd Annual Face Forward Gala at The Beverly Wilshire Hotel in the 90210 this past Saturday, September 15 to celebrate a second chance for women of domestic violence. The subsiding 100 degree temperatures and a few LA fires didn’t stop celebrities and guests from supporting this important cause.

Dr. Alessi, Tom Arnold, Deborah Alessi at 3rd Annual Face Forward Gala

Dr. Alessi, Tom Arnold, Deborah Alessi (Photo Credit: Brian Carter)

Deborah Alessi, CEO of Alessi Skincare and founder of Face Forwardand renowned plastic surgeon and biochemist Dr. David Alessi, co-founder of Face Forward, along with funny man Tom Arnold and the lovely Bonnie Somerville, hosted a beautiful, Moroccan-themed evening to benefit women of domestic violence. Special guests, such as Jennifer Coolidge, Dr. Jenn Berman, Linda Thompson, Dennis Smith, Katie Cleary, Shaun Toub, Dain Blanton, Barbara Bentley, James Dumont, Stephen Kramer, Glickman Boxer, David Rodriquez, and a few others made their way down the red carpet, and then took time to put a bid on some amazing auction items outside on the veranda.

“Deborah and I are humbled by the continuous and growing support for our annual philanthropic event,” said Dr. Alessi. “Our wish is to draw attention to the atrocity of the worldwide problem of domestic violence and abuse. Face Forward’s annual fundraising efforts enable us to help more and more victims in their journey to achieve both physical and emotional healing and recovery.”

Dr. David Alessi, Deborah Alessi and violinist Assia Ahhatt

Dr. David Alessi, Deborah Alessi and violinist Assia Ahhatt (Photo credit: Dana Ross Photography)

The organization provides facial surgical reconstructive services for women and children who have been victims of violence through gang or domestic violence. The organization vows to offer each victim with the best possible treatment pro bono. Since its creation, Face Forward has worked with community leaders around the nation to identify victims of violence who are legitimately working toward recovery and who carry the physical evidence of past abuse. Face Forward is only one humble part of the recovery puzzle, however, the immediate results of its healing efforts provide individuals with the confidence to literally put their best “face forward” once again.

Later that evening, money poured in thanks to sponsors such as Turkish Airlines who donated two business class tickets, to any of their 205 destinations, and Aman Resorts who donated a dream vacation for two to Bali.

Unici Casa, one of LA’s most unique event venues in hosted the Face Forward Kick Off party. One very fortunate recipient was able to bid on a chance to host a very special event at this exclusive venue, valued at $18k. Unici Casa also donated beautiful Murano glass pieces designed by architect, designer and founder of UNICI, Michael Foroutan. They were hand-blown by one the greatest glass masters in the world, Alfredo Barbini, right before his passing in Venice, Italy at the age of 93. All of these pieces are one of kind and collectors objects.

Cirque du Soleil Tatiana Gousarova with George Komsky & Becca Stockton

Cirque du Soleil Tatiana Gousarova with George Komsky & Becca Stockton (Photo Credit: Dana Ross Photography)

As guests were treated to an extra special dessert from My Vienna Gelato and Coffee, the gala‘s entertainment program began with George Komsky, former lead tenor of Riverdance’s North American tour party, who with his duet partner Becca Stockton performed “Vivo Per Lei,” featuring Cirque du Soleil star acrobat Tatiana Gousarova. This was followed by the duet “The Prayer” and Komsky’s solo of “Funiculi, Funicula.” Headlining the evening was the exotic Ukrainian violinist Assia Ahhatt, who performed her dramatic interpretations of “Overture” and “Four Walls.”

Angels in disguise, Deborah and Dr. David Alessi will continue their tireless efforts to help women around the world escape a life of unforgivable abuse and let them know there is someone who cares, and there is a safe place to turn to, like Face Forward. As for the dream team of exceptionally skilled doctors behind Face Forward, The Alessi Institute, Dr. Ivan Brooks, Dr. Al Jumper and Specialty Surgery Center allow patients to look in the mirror and see the beginning of a new life.

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