April 30, 2014: Celebrities Join Boycott of Hotel Group, N.A.A.C.P. Under Fire for Relationship With Clippers Owner, Warren Buffet Sells Autographed Diamonds at Shareholder Meeting

By Beth Kormanik April 30, 2014, 8:12 AM EDT

1. CELEBRITIES JOIN BOYCOTT OF HOTEL GROUP: The boycott of hotels owned by the Dorchester Collection—which include the Hotel Bel-Air and the Beverly Hills Hotel—is growing and attracting celebrities including Ellen DeGeneres and Stephen Fry, who are protesting new laws in Brunei that include capital punishment for same-sex acts. The hotel chain is owned by the Sultan of Brunei. Other groups are canceling meetings and events, despite a spokeswoman for the chain saying that its hotels “do not tolerate any form of discrimination of any kind.”

2. N.A.A.C.P. UNDER FIRE FOR RELATIONSHIP WITH CLIPPERS OWNER: One lesson from the fallout over racist remarks from Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling: Nonprofits need to have more integrity in choosing award recipients. The Los Angeles chapter of the N.A.A.C.P. is withdrawing the lifetime achievement award it planned to give Sterling at a banquet next month and returning some of his donations, but it leaves in place a previous award and said it may work with him in the future. Slate: “Sometimes the easiest thing for organizations to do is look the other way, knowing that everyone else will as well. Perhaps that’s what happened for years with Sterling. But now the media is paying attention, and with it, the rest of the world. And what they see is a man who donated funds to an organization whose central mission is to promote racial justice. As he actively subverted that mission himself, he collected accolades for his good name.”

3. WARREN BUFFETT SELLS AUTOGRAPHED DIAMONDS AT SHAREHOLDER MEETING: Investor Warren Buffett will sell 26 diamonds etched with his signature to shareholders attending the annual meeting of Berkshire Hathaway on Saturday. New York Post: “Buffett has made it a tradition to offer a limited-edition souvenir at his annual shareholder meeting in Omaha, Neb., where thousands flock to hear him speak. Past offerings have included $8 See’s candies with Buffett’s face on the box and $110 Brooks running shoes with Buffett in sweats in the insole.”


BOSTON:  Business travelers have a new place to dine in Logan International Airport. A Legal Sea Foods opens today in the Terminal B Connector. It has a full-service bar and a menu of chowders, sandwiches, salads, and seafood.

CHICAGO:  A Baker’s Tale, the Alice in Wonderland-theme bakery in Wicker Park, now has party packages and offers catering. Menu items include a honey cupcake with blueberry compote and basil buttercream.

At the 2014 International Caterers Association’s Catie Awards, Blue Plate executive chef Paul Larson won the title of “Chef of the Year.” Blue Plate’s mixologist, Dan Schuering, won the award for “Innovative Mixology.”

Pranzi, an Italian restaurant, is now open in River North. The venue hosts private events and offers catering, and serves signature pizzas including “Da Double D” with two layers of crispy dough.

LAS VEGAS:  Azure Luxury Pool is opening for the season on Sunday and will celebrate with a pool party with snowboarder and Olympic gold medalist Jamie Anderson.

LOS ANGELES:  Associates for Breast and Prostate Cancer Studies presents its annual Mother’s Day Luncheon May 7 at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills.

The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund will host the Super Saturday designer charity sale in L.A. for the first time on May 17 at the Barker Hangar.

The 21st annual EIF Revlon Run/Walk for Women is slated for May 10 at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum at Exposition Park.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Robin Thicke, J Cole, and Ellie Goulding are among the headliners at SunFest, a music festival in downtown West Palm Beach, that runs today through Sunday.

NEW YORK:  The New York Hilton Midtown has finished the first phase of its multimillion-dollar room renovation program and plans to finish by 2016. Renovations to its meeting space, including the 25,000-square-foot Grand Ballroom, are scheduled to be finished by the third quarter of this year.

The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center hosts its seventh annual Spring Ball May 13 at the Starlight Roof at the Waldorf-Astoria.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

TORONTO:  Canada’s largest literary festival for children, Forest of Reading Festival of Trees, takes place May 14-15 at the Harbourfront Centre.

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With contributions from Jenny Berg in Chicago, Alesandra Dubin in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Beth Kormanik, Jill Menze, and Anna Sekula in New York.

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