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: The Sweet Suite At The Avalon In LA To Benefit Juvenile Arthritis Association

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“The Wonder Years” star Danica McKellar came decked out looking gorgeous in iiJin’s grey lace jeans and white super high tops with buckles and carrying her adorable son Draco. (Photo Credit: Karen Ray Photography)

Did you know that pediatric rheumatic diseases, often broadly categorized as juvenile arthritis, affects an estimated 1 in 250 children, yet they receive only a tiny fraction of the funding, both private and federal, allocated to almost any other serious chronic childhood disease? Co-founders of the Juvenile Arthritis Association, Laura and Joel Rothman and their daughter Sophia who suffers from Juvenile Arthritis shared the mission of the JAA on Saturday, June 8, which is to bring Community, Awareness, Research and Empowerment (CARE) to children and young adults diagnosed with pediatric rheumatic diseases, as well as their families.

iiJin (pronounced “e – gene” means precious in Korean), Hong Kong’s luxury brand (who will have a flagship store coming soon to Robertson in LA in June 2013), famed pop artist Cassian from Hong Kong, and Trueheart Events hosted a magical and delicious Candy Land themed event for the patients of the Juvenile Arthritis Association and their families at Hollywood hotspot Avalon.

The Avalon was transformed with sweet treats, fun activities, gifting and enormous castles made from balloons. Entertainment included the world’s only juggling rhythmic beatboxer, Bronkar Lee, and DJ Kid Fish kept the day party going. Everywhere you turned there were kids and families enjoying themselves. Some of my favorite treats on hand were the Italian gelato from the Gelato Lounge in Marina del Rey, birthday cake flavored iced blended drinks from Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, grilled cheese bites from The Grilled Cheese truck and delectable gluten-free, gelatin-free, nut-free candy from The Organic Candy FactoryGoodie Girls Cupcakes and UrbanSitter teamed up to host a cupcake decorating station.

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Alyson Hannigan and her daughter Keeva with one of Lucent Dossier Experience’s clowns at The Sweet Suite. (Photo Credit: Karen Ray Photography)

IiJin was not only gifting adorable bears to the patients and the child stars, but they were gifting some really cool sandals. My favorite were the Gladiator leopard print sandals with gold studs with a thick chunky sole – surprisingly super comfortable! Disney star McKenna Grace from the hit show “Crash & Bernstein” was seen cuddling her iiJin bear throughout the party. iiJin’s luxury clothes and shoes were a big hit! Actress Joely Fisher picked out iiJin’s leopard print Gladiator sandals, while Danica McKellar picked out a fab iiJin graphic T-shirt. Celebrity style expert Gretta Monahan picked out a reversible grey and yellow bubble jacket and “Grey’s Anatomy” star Charles Michael Davis took home iiJin’s silver studded men’s sneakers. Gretta Monahan and her TV host/producer husband Ricky Paull Goldin, actor Ryan Devlin and actress Alli Simpson all enjoyed iiJin’s delicious dark chocolate fountain complete with strawberries, bananas, marshmallows and pretzels for dipping. Carmit Bachar who sang and danced her way into the spotlight as a member of the music group The Pussycat Dolls, had a blast taking precious photos with her daughter Keala and her mother in the Sweet Suite photo booth courtesy of iiJin and Fun Captured Photobooth. Guests took home beautiful party photos with The Sweet Suite’s Candy Land backdrop to remember the party.

Balloon Castle at the Sweet Suite for Juvenile Arthritis

Balloon Castle at the Sweet Suite for Juvenile Arthritis

Besides my new love for iiJin’s sandals and trendy fur lined Muck boots for winter, I discovered another fabulous preppy and adorable clothing line straight from my state of Connecticut called Chirp. The chic baby clothing and accessories company has handmade designs from onesies with patterned popped collars and adorable tutu skirts and accessories. “Bones” star Marisa Coughlan picked out a Chirp onesie for her baby on the way, celebrity style expert Gretta Monahan picked out a Chirp baby blue peace sign onesie for her son Kai and Danica McKellar and her son Draco sported Chirp hats. Alli Simpson was seen sporting a baby pink Chirp baseball cap and Ryan Devlin rocked a hunter green Chirp cap. Chirp also partnered with the team at Leanna Lin’s Wonderland to co-host a jewelry making station where party-goers had a blast making their very own bracelets complete with a Chirp bead.

“The Wonder Years” star Danica McKellar came decked out and looking gorgeous in iiJin’s grey lace jeans and white super high tops with buckles and carrying her adorable son Draco. DJ Ravi Drums brought his son Soren and some of Soren’s friends who were excited to pose on the red carpet accompanied by their Super Inflated balloon jet packs. “Raising Hope” star and comedian Skyler Stone made it a family affair too, bringing his fiancé and children to enjoy a fun day in Candy Land.  The beautiful Joely Fisher walked the red carpet with her adorable daughter Olivia Luna and their friend, actor Steve Tyler. Film and TV icon Beverly D’Angelo was a favorite on the red carpet and talked about reprising her role as Ellen Griswold in the highly anticipated new “Vacation” film.

“How I Met Your Mother” star Alyson Hannigan was radiant in a floral maxi dress as she spent the day at The Sweet Suite with her “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” co-star turned husband Alexis Denisof and their two beautiful daughters Satyana and Keeva, The Super Inflated twisters made Alyson’s daughter Satyana a cool pink bunny and they made actress Alli Simpson (Cody’s Simpson’s sister), an awesome balloon hat.

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Disney stars Oana Gregory, McKenna Grace and Landry Bender of the hit show “Crash & Bernstein.” (Photo Credit: Melissa Curtin)

It was a beautiful day of joy for so many children who don’t have life so easy. This Sweet Suite was a perfect way for everyone involved to enjoy life and spread awareness for the need for funding and more doctors who specialize in pediatric rheumatic diseases.

 

 

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